Posts made in September, 2010


Posted by on Sep 26, 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This was the second drawing I did for the “Portrait of the Artist When He Isn’t There” series. It features the Nigerian blanket given to me in primary school by my best friend Sule Otori, my severely dilapidated schoolbag “Ursula,” some Renaissance sheet music, and a copy of G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I’ve gotten in the habit of piling crap on my bed so I’m not tempted to sleep on it during the day.

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PotAWHIT Shelf

Posted by on Sep 25, 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The theme of October’s Stumptown Underground compilation is “Self-Portrait/Self-Reflection.” I’ve never been one for auto-biography. So though many of my friends have worked in the genre, and I enjoy many auto-bio comics, I’ve never been able to do one myself. Even when I tried keeping a daily “comics journal” in the style of Chelsea Baker at the beginning of 2010, I was unable to stay on the topic of my own life (which in January was admittedly pretty boring) – I would end up describing the book I had just read or the movie I’d just seen, including only a cursory auto-bio framing narrative, or none at all.

I hardly want to come off sounding like some righteous crusader against solipsism or attention-whoring; after all, I have a facebook page and TWO blogs. I’m certainly not above the frothy foam of perpetual self-reinvention that characterizes my generation of rootless hipsters. But nevertheless, I do think a certain diligence is required to look beyond the confines of the self, or at least an acknowledgment of the self’s permeability. Increasingly I think of it as a duty to understand that “who I am” is not some secret identity locked in the vault of my own skull, but a complicated network of relationships, many of them mysterious to my own subjectivity. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said something like “the self is not that part that is known only to me and to no one else, but precisely that part that is external and unknown to me, who I am to others.” I could write on this subject endlessly, but this is an art blog.

Anyway, this mush of Anglican theology and waaaaay too much structuralist criticism resulted in me not wanting to draw a traditional self-portrait or an auto-bio comic, but rather a series of still life drawings of the things around my room entitled “Portrait of the Artist When He Isn’t There” (PotAWHIT) Talk about the absent core of subjectivity! I think somebody snooping around my room when I wasn’t there could get a better idea of “who I am” just from looking at the books on my shelf, the drawings on my desk, and even the clothes on my hangers, than from briefly meeting me in person. I’ve left little pieces of my self strewn on the floor.

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

Well, the inky black prison cell where Whoever-they-are have taken Kafir certainly isn’t in Cuba*, but I was inspired by accounts of the U.S.’s notorious overseas prison complex at Guantanamo Bay when drawing these pages, especially page 60.

The inclusion of a Qur’an among the meager provisions of Muslim prisoners held at Guantanamo on suspicion of terrorism has always struck me as particularly humiliating. It is almost as if to say “just when we have deprived you of every other freedom and dignity – your own clothes, space to move around in, a private place to use the bathroom, etc. – only then will we assure you of the ability to practice your religion.”

It’s funny and sad, and very important, how the Human “as such” usually emerges only when a person has been totally debased and stripped of everything else save his life. We still define comfortable individuals in terms of their roles as communist, capitalist, Hutu, Tutsi, gay, straight, etc. etc. Only when they are starving refugees at the gates does a plea arise to respect “our common humanity.”

Not that things have gotten nearly that bad for Kafir… yet. And anyway, Kafir’s parents are Zoroastrian, you bigoted idiot.

*Where it is exactly is a mystery that won’t be explained until later in the comic!

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Go Buy Ben Bates’s Comic

Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

My friend Ben Bates from Periscope Studio penciled the most recent issue of Sonic the Hedgehog, #217, on stands this week. From what he’s told me, Ben has pretty much wanted to draw the Sonic comic since he was like thirteen. At that time, he was thrilled to discover that there was a comic about the beloved video game, but was very disappointed upon realizing just how crappy it actually was. Now at the helm, he has some very fixed ideas of how the comic should be. I’m pretty awed by a.) how well Ben knows what it is he wants and b.) how doggedly he has pursued that goal. If I had half as much of either quality as Ben does, I’d have it made in the shade.

If that weren’t bad enough, I also lack the ability to draw the spinny Sonic legs – you know, where he’s running so fast his legs are a total blur? Admittedly I didn’t really try this time – except for the color, this was drawn in about 10 minutes in a waiting room. The dude getting knocked over is supposed to be Andy Johnson of Cosmic Monkey Comics.

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Finally Back to Figure Drawing

Posted by on Sep 18, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey blogsciples. I finally have enough discretionary income to start going figure drawing at Hipbone Studio again. This morning I went with Katy Ellis O’Brien; she gave me some of her big brown pieces of paper to draw on.

They’re useful, because then you can draw highlights and not just shadows. Human skin is shiny, and to look convincing, part of it has to be lighter than the overall tone of the paper.

The model was very, very good, as usual. Great dynamic poses. I also assure you that she had a pretty face and did not, in fact, look like Kevin Kline.

Stay tuned to this blog! Lots of fun stuff coming up next week.

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