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Going back to my puppetry roots in a sandbox.

I used to work as a Punch and Judy 'Professor' . The professorship  isn't awarded by some prestigious campus. It is a title you award yourself by being a 'professor' of Punchology.

How well you earn it is up to you despite what the traditional already-existing- professors may think. Peer review isn't regulated.

Real Punchology supposedly uses a swazzle and no professor earns their title -- according to the Old Guard -- unless they have swallowed it at least twice.

When you're performing , you are 'it': all the characters, their different voices and actions, the script, the ab libs --- the whole kit and kaboodle of the show is what you put together yourself.  

To be a real Prof you also have to make your own puppets. 

So you can imagine how dedicated  a Punch Professor  is to his puppet characters. 

They're bread and butter. His tool set. They're family. Just like Geppetto and Pinocchio.

So when I began to explore my comic -- as in comic book --  options it was a wunderbar moment when I decided I'd give Punch another go at existence. So I resurrected my puppets from the shed, and started to photograph  myself interacting with them. 

Talk about fun! It was the second coming of Punch.

So now I'm making this webcomic which I call by the obscure title,  Mr Punch and Professor Ratbaggy (Emeritis).

While I'm still finding my way, I at least have a platform -- a stage -- a booth -- in which to work. It's all digital, of course, but my sense of the language and sitcom of those in-the-booth days in front of rioting children has come back to me.

I have my own show, once again.

What's happens hereafter is going to be interesting. I have to work through a few Punchology issues in way of fleshing out the characters I'm working with. So I'm gonna be rude, crude and naughty  as befits Mr Punch while also exploring how far I can use his nibs to tackle the big issues. 

The voice I'm beginning to hear in my head is increasingly mordant. Harnessing that vocal is going to be  something to work towards. 

As I build in confidence I may tackle some other comic book/ graphic projects but this Punch lark is going to be my sandbox.

A steep learning curve.

The delight, you see, is that I have been frustrated for several  years trying to find 'my voice'. I've written  plays, satires, street theatre,newspaper columns,  journalism, essays, reviews, blog posts a'plenty ... and produced audio and video -- but none  of these media sat  so well with me as this comic stuff does.

If I wasn't so chronically ill I'd be doing some performing. Being a Punch Professor was my last hurrah in that regard.

Now I come back at that, considerate of my limitations but still keen to harness whatever are my remaing talents.

And I do this at an online  moment when webcomics are beginning to take off.  And webcomics are an exciting platform:
The freedom webcomics provide allows artists to work in nontraditional styles. Clip art or photo comics (also known as fumetti) are types of webcomics that do not use traditional artwork. ... As in the constrained comics tradition, a few webcomics... are created with most strips having art copied exactly from one (or a handful of) template comics and only the text changing.Webcomics that are independently published are not subject to the content restrictions of book publishers or newspaper syndicates, enjoying an artistic freedom similar to underground and alternative comics....Scott McCloud, one of the first advocates of webcomics, has pioneered the idea of the infinite canvas where, rather than being confined to normal print dimensions, artists are free to spread out in any direction indefinitely with their comics.... 
Exciting, and fun! Doing this stuff is almost thrilling.



 

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