Do you remember when I called forth Jim into being?
It was last week.
I drew Jim for the first time, and then I felt like dying on an emotional level because he was so useless.
It's not personal, Jim. Well maybe.
I am having trouble pinpointing why you suck so bad, or why all the air goes out of me when I draw you.
But I guess it could be something about how you look.
How come you don't make me laugh?
Oh Jim, sad, stupid Jim, a rubber pencil and fake pooey are pretty good, but it's not just having funny stuff in your hand, the humor comes from what you do with them.
That's just juvenile. Babies stick things in their ears, Jim, not original characters bursting with inherent hilarity.
It gets worse though.
After I decided Jim would exist in a fantasy land with it's own incredibly dense and planned out lore and back story, I had some even better ideas.
My fantasy world would just turn every convention on its head, you know?
I have always been kind of a trailblazer. I was the first boy in my family to go to a public high school. At work, I am usually the first person to say out loud what I think about everything.
So in my children's marker pad that I bought at Big Lots for .50 cents, (for my Australian readers, fifty cents American is like two of your farthings, so like omg, bargain, right?) I began to lay the groundwork for Jim's world.
For one thing, I thought, holy crap, what if elves were short and bearded and stocky, and what if dwarves were tall and skinny and had arrows?!?!?
It was at this point in the creative process when I realized I was at a crossroads.
I'm not a fool; I know these drawings are kind of silly. No detail; childish; anatomically muddled.
But here is the thing: silly drawings can still convey serious themes in a meaningful way. Look what a miserable portrait of a marriage that The Lockhorns comic strip portrays. It's like a Bergman movie.
Was Jim's world going to be one of epic tragedy, or one of complete ridiculousness?
An example: I wanted Jim to have a weapon, but not a sword, because that is what people would expect. So I gave him a mace.
I was drinking my first mug of coffee in the school kitchen when a hilarious thought came to me. I drink a whole pot of coffee a day. By the time we put the kids on the bus, I am usually kind of sweaty and intangible. But the hilarious thought was unrelated to any of that. The hilarious thought was what if Jim had a spikeless mace?!??! HA HAHA!
OH MY GOSH MARTIN JUST THREW UP HIS ENTIRE SALAD!! GWEEN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? HELP ME!
I ignored lots of people and my entire job to draw that picture of Jim. You don't make art, art makes you.....do it.(?)
But here was the problem: this is the worst:a double colon. No just kidding. The worst is having an idea that makes you laugh in your head but when you write it down or draw it, you pray to God that no one finds it in the trash and traces it back to you because it is so terrible.
Now I have to redraw spikes on a hundred different pictures because I erased all the spikes back when the whole idea was unbelievably funny.
Do you want to learn to draw?
Here is how you draw spikes on a mace:
First, take your picture of a spikeless mace
Then cover it with pointy mountains.
Now draw me.
and call it either Adonis in front of yellow gradient fill or Hindenburg Rising. Let me know if you pick Hindenburg Rising, so I can get mad at you, eat all the Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the school pantry, and drink my tears mixed in with sweet, sweet milk.
I hope one of my loyal readers is a medieval weapons expert, and takes the time to let me know that a spikeless mace was a real thing and not funny at all. That it had a cool Latin name and was the weapon of choice for some fighty old weirdos. Sometimes I sound so nonsophisticated. Be smarter, I tell my brain. He can't hear me because he is not an ear.
So any epic hero needs a steed.
Do you know how hard it is to draw a horse from memory?
Ok, this is an honest to goodness horse that I drew from my memory. It took a really long time, though, and I find that very discouraging.
Have you ever sat around all day, just being discouraged? It's pretty terrible.
So, although Jim's mace will be rendered at an epic level of fantasy realism, I have decided his steed will lean towards the silly.
Pssst...let me tell you a little secret, an artist's secret, if you will:
I like drawing blood-tee hee! lots of it! It's so nostalgic, like being a kid again. sh sh don't tell anyone hee hee
Anyways, Jim's steed is a classic children's toy-how ironical!
Looking around, I suddenly remember that I am at work and lunch break ended like four hours ago or something.
Don't worry, I have LOTS more GOLDEN CONTENT just like this to come.
But for now, I leave you with our hero beginning his epic quest: