Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Portrait Exchange!

Lisa Perrin of Lisa Perrin has drawn a portrait of me! Ok I admit I just wanted her to draw someone of me, so I tugged and whinnied my way into convincing her it was a super cool art thing to do portrait exchanges.

Lisa Perrin is a fellow representational artist that is working hard at making a name for herself in the paper doll field. Doing a right job of it too, she's been in magazines and interviews. Making that paper!

If you want to see my version, you'll have to check out her site.

I actually really love how she handled me. I can tell that it's based on some serious conversations we've had together. In a way this is a much more telling portrait than the one I did a couple weeks ago.

It makes me question my own rendition, a little, but I genuinely believe mine is a side of Lisa that very few people see.

A dubious honor.

Nearly four years after it was taken, this photo can now be seen on page one of the google image results when you look up the word "larp."

LARP stands for Live Action Roleplay. If you want details feel free to check out my video on the subject.

The point is that my friends and I find ourselves in a rather ironic situation, where the popularity of the photo is slowly snowballing for entirely the wrong reasons. Like any eccentric icon, many folk look upon this image as the face of LARPing. It reminds me of how some people feel that Chris Crocker is the archetypal gay male. He really isn't. We really aren't.

The irony comes in by the fact that we weren't actually LARPing, but rather making a satire of the act. My friends and I are a bizarre lot. You might even call us "counter counter culture." When we set out that day, the idea was not to mock LARPers so much as to have fun at making fools of ourselves while pretending to LARP. I realize how that sounds, take it or leave it.

It's sort of like how hipsters wear ugly shirts. The idea is that their coolness defeats the lameness of what they are wearing. Only with us we had no pretense to assume that. We knew what we looked like, and were damn proud of it.

It's a shame though (I guess) because now people look at this photo and think that everyone who LARPs is as crazy as we are. Which, I'll add, is either not the case...or very much so.

So it is with nervous smiles that we come closer and closer to becoming internet oddities.

Funny how life works out sometimes.

We actually did it again and took photos but Blane was too embarrassed to put them up. Lots of speedos.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Details details...

There is more than a large part of me that has been completely obsessed with my "success" through this blog, and by and large that part has been disappointed with the number of followers I get.  It's funny, every professor you'll talk to in college with recollect the days when outside of school they learned (quickly) that they wouldn't see any immediate prosperity.

And I looked at them, braced myself for it, and disagreed.

There's been another part of me that has been wanting to churn out comics every day in preparation for when I re-draw my graphic novel.  I realize though that this kind of detachment isn't very rewarding for those who are actually interested enough to check up often.
The biggest let down of one of my favorite cartoonists was not that he stopped doing work, but that he never took the time to explain why, or what else he'd be doing.

And so, I shall try to make this more of a comic blog than simply...comics comics comics!


My biggest compliments and criticisms have always been linked to my sense of detail.  The common "don't draw types" are amazed with it, the common "drawing is so 1970s" types could give a damn,  and everyone in between wants more than my laziness is willing to produce.

I love detail, there's nothing I like more than being immersed in something that's well realized, visually.  At the same time I have a fancy for flat, semi-abstract, cartoon-like minimalism.  That's what happens when you grow up liking...

Myst and The NES

Bill Waterson and Edward Gorey

Will Vinton and Matt Groening

Jan Svankmajer and George Dunning

B. Kliban and Robert Crumb

etc etc etc...

It's funny because all these listed influences were capable (in contrast to their popular work) with extraordinary detail and surprising simplicity.

So I've always been involved in what you might call "representational art" but I've never been tied down by a "reality" of representation.  I find that when I enter spaces I've created, there are levels of detail that become necessary, and many that become unnecessary.

Despite this, many people scream for as much detail as they can lick up.  Looking at the contemporary comic market, just looking at the backgrounds, there's so much detail that I find it hard to focus on the characters.

But that's just me, and there are tons of people that love that.

My girlfriend and I both gripe about art critiques and how people complain that our work looks "flat" when we've both spent hours making sure that it does.  You can't convince people that flatness is a style.  Not us, anyway.

You can't please everyone.

Since this entry is more blog than comic (as opposed to a desired(?) balance) I'll include a strip that I didn't dare finish.