Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Frankly, Mr. Denton

I learned a lot from my last attempt at a webcomic. Most importantly about
1. creating a buffer of strips,
2. time management, and
3. having fun.
I didn't have fun with The Deerfield Informant because I lacked the first 2 ingredients. It was a stressful situation that I created myself. I was forcing something out with monstrous naiveté.
I was sharing this thought one day with a creatively delightful friend. His name is Craig Patrick. He writes poetry and other things (I've never liked poetry very much. Save for Richard Brautigan, Billy Collins and almost any ridiculousness that Charles Bukowski spewed on poetry paper. Then I read Craig's poetry. I now have four reasons to read poetry). Before I had shared this with my Craig I attended a lecture at the 2009 Toronto Comic Art Festival where the master indie cartoonist, Seth, was speaking. In his presentation he made a wonderful connection with comic strips and poetry that I've never thought of before. He opened my mind to accepting the fact that cartoonists need to think like poets and not like sequentializers. This concept had woken up the sleeping cartoonist deep inside