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Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008, 09:00 am
Natty Dreadlocks and The Bear #95


Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)

"Should I continue to draw my daily comic ..."



Answer, yes. You have improved in art and storytelling in the last 95 comics. Daily practice only helps you become a better artist. I would love to see just how much you improve after a 190 comics.

On the other hand, while there has been some minor improvements in writing, you might want to think about doing a longer format story. The question, how much time does it take you to draw "Natty Dreadlocks and The Bear" each day? Is your daily strip taking too long to do anything else, or can you handle working on a long format comic and a journal comic at the same time?

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)

The questions you ask are the same ones I've been asking myself. I'm still not sure if I'll continue after #100 or not. The western comic is taking a lot of my time and energy as of late and my boring life isn't exactly the greatest story ever told. I also feel like even the best Journal comics start to feel like reruns after awhile but who knows what tomorrow may bring. I appreciate your vote of confidence though.

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)

The journal comic can be a limited genre ... that is if you choose it to be. You see, many people confuse a journal comic with a diary comic. If you do a strict diary comic of, "this is what happened to me today" then it will become boring if you think your life is boring.
Although that could tell you about your personal life and psychology. If you think your life is boring, then doing something about it. Your life is in your hands. What do you want to read in your comic, then make it happen. But that is too much psychobabble for this conversation.
The journal comic can be more than what happened to you that day. Nobody cares what you ate for lunch. This is an open forum to say whatever you want to say about the world. You have done some political comics within your journal that is a good point of this. However it is more than just editorial comment. It is more about finding beauty in the life around you and capturing it. Also it is not only reporting the world, but dramatizing it as well. You draw yourself as a bear ... we know that this is not a strict interpretation.

Here are some samples from one of my favorite journal comics (via reidsrow)...

Everybody blows their noses and has their ears pop at least once in their life's. So what? Matt found something that readers can connect to and dramatized it. It took that intangible feeling and made it into a series of images.

Here is another example of taking a intangible feeling and putting it on paper. However in this one it dramatized an emotional feeling. What this is also is an examples is breaking down the barriers between the reader and artist. Not about invading privacy, but bringing an intimacy into the comic.

On the other hand, you can take a tangible object and meaningless occurrence, but add beauty and feeling into it. This is a comic about nothing at all. Yet it is one of the most beautiful comics I have seen.

One of my favorites. All he did that day was clean the kitty litter, but yet Matt made it into an epic tale. Drama and comedy! Something is only menial and boring if that is what you make out of it.

You do not have to make your comic like Matt's, but it is just to demonstrate a way to go with it. Do not stop draw journal comics because you think they are boring. Continue making journal comics and MAKE them interesting. You are an artist and creator, the choice is yours.

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)

Perhaps I should have put quotation marks around the word "boring' as I was being facetious. Natty Dreadlocks and The Bear #92 is how I truly feel about my "fabulous" life. I am well aware of Matthew's comic (check out the names of the winners of his recent contest) and HMM was one of the comics I was thinking of when I wrote " ...the best of journal comics..." I was also thinking of Jay Marcy's brutally honest daily strip. However, I believe even the original journal comic "American Elf" repeats itself from time to time but then again even a truly "fabulous" life can be repetitive. I also think everyone suffers from boredom and self doubt at times and that this is worth chronicling as well. Every genre has its own limitations as does every artist.

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)

Did I over analyze and start to rant? Sorry. I actually do not read Matt's journal since I have a subscription to his mini-comics. I have no idea who was in the contest.

You wrote a "best of journal comics"? Did I miss that post?

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)

No, you weren't ranting. I'm like Jimi Hendrix, feed back is music to my ears. There was a HMM contest where Matthew asked other cartoonists to draw an HMM strip. He just announced the winners yesterday and I somehow won a grand prize for "favorite concept." He is going to print all of the guest strips in the next issue of HMM so you will see them soon or a later.

No you never missed a "Best of..." post. I was referring back to my " ... best Journal comics..." comment from earlier today.

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)

Keep going! I enjoy seeing your stuff on a daily basis...although I can understand it could become somewhat of a grind. But, I'd like to see you continue in some form...

Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I will definitely continue in some form or another. I'm just contemplating whether to keep on doing a continuing series or start a sketchbook/art blog, kind of like you and Rick Veitch are currently doing. I'm still considering my options but figure the odds are 50-50 that I'll keep on drawing "Natty Dreadlocks and The Bear."

Edited at 2008-04-09 12:13 am (UTC)