I have recovered! Chapter Two, page 05 of she said is now up.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
You may have noticed that I am developing a habit of drawing furniture in the middle of these birch tree-laden forests of mine. Furniture with humans, cats, and crows interacting with them. Why? Well, I like humans (as subject matter) and crows and cats. But the furniture has it’s origins in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
I like to travel cross-country by either car or train. I hate flying, period. So in order to visit my numerous left-coast-dwelling friends and family, I point my car west or I catch a cab to Union Station for the next California Zephyr or Empire Builder out of town. The first time I took the train to California I loved it. I made the mistake of riding coach (imagine a 3 day school bus ride only with alcohol available to everyone) but the scenery and not having to talk to anyone made me love train travel.
Anyway, on this first trip, I learned that day 2 is spent mostly in the Rocky Mountains. And by in I mean IN – the train takes 8 hours to climb and switch back and forth between the mountains before popping out the other side. ( I also learned that it only takes one hour to descend. On the return trip the descent is into Denver. It was dark when we did this and it looked like we were flying into Denver. It was pretty amazing.) That first trip in the mountains was incredible. The train goes deep into the mountains and the scenery was breath-taking. It was a bright day and there hadn’t been much snow yet so you could see the occasional critter and dudes kayaking down rushing rivers. It almost made me want to go to an REI and become outdoorsy. But it did make me understand and appreciate just how beautiful the non-flat parts of this country are.
So there I was, nose pressed up against the train window, cranking Luscious Jackson in my portable CD player, daring not to blink because I might miss something cool, when I saw it.
We were between two mountains, in an area where you couldn’t see any roads, trails, water, or anything other than the woods and the train pass. It was just sitting there, in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by long grass and thin-trunked trees.
I was stunned and intrigued. How did it get there? How long had it been there? And where was the door? It was at once sad (Trash? Here?) and delightful (Doorway to a magical land?) and I remember chuckling to myself, “Oh, America.” On subsequent trips on the California Zephyr I have not seen the refrigerator again, but that image has stayed with me.
I have seen odd things next to the rails on other routes, but most train lines run through populated areas so the sad accumulation of decades old discarded cars, trucks and TVs (?) makes sense. Still sad, but not WTF weird.
So when I started developing the world that the character in she’s in the trees lived in, I went back to that image of the refrigerator in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and used it as a jumping off point. And now that same image is fueling the surround me (working title) series. And, yes, I do have a drawing of a fridge in a sea of birch trees in the works. I mean, how could I not?
Saturday, February 13, 2010
No she said update this week. At the beginning of the week I was knocked down by a rather horrendous head cold. I haven’t had a cold in nearly 3 years ( judging by the expiration dates on the cold meds in my bathroom) and this one was bad enough to make me take an afternoon off from my day job. Which, if you know me, is significant. I am feeling better but didn’t feel up to pushing myself, even though the next page is a relatively easy draw.
I am, however, bored out of my freaking skull. So maybe I’ll just draw a little bit.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Yeah. Those shirts on Glasses* are pretty hideous. And they’re that way for a reason. The origin of these shirts go back to the early 70′s – the golden era of ugly shirts.
When I was a kid – like 1972-1977 or so – I have memories that on almost every Sunday after church (!) my family would go to a store called Korvett’s. It was a department store along the lines of KMart or Target. I primarily remember that we went there mostly for clothes for my youngest sister, but we would walk around the whole store. I also have vivid memories of being in the music department with my dad for what seemed like hours. He was big into music and I was fascinated by the stacks and stacks of 8-tracks. This is also where I discovered KISS. I remember looking at the artwork on their 8-tracks every time I was there and being mesmerized.
Anyway, ugly shirts. Korvett’s was laid out so that the center of the store was the hub of dressing rooms. Everything else circled around it. Above the mirrored and curtained dressing areas was a large wall that went up to the ceiling. On that wall was a black and white mural of what could be best called “fashion illustration.” The only way to describe the style would be a Peter Max-ish line drawing of fashionable women. Think Breck girls and Farrah Fawcett poster poses – heads thrown back, million dollar smiles, long flowing lines hair that twisted and flowed into becoming another woman in the mural. A very trippy corporate attempt to be hip to the times.
I was utterly fascinated by the mural. I loved going to Korvett’s just to look at it. The big bold black lines on a bright white surface was like nothing I had seen before. I was introduced to india ink by my second grade teacher and between that and the Korvett’s mural, well, that’s pretty much how my drawing style was born. (So, happy 35th anniversary, drawing style!) I remember walking into the store and focusing on the central female figure – dark, curly hair; her shoulder’s sporting a wide-collared shirt (unbuttoned fashionably low) that had a weird pattern of what could be best described as ugly, graphic fried eggs. (At least that’s how I remember it. It could have been butterflies for all I know.) So I always have this image of beautiful women wearing ugly 70′s shirts. Excuse me, ugly 70′s RAYON shirts. When I think of Korvett’s I also have a sense memory of the plastic smell of polyester and rayon.
So as I was designing Glasses and gave her that wavy, Peter Max hair, I knew she had to be a connoisseur of ugly shirts.
And for the record, designing ugly shirt patterns is not at all easy.
* The four key characters in she said have no names. I identify them as Glasses, Freckles, Glasses’ Friend, and Freckle’s Friend.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Work in progress. A result of too much NPR on the drive home tonight.
I don’t ever think of myself as an activist. Far from it. But sometimes I have to say something, anything. I mean, what’s so completely horrible about being honest about who you are?