super-energy
alt_bar

BYOOTIFUL

12 January 2005

CLOWNS! Who would have thought that?! Sometimes I vex even myself. The dear captain has stepped on a miniature clown and consequently squashed it. Quite a gruesome sight, there, don't you think? What with all the viscera and intestines dangling out of its obliterated stomach. And look at that beautifully ruptured skin. Behind those cartoony cross-eyes there is real drama hiding.

You know, right now I'm occupying myself with the development of a couple of comics. One of them is, as ever, Captain August. But I also have a Secret Project that I won't give away because I mean to surprise a lot of people. That particular strip is going to be for a contest, so naturally I'm taking extra special care to see to it that it's decent. And what becomes all the more visible then is how much fun I have creating August.

See, the Secret Project requires me to do a lot of work. Research into the things I'm going to draw; the writing of an intricate script; making sure the dialogue flows correctly... but also, thanks to a most excellent book I'm reading, 'Panel Discussions' (which covers a host of interviews with some of the best comic artists in America, among whom the recently departed Will Eisner and the brilliant Mike Mignola), I have a whole new set of things to discover and keep track of. However this also ensures that the process of creating a comic has become ever more elaborate for me. More and more it's evolving from this intu?tive, but also elusive and unfathomable form of undefinable art to a graspable, comprehensible set of tools that I can use. But it's also becoming more and more like work.

Therefore I'm taking measures. Measures such as Captain August. Because this strip is the quintessential experimental platform to me. Here there are no rules, here I can just muck about a bit and try all the nifty things that I can think of. They won't always work, but at least it's far more interesting than a strip that constantly follows the rules. I need August
to keep me from going insane, to keep me from drowning in the ever increasingly laborious task of creating Professional Comics (whatever that may be...), and mostly to remind me that writing and drawing comics in the first place should be a fun pastime. And August is exactly that. Radiant.

Roderick.