Thursday, August 14, 2008
When I went to the paper to start doing this I hoped for a degree of healthy feedback and criticism on my work, which has been the context on which I am used to doing art anyway. I hoped both my employer and readers would communicate to me their thoughts on how they think the pages are going. Around a month and a half in (early publication being an especially tender and volatile place to be and all) I began to realize that this wasn't going to happen. My employer seemed to not read the pages besides perhaps a cursory look (the real proof of that is how many spelling errors he let fly -- I am a notoriously bad speller in Greek) and besides friends and family there was zero reader feedback that I was made aware of.
Granted, it might have not helped that I didn't provide any sort of contact info in or around the page and that all a reader who would like to communicate have would be a cryptic 'Helm' at the bottom of the page. I was at the time - in light of how many meaningless e-mails we get every day - endorsing the view that making your reader work for it a bit to communicate with you isn't a bad thing necessarily. I have since drastically revised my views on this particular matter -- hence this blog.
In any case, it became so I felt I was working in flux. Left to nobody's judgment but my own on how things were going, I was also starting to feel the limitations of the format I've chosen (yes, a mere 5 comics in!!). Consider a strange mixture of anxiety over touching the metaphorical ceiling, sadness for feeling completely alone and underappreciated (this particular facet of the emotion would peak slowly over the next 6 months) on it and an odd pinch of sadism against the phantom audience "I will show you, the next comic is not going to be funny at all!... b - but will anybody notice?". But that's a post for the next comic, not this one. This one is funny.
I'm not sure if I did this before or after Chessmaster boy below, heh. They're certainly back to back though. This one has been a bit of a tribute to the pathological psyche of the collector. If you detect some underlying disdain it's because I live in a house with two manic collectors. My dad is heavily into war miniatures and military vehicles while my brother is into scaled model cars of a certain caliber. Literally, a small fortune has gone into their hobbies and I personally - apparently in complete lack of a collector gene - fail to understand the appeal. Furthermore it is clear to me that such an obsession leads to dehumanised relations with other collectors who one treats foremost as 'threats' in how they can outbuy them or get there first on a 'hot piece' they want. Ugh. But my approach is based on understanding and sympathizing when making 'human condition' comics. Cynicism doesn't befit me (and neither should it you, dear reader!) so besides of my stated dislike of this way of life I hope Nectarios comes across as a good guy, even if he's a shut-in and prone to constant daydreaming. I gave him a likable shape just for this, heh!
I like the former-mother's-room in terms of characterization. From the 'KRIEG' poster hilariously juxtaposing with the totally nonthreatening fuzzy ball of introversion that is Nectarios to the suspended Tie Interceptor... you tell much more about your characters if you place them where they live than by pages' worth of wordy exposition.
The Stormtrooper reference, as blatant as it is is one which I personally desired to externalize. I am not a big Star Wars fan or anything, but it's completely annoying to the point of getting unwatchable for me to see them shoot like morons. This is my metaphorical way of punishing them, though I'm sure mister Lucas has retconned an idiotic reason for which they can't shoot straight like I don't know, their targeting hardware inside the mask was early generation and faulty or whatever.
This particular comic is extremely better done in terms of lettering in Johnny's version than the original Greek one. I leave lettering last when I make a comic and that time I was extremely tired and close to the deadline so I just slapped the lettering on there with a fat lazy marker and it... didn't help matters. I think I subconsciously disliked this comic for that exact reason and now is the first time it's ever been easy on my eyes, so I guess thanks, Johnny!