I've now been working at the webcomic coal face for just over a year -- since August last year -- and have produced over 100 strips I'm keen on moving up a notch .
On average that's almost a new comic strip every three days.
I'm delighted to have found something that speaks to me and in its idiosyncratic way aggregates so much of what I've done and pursued. It also congeals my obsessions and inadequacies while allowing me to be creative despite my disabilities.
Its' win:win from my POV and I only wish I'd got into this stuff earlier. But who woulda thought that I could go back to puppetry -- and masks/faces -- via a digital and online route?
Now that I'm experimenting with political satire -- and harking back to my Life of Riley days -- I'm working a broader canvas than the initial puppet dialogue format I began with.
Of course there is other stuff in the offing. I'm gonna finish my memoir -- Young Ratbag --soon enough. If it wasn't for hindsight angst I'd be well through that project by now. Doing Harvey Pekar and an Antipodean take on American Splendor is a gruelling exercise in how you see yourself thus far.
It's like sifting through dross.
The irony is that while I make comics I'm not of the comic mode because I assemble my 'comics' from photographs. I'm a photomontage artiste half way doing stand up monologues rather than drawing and coloring the standard way of it to create comic panels.
Cut and Paste
Does that mean I lack artistic talent?
Maybe I'll do some more hand held coloured pencil work but I'm finding that cut and paste is a very powerful medium in itself. As I skill up I'm pushing the envelope in directions that surprise me.
But my cut and paste is consciously cruder than Photoshoppery. The photomontage I relate to is anchored in German Dadaism and is self consciously 'assembled elements'. There's an irony in the fact -- well I think it is a fact -- that a puppet ( such as on Sesame Street or Mr Punch) is more alive than CGI or some seamless realism, such as in video games, created on a computer. From my POV the contradiction of fusing disparate elements together -- such as pasting my mouth onto Mr Punch's face -- makes the whole business more personable and intimate. That I appear to have a limited emotional range on call from hand puppets, merely ups the anti.
And besides I have my fans. Yes indeedy do I have aficionados who seem to dig what I'm trying to do.
This then brings me to a sort of anniversary action:
Once I work out the DIY I'm gonna start publishing my comics in ebook format. That means you'll be able to download a collection and read them on your mobile device or , if you want, print off your favorite strips.
Some storylines like Fibromyalgia for Beginners and Girt By Sea are standalone, and are ready to go (if I knew how -- I need to study up the method). But the rag tag meandering panels featuring Mr Punch may have to be culled to a sort of 'best of' collection or 'editions' just like printed comic books. But the effort is worthwhile as I can get distribution via sites like Amazon, etc.
I suspect that the endeavour is warranted.