Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 5)

Page 5 of 5.

Oh my, the yellow page. Everything happened (down to the Super Mario stand-in taxi driver) like in the comic. The actual drawing here is a bit rushed in places but I... was in a rush. To feed, to clean up and finally to sleep were incandescent bright priorities at this point, not a silly comic. You're not supposed to make a full story in a single day now I know.

I'm not aware if it's customary in heathen lands for taxi drivers, especially when they pick up people from commute stations, to try to fit in as many people as possible and then entertain their brains by trying to figure out the optimal route that hits all the drop points, but in Greece it's something of a high art. Although of course, completely illegal. I have sheldom taken taxis when I travel abroad because as I've found, they're too expensive. Your savage, heathen lands happen to have developed and trustworthy public transportation systems in place that suit the populance and therefore you don't resort to taxis a lot. In the highly magnificent pillar of civilization that is Greece, if after the train ride (which is dependable but smelly) I wait for the bus to take me home, I might be waiting anything from 30 minutes to three times that. Completely up to the drivers whim. I dislike that position so I customarily spend the 5 euros for the cab ride from Kyfisia to Drosia (which is "wherever the hell home is").

And yeah, the dude in the front got of literally 100 meters later from where he got in. I guess the slight rain and his expensive suit wouldn't mix. This should have been an observation panel in itself really, but, much like a panel needed between 'I headed home' and the fucking toilet that would establish what 'home' was, I was too tired and cut corners. Perhaps a few more panels of the small-talk that occurred between me and flirty mcsexy eyes over there would be prudent because it was interesting how I assumed the role of THE GREAT OBSERVATOR. I noted everything she said with her friend, her bag, her clothing, how she laughed. I judged and spared with the kindness reserved for heart-struck fools. I wondered how our love would be and her body's contour on my satin sheets high in my castle of solitude soon to be renamed. All in all, I should have made another page. But. 24 hours. Tired. Not a robot - sadly. No, wait, not sadly! I'm happy to be a human being, to have tender fleshy meat-thing emotions that when upset can send me spiralling out of daily control and into patters on slow but assured psychological self-destruction.


I hope you liked the comic and you don't feel too irritated by proxy. It was a turning point of me definitely towards the better, so it's an experience that - besides the occasional milking for comics and party conversation - is actually pretty important to me, in all its mundanity. Honestly, I could have gone on narrating from that point onwards to today (it would take about 3,000 pages of comics, I think) and it would be a consistent call-and-response model. Echoes of the choices I made during that time resonate to everything that happens to me today. I wouldn't make that comic because I don't think that when I die and St. Peter asked me what I did with my life I should answer 'oh I made an existentialist comic starring myself working through adolescence to maturity'. It's just not the right thing to say. The right answer is:

"I did everything I desired.
I became a human being.
I live forever."

So, yes, still working on that.

P.S. My friend Esseb (yes I know, what an informative website!) also attempted this, and it turns out I didn't mess up as much as I thought! Some of the outfits are ridiculous but I needed them to be different from each other!

P.S.2 Tomorrow I will have at least 100 of the 500 books I'm printing. If those run out during the festival (which, here's hoping, will happen) I am sure from the 21st to the 23rd or 24th, I can run back and get more. Excited about the festival, excited about everything. Yet another good day with brilliant and kind sunlight. I hope everything is well in your life too, reader.



ptoing said...

Good stuff. May your book sell by the truckload!

Mr.Modem said...

I've been lurking here for some time (you might or might not recognize me from Pixelation where I used to post)

About the comic: Haven't I read this story before? The part about the girl and the taxi driver. I-Mockery forum perhaps?

Anyway, excellent work as always. The last frame is really powerful.

Helm said...

Hi Mr.Modem, yes, good memory! As I said, it's a good party story. Thank you for your kind words.

valium said...

I really liked the story a lot !!
and I must admit, I'm a bit jealous... see, I was supposed to be at the 24hr comic thingie too, but I guess I felt too awkward, so I never showed up.
Anyway, see you at vavel, save a copy of your comic for me !! pleeeease !?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Καλησπέρα Τηλέμαχε!

Είμαι ο Αντρέας που πήρα το Εκτός Θέματος στο φεστ σήμερα.

Φίλε μου (αν μου επιτρέπεις να σε λέω έτσι) η δουλειά σου είναι φανταστική!

Δεν έπερνα την Π & 13 ποτέ, οπότε αγνοούσα ότι είχες κάνει. Είχα δεί κάποια πράγματα σου σε τευχή του Free your line, αλλά δεν μου άρεσαν.

Και τώρα καταλαβαίνω το γιατί. Η δουλειά σου δείχνει μόνο σε μεγάλες επιφάνιες. Ακόμα και το ΤΕΡΑΣΤΙΟ φανζίν που έβγαλες βοηθάει μόνο μερικά.

