The Autohagiography of Eucalyptus Mulch

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fan Club Badge.

A Profundity.

Method for generating comics.

Making comics is an enormous arse pain. The late Wallace Wood famously said “Being a comic book artist is like sentencing yourself to life imprisonment at hard labor in solitary confinement.” Comics are fun to read, which makes one assume they would be just as much fun to make. Reading comics gives a kind of primal gratification not unlike porn. But porn is easy to make. I made some for dinner last night.

The challenge of comics comes after you've used up those two or three ideas you always thought would be funny and like someone who's just signed a contract without reading the fine print you realize you're now obliged to come up with new funny ideas every day or week or month as the case may be. At that point you may arrive at the sobering recognition that you're not as funny or interesting as you had always thought.

Chester Brown developed a kind of visual cut-up method for generating short strips whenever he was out of ideas: he closed his eyes, picked up an old comic book from his collection, opened it at random, blindly pointed his finger at a single panel, and redrew that panel as the first one in his own strip. He repeated this process using multiple sources, composing new text for the speech balloons (or narrative captions) as he went, until he had the number of panels he needed.

Here's one such strip from his collection The Little Man.

I developed my own desperate method when I started doing comics for The Scope. It went like this: (1) Get high; (2) Call home from some unfamiliar place and leave a message on my answering machine; (3) Transcribe the result as a comic strip the following day.

Well, they can't all be diamonds.

Two fragments from an abandoned narrative.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cruel portrait of the artist by a child.

Merciless . . . . The child went so far as to record for posterity the fact that I had found a spanworm in my hair that day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NL Classics Illustrated

NL Classics Illustrated was a short-lived though highly respected series of literary adaptations. There were whispers in certain circles that the reason it was discontinued was a series of complaints from local authors that we were to blame for their books' diminishing sales. Could we help that our adaptations so vastly improved upon the originals?

More from the artist's well-beloved "Crayola" period.

Two old codgers and the woman who loved them.

Variations on the theme of emptiness.

With special guest star Avocado Pitt.