mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF default & delightful

Cartooning's Little Secret

My cartooning class continues. The teacher tells us that cartooning is as much about writing a story as it is about drawing, so if we want to sit there and write instead of draw, feel free. Then he pulls out his blues guitar and sings us a song.

The class is good for me, I guess, because I'm frustrated and at the edge of my talent. The teacher is NOT telling me how brilliant I am. He tells me that I'm inconsistent — my "Magnus" character from the front doesn't look like the same person as my "Magnus" character from the side. Harrumph.

Cartooning's little secret is that you have to keep practicing your characters from every angle until you nail it. You don't have to be a great artist, but you do have to be consistent. So... that means I should be able to do it, right?

Palmer Method for faces and hands and feet. I learned perfect handwriting in Catholic school (though it quickly went awry) and I learned calligraphy, right? So I must have the required hand-eye coordination.

Problem: I've been practicing two characters, Magnus O'Rourke and Maddie Malone. But, in memorizing the tilt of their noses and curve of their lips, I've grown to hate them. They seem all wrong for the story I want to tell. I may have to audition new "actors."

But is it progress? Last week I was resigned to having Maddie look like the Betty & Veronica girl that my hand naturally produced. Now I'm seeing that maybe I can do better...

As they say in the business, back to the drawing board...


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