I drew this in homage to Lawrence Lee Dirk III’s Grim Bard. Last year at the CCS Telegraph Studio, he would warm up for drawing his comics by making self portraits in the adopted styles of his classmates, or eventually drawing the Bard inhabiting his piers’ comics. Then, I think he got back to doodling super heroes like a good member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. I gave the image above to Law after he had whipped up this little number:
As a longtime superhero reader, Lawrence is a teasing student of showmanship and merchandising. He loves making peripheral products, like posters and plush dolls, archly posing himself as a snake oil salesman pushing his goods on unsuspecting kids.
I think some of his mocking commercialism rubbed off on my Baby Pat material, which has better allowed me to have my own way with autobiography, and I’d say the babies have been better for it. Memoir is a form I don’t take naturally to. It can feel desperate or needy to me for middle class white kids to slavishly record and draw their own unremarkable existence…but maybe I’d better back off that rant for now. Anyhow, our’s is a time of Self as Product.
So anyway, Lawrence countered with Wilma Whistlepig (of much Farmy Acres fame). And get this, he even cut out little stand legs for her so she could admonish me from next to my drawing table. I couldn’t best it. I haven’t. And then at the end of the year, he gave each of his classmates a mini of his complete, funny, Golden Book-sized The Grim Bard and the Immortal King’s Crescendo. So now I double owe him! I’ve also been having lots of fun following Law’s blog, even though I’ve seen everything he’s posted, just because he’s a delightful writer.
Well, after all this, my boyfriend Ben got a bit jealous and made a mashup with three of his own characters impersonating three of mine–one of whom has not yet even made her debut to the world outside White River Junction. (So look out, cause Anita’s cooommmmmin!!*)
I love Ben and I love his Grump Toast comics. From bottom-left that’s Unfortunate Face as Izzy, Asphalt Monroe as Anita and Pinky Palms as Steve. Ben actually drew this when I was pretty deep down in the dumps, feeling both stretched thin and disappointed in myself.
In particular, I felt like I’d stopped seeing any progress on Petrified Girlfriend. I’m in the middle, which people always say is the hardest part. I’m ready to persevere, now, and this week’s New Yorker profile on Pixar writer-director (/new-delver-into-live-action-adventure) Andrew Stanton was inspiring to me. The article [pay link, sorry], by Tad Friend, compares the Pixar production method with the old Studio System. I love sentimental Old Hollywood stuff, and I love most of Pixar’s movies. I want to keep sight of their spirit of upholding a duty to entertain, and to always edit, revise, and improve.