One of the many problems I have with drawing this comic aside from my constant rewrites, time constraints, motivation and a multitude of other things, is simply starting each panel. After a while I sit there in front of blank tablet screen, even though I know exactly what is going to happen in the panel. You may not understand how this can be a problem, but I don’t want all the frames to look the same. If they are I may well just copy and paste previous frames and change a few small details here and there. Strangely enough a few years ago I dragged my long suffering wife along to The Comic Book Museum to see the Dr Who exhibition and there were some original cartoons from TV Comic where they simply reused an old John Pertwee story and tippexed him out and drew on Tom Baker. This was to save money apparently. As far as my memory serves me it was drawn over an original comic strip, which also reminds me of the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman who painted over a series of Goya etchings with clown faces. That got nominated for The Turner Prize in 2003 and then Jake Chapman had paint thrown over him by Aaron Barschack (The Comedy Terrorist) who tried explain in court that he too was also creating art, to which the judge told him he was talking bollocks (I’m paraphrasing) and was banged up the slammer for a month. I saw him do a routine about this when he got out which was basically about him talking about how bad prison food was. It wasn’t funny. The last time I saw him was at the Edinburgh Festival, he stank of booze and was limping which I guess was gout.
As you can see painting over things (and people) isn’t a healthy way to go about life unless you’re freshening up a greasy kitchen.
This brings me on to getting inspiration and getting my arse into gear.
Many years ago I was having a beer with a friend of mine and of the many subjects we were talking about he happened to mention that when graffiti artists have drips on their painting they simply draw over the drips and let that inspire the finished product.
I was recently watching a short documentary about one of my inspirations for the comic. It was about the wonderful Ralph Steadman whom I have admired for many years and he said he tends to not bother doing any preparation and simply throws ink at a page and draws round it. I have to say I love that idea and will be investigating doing similar for future issues.
Talking of mistakes, I was at my in-laws house and my wife’s brother and family were round for Easter. There tends to be lots of talk about buying and doing up houses when we’re all together which I still find a little difficult to join in with because my family talk about current affairs, books, films and TV with a lot of wisecracks thrown in. Back at my in-laws the subject of me painting the garden fence green came up. My wife told everyone I was using a brush and my father in law said he’d lend me his paint sprayer, someone else said the paint might go next door, someone else said it might hurt the neighbour’s pets, someone else said it doesn’t hurt wildlife, someone else said I should spray the next door neighbour’s cat green, THEN I SAID,
“Hey, then if anyone sees that green cat, people will think there’s gamma radiation at the owner’s house.”
Everyone looked at me quizzically and I said, “The Incredible Hulk?”
After an almighty awkward silence someone said, “I saw the film, but it was quite a few years ago.”
As another joke I said, “Come on, next you’ll be telling me that you didn’t know Barry Allen is The Flash.” Knowing that they wouldn’t. To which I got the reply. “Sorry, I don’t know who The Flash is.”
I could have said, “Yes that was the point, I was trying to be funny.” But there are some canvasses that can’t be saved no matter how much you work around the drips.