Σε μερικά σε έχασα είναι η αλήθεια. Μιλούσες πιο πολύ στον Τηλέμαχο παρα στον Αντρέα. Και αυτό όταν κάνεις κόμικς με σκοπό να τα διαβάσουν και άλλοι δεν και τόσο καλό.

Θα σου πρότεινα να δοκιμάσεις να μεταφέρεις σε κόμικ κάποιο βιβλίο. Κάτι που σου αρέσει, που διασκεδάζεις όταν το διαβάζεις.
Ακόμα καλό θα ήταν να απλοποιήσεις την γραμμή σου. Να μην υπάρχει σύγχηση στα μικρά καρέ. Να δώσεις λίγο φως στη δουλειά σου.

Αυτά τα λίγα είχα να σου πώ.

Και τώρα που τα διάβασες το καλύτερο που έχεις να κάνεις είναι τα ξεχάσεις και να κάνεις αυτο που γουστάρεις εσύ.

'Ετσι και αλλιώς 100 να ρωτήσεις, 100 απόψεις θα πάρεις και άκρη δεν θα βγάλεις.

Θα ξαναπεράσω απο τον πάγκο σου να σου σφίξω το χέρι και αυριο.

Helm said...

Σε ευχαριστώ θερμά για την άποψη, Ανδρέα. Συμφωνώ μαζί σου στα περισσότερα, στο ότι μικρά καρέ καμιά φορά κολυμπάνε στις γραμμές, ότι σε μεγαλύτερα φορματ δίνει καλλίτερα αυτό που προσπαθώ να κάνω συνήθως, στο ότι πολλά κομιξ πέφτουν λίγο (ή πολύ) στο κενό λόγω αυτοαναφοράς. Κόβει το μάτι σου και εκτιμώ την προσοχή σου πολύ. Να περάσεις να σου σφίξω και εγώ το χέρι :)

Μεταφορά βιβλίου σε κόμικ πάντως δεν θα κάνω, ακόμα και αν αυτή θα ήταν μάλλον η σίγουρη μέθοδος να αποδοθεί μια αξιόλογη αφήγηση στο μέσο (από μένα, που δεν είμαι επιπέδου συγγραφέως γραφιάς τελοσπάντων). Τουλάχιστον όχι σύντομα. Καλώς ή κακώς, με απασχολούν αυτά που με απασχολούν στο σημείο που θέλω να τα κάνω κομιξ, και όχι άλλα, ίσως και πιο αξιόγραφτα πράγματα που σκέφτηκε κάποιος άλλος. Όταν κάνω την επόμενη δουλειά μου, η οποία θα είναι μια μεγάλη -σχετικά στρωτή- ιστορία, να μου πεις αν τελικά στέκεται και χωρίς συγγραφέα. Τα 'μικρά πειραματικά' είναι λογικό να είναι hit or miss :) Αν έστω και ένα σου έκανε 'κάτι', σε κούνησε λιγάκι, είμαι ικανοποιημένος.

Nick said...

Hello! I already sent my opinion to you via MSN but will also write it down here! I pondered a little bit on whether to write in greek or english but since there are english readers too and comics on this blog are translated to english(how do you implement the translation by the way, you use photoshop and some of your own font maybe?) I chose to type my feedback in english.

Overall I enjoyed all of the stories, both the "plain & simple" "pop" ones as well as the "experimental/abstract" ones (especially the latter).

The only slightly negative aspect I found is that probably the constant reading of black&white can be a bit tiresome(Well take into account that I read the whole book at once). It would be better if there were more of the "black&grey&white" comics, such as for example the one with 'giakoymis' that ends up dancing, or some of the YUS ones. They seem easier on the eye and provide more visual pleasure.

I found the colored one about prosopagnosia to be very beautiful aesthetically, and one of my favourites overall. I assume it takes much more work/effort/time but it would be great if you did more colored work, for example I thought you could color in a similar style the prose letter-to-dad story, so that the reader can focus more on the visual aspect of the comic and not only the text one.

The only one I found aesthitically not beatiful was the colored one about aliens attacking 'Ano Liossia', I found it a bit kitsch to be honest.

As far as the experimental/abstract ones are concerned, I found that although they don't communicate an obvious,concrete message, they touch me in a deeper,more subconscious way. I even found those that are more self-reffering to be interesting, since we are all humans and we all can relate to some -limited of course- degree. I believe we all share a common spectrum of various state-of-minds and psychisms, less or more...

Well, that's it!

- Nick

P.S. My original nickname was ]nick[ but you signed with {nick}, no worries though, it seems better this way!

Helm said...

Thank you very much for your insights! I'll soon make a post specifically for the festival and related communication (along with photos and so on). I'm just looking for photos! If you took photos from the fest, especially the fanzine room please mail me (my e-mail is in my profile here on blogger) so I can scrape something together in the next couple of days!

I had a wonderful time. Nick, specifically nice to meet you and we should definitely go out for a drink sometime.