Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunday Comics!

Some of my happiest early memories were of sitting at my grandmother's wonderful claw-foot oak dining table perusing the Sunday comics. I liked the simple color shapes in strips like Captain & the Kids, The Little King, and Jiggs and Maggie. They were very appealing to my young eyes. Neither the gorgeously drawn Prince Valiant or Flash Gordon held much interest for this beginning reader, probably because of the complicated story-lines, the way the story continued week-to-week and the un-reachable (to my mind then) much too realistic art.

I wanted my fun straight up and to the point!  Lil' Abner, Krazy Kat and Smoky Stover,  (the last two vaguely surreal) were added a bit later. Even later in my high school and college years were Pogo and my "discovery"  Winsor McKay's truly surreal "Little Nemo" which had been first published a full generation before my childhood comics reading days.

I love comic art, whether daily paper strips, simple TV cartoon, or today's delightful digital stuff, - so it's no surprise that one aspect of my sketchbooks reflects that interest.  I've shown some related things like my "Talking Heads" and "TV Games" posts earlier.  Now, here above is a piece done while listening to a public radio broadcast about the cost of phone-calls from prisons and jails, while coincidently receiving a funny "crank" call from a friend.  The drawing was done as the story unfolded, basically left to right with no plan or advance knowledge of the subject.  Some things had to be rethought, changed mid-drawing but I coped!  The second drawing, done in the same way, was a response to the Shock & Awe attacks on Iraq of a few years ago. There are others.  I love the challenge of designing a drawn response "On the fly ".  For me this is the very essence of creativity,  an end and a beginning!

These drawings certainly stand on their own but could be developed or expanded to fill any material or media need.  Right?  Actually, the images you see here are prints!  The original B&W drawings were scanned, digitally printed and hand colored with my ever ready Prismacolor Pencils.  I think they'd translate well as wood block or linoleum prints too,  - or any of another dozen possible directions! Sometimes you never know where a "Doodle" will lead.

Hey, if it's your work, your art, - you choose! -  It's yours!  Enjoy!

"Oh, Magoo, you've done it again!"   Jim Backus, voicing UPA's Mr. Magoo

"Recall it as often as you wish - a happy memory never wears out."  Libbie Fudim

"Sometimes the sweetest choice is choosing what you already have."  Jeff  Davidson

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