Comics for Grownups

See other weird comics stories here!

Story One: The Strange Affair of The Sniffer

Story Two: Comics and Dreams

Story Three: Why Superhero Comics Bite

Story Four: Goony and Phil Motion Comic

Story Five: Who is The Crimebuster?

Story Six: What is the Future of Motion Comics?

Story Seven: What was the original cast of the Watchmen in 1986?

Story Eight: Oriental Rock and Boy Comics #31 Motion Comic

Story Nine: Mr. Pipps and the Wide-Awakes Comic

Story Ten: The Wingless Griffin, an Illustrated Story

Comics, Dreams, and Seeing Through a Figure

I tirelessly probe the universe of comics, searching for the strange, the remarkable, and the combination of story and art that move the artform towards perfection. No comic can be ignored (except for a couple from Marvel and DC) because of the potential they hold.

I wanted to share with you some things that my brain creates. These are (I'm pretty sure) autonomous creations; they happened on the spur of the moment and I don't think my conscious brain was involved. They illustrate certain artistic principles and I hold them forth to suggest that brains are nifty things and it's worth it to look at your dreams for artistic suggestions.

First off, I got this character just sitting around one afternoon while I felt sleepy. At the time, I had undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea and my afternoons were awful sometimes, just struggling to stay awake. While staring at a computer for work, I think, or maybe just watching television, the following image just appeared, complete in my head:

Spontaneous Character

Click to enlarge

I don't know exactly where this came from, but I have an idea. Back in the 70s, for like a month, there was a cereal called "Freakies". It included prizes; fun stuff (unlike today where the cereal companies don't dare putting prizes in their cereal boxes for fear of children immediately jamming them down their throats, but anyway) I think they were little toys or something. The commercial below suggests the kind of characters they used:

The video shows suprisingly non-cute characters, huh? Also it seemed like it was Burgess Meredith narrating, and also the head freaky was doing a John Wayne imitation. That was my thought, that the character I created might have come from some primordial response in me as I watched that commercial as a kid. Surprising, the things I remember.

Next I wanted to illustrate an advancement in my artistic evolution. Inside a dream, I think it was in 2008 maybe, I dreamed of a drawn picture. The picture was of a woman, and I believe it was drawn by the artist Moebius. She was holding this glass rose with a long stem, and the rose was a light. She was holding the rose in such a way that it was inside her; her hand was in her stomach, and the stem came up through her esophagus with the rose in her throat.

I woke up and I sketched it out. Below is a version of that drawing that I took more time on:

Image from a dream

Click to enlarge

Here's what makes this drawing interesting. I read this book called "Master Class in Figure Drawing" by Robert Beverly Hale. I bought it when I was learning to draw and actually I still am learning to draw. One of the things Mr. Hale said was

...the shape of a form may not be fully realized until the student is able to visualize it from all points of view.

He said the same thing a better way somewhere else in the book. Something about how much it helps to see through a form, to simultaneously see a form you're drawing from the front as well as the back. That dream I had was kind of like my subconscious saying I understood that concept. The stem held by the woman was simultaneously inside and outside of her. I could see the front of her body as well as inside it.

The act of drawing the dream was a way for me to take that concept out of my subconscious. I can look at my artwork before that dream and I can see that a three-dimensional conception of form was something that was developing in me. Some drawings exhibited the three-d form, others didn't. Following that dream, and having thought about it, I feel like I understand it better. To see through the figure.

Keep drawing comics. You don't know what you're going to find.