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You can do so much with comics because that's where it all comes together

Well, that's over and done with.

I finished my latest comic series -- Fibromyalgia for Beginners -- and are primed for another.

It took me just over a month to do the 21 pages on a approximation of an every-second-day work schedule, usually in 3-5 hour shifts.

Compared to standard comic making -- with pens and pencils -- that's fast. I doubt I could work at that normative achingly slow pace. 

I value speed...and shortcuts...and laziness.

En route I learnt a lot of techniques and exposed myself to even more creative options.

So the world is my comic oyster.

While I still have heaps to learn and while I still seek to continue  my chats with Mr Punch (when I'm busy on this other stuff I miss time spent with my puppet friend) , I'm keen to ramp up my comic commitments by taking up more challenging projects.

To mind are the following possibilities:
  • A personal political memoir, maybe in snippets
  • A meditation on the Northern Territory Intervention into Aboriginal communities
  • An exploration of  'socialism' and how to get there (from here) in the mode of Rius' work (eg: Cuba for Beginners, Marx for Beginners)
  • I'd also like to get into doing 'editorial cartoons' of sorts...
An experiment in going back in time using GIMP +

The complication so that any of these options present challenges and demand approaches I don't as yet posses or master.

There's also a lot of research involved...before any graphic can be created.

So I'm looking at ramping up my comic work load and committing myself even more assiduously  to the  desktop.  

Nonetheless, I've worked out that distributing whatever I create  requires an eclectic mix of media publishing approaches -- online (both my site and others); via ebooks (by using my present preferred publisher, Smashwords); as presentations (using Slideshare); as standalone pdf files using Scribd...) .

Then there is the other possibility of doing stop animation which I'm sure -- after a time when I've mastered a few more techniques -- will be painstakingly 'easy'. "Easy" maybe given that my daughter is studying animation.

Who woulda thought that after all this time (alive on earth) I'd alight on comics as my preferred and passionate outlet? I'm even gonna start sketching again. 

It shows how confident I am in pursuing the medium. Not how good I am but how much I love doing it.

In the space of a few months -- since late July last, that's just over 3 months --  I've created almost 70 pages, and some of it, I think, is quite good both in graphic impact and/or narrative flow.

I even have fans! One guy, my age, who is a graphic  and comic artist of sorts thinks that my strip "is absolutely brilliant" and friends of mine who are professional artists are extremely supportive.

My advantage is that I'm a tad different from the art school crowd: I pursue a photomontage niche.  Photomontagers I appreciate nonetheless are not as productive as I as they seem caught up in their piece works, whereas I just throw it together.

I'm not looking for kudos, mind. I'd do this no matter what. It is nonetheless strange that some in my network just don't get it. But every time I read a comic -- and I gormandize them -- I marvel at what you can do with sequential art and puffs of talky smoke.

Indeed my whole outlook on life and politics is now being formatted by this panelled and photomontaged perspective. I'm looking at ways -- such as by taking sketching material with me always --  I can work on this stuff away from the computer. In my mind is the notion of doing stuff by hand and then integrating it later digitally. You can scan anything into a computer so that all the sort of Kurt Schwitters  Mertz stuff I love could now be replicated.

The irony is that I find my closest contemporary  deference  within the scrapbooking and journaling communities. 

I can see myself sitting in coffee shops with an appropriate sized Moleskine notebook sketching elements of my panel art.

My partner and I are also discussing how we could convert her Phd thesis into  comic format.... Not so bizarre if you have read  Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth -- an innovative, dramatic graphic novel about the treacherous pursuit of the foundations of mathematics -- or the scientifically detailed, Cartoon History of the Universe.

You can do so much with comics.

The only draw back is that my 'style' doesn't lend itself to printing because my strips would be ink dense and expensive to duplicate. They'd also have to stay printer page small. Maybe as limited editions, perhaps -- for the fam? Another option is a gallery show* if I wanted to go down that route.....but that's just egocentric indulgence.

I'm pretty happy staying online...

So there: it all comes together in a comic for me. 

*I have ready access to a gallery


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