Monday, April 29, 2013

Creative Character Druthers I Have You

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?



Or Snoopy??

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:








27 comments:

  1. Poor Jim... but I must admit he had me giggling with the rubber pencil and fake pooey... :)

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    1. I was told by someone that I was too "mean" to Jim, and I have to do better

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  2. Would it help if I told you I think Jim looks like a giant cupcake with legs? Probably not. Sorry.

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    1. I did not even notice that until you pointed it out!

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  3. Maybe Jim got the spikeless mace because he couldn't pass his mace certification test.

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    1. Hey! You just gave away the only plot twist I had up my sleeve. Thanks a lot

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  4. It's is supernaturally hard to draw any animal from memory. They are so.... Curvy. And furry. And their joints don't go the way you think they might. And who REALLY knows what a horse skull looks like??? And dogs hardly have necks. I just don't get it.

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    1. No kidding. I think I have been drawing that same memory horse for like 30 years now

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  5. I think a visible mace with invisible spikes would be cool. That way your opponent would think, "that's just one of those girlie spikeless maces for babies and beginners, this should be an easy fight ..." then GASH - "Where did those spikes come from?!?!?" of course any blood etc that gets on the invisible spikes would reveal the spikes, so the invisible spikes would need a special power of turning things invisible that they touch for more than a few milliseconds.

    WeLL, I must go put some equipment together and mop half of a floor. Swish me luck.

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    1. Why only half the floor?? So much mystery esb....

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    2. While I was working on the equipment assembly my wife showed up at the business location and she was irritated that the janitorial service had done a visibly poor job mopping the floor. So I mopped part of the floor leaving an escape route of dry floor to leave the building. I left for supper and to get some supplies as the flat washers were too large and metric I found out later, so I wound up using two lock washers. But it was stiLL difficult as the tolerances on the holes lining up were veRy irritating...at least I discovered that two former workers from the diner I frequent had both been hired by the same C-store and both work just 2 blocks from our business, so it wiLL be great reconnecting back with them, as we have spent a huge amount of time gabbing in the past. WeLL, I must go check on a couple of HVAC systems, its that time of year ....

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  6. Dude, PhotoShop has payers. You can put the spikes on their own layer, then just turn the layer on and off until you decide to go with spikes, or go spikeless.


    (Sorry, been doing a lot of photo retouching lately.)

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    1. Layers are for cheaters. Not really. I use them all the time.

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    2. Photoshop does have 'Payers' - I use Gimp.

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  7. A nice peak behind the curtain of how something hysterical is born. If I was creating it, I would never have gotten past the fake poo and rubber pencil. Well, that's not even true...I would not have even gotten to the poo or pencil cause I can't draw.

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    Replies
    1. Take whatever medium you do excel at Kianwi, and use that to render the pooey pencil within

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  8. I had no idea elfs were short because they ate unleavened bread. Makes sense.

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    1. Ha ha-I like your comment. That stupid unleavened bread joke was a joke on the Lembas bread they are always obsessing about in the Lord of the Rings

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  9. Well the good news is that maces do not have spikes. The bad news is you just drew something called a flail. You learn something new every day huh? And I'm super relieved that I'm not the only one who thought you had drawn a cupcake with legs. Maybe that's your problem, you are torn between eating Jim and giving him a deadly weapon of mass destruction. The rubber pencil and fake poo in the ears slayed me though. It may be juvenile, but damn it is funny.

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    1. Wait a second-a flail? I thought that was the one with the chain thingy. Stupid old-timey weapons and their convoluted names

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  10. Replies
    1. Its just an exaggeration, my body is actually hellah tight.
      Not sure what that means

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  11. Pssst - I used to draw penises when I was young. Will drawing them make me young again?

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    1. No! Julie, do you really believe that? Don't do it. There are so many penises out there all ready

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  12. Poo in ear is always a win.
    Jim needs a mystical amulet. Also some stew and cheese.
    Maces do't need spikes when they are wielded by ancient wizards. Of yore.

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    1. Elpoo, you have some interesting ideas. I am a big fan of the word 'yore'. However, mystical amulets might get really tedious to draw after a while

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  13. I admit i let out a squeal of joy that is not befitting a large vikingous bearded man when i saw the drawing of yourself gently showcasing your left breast. It was amazing and now the whole office knows of my approval. Keep up the good work Gween.

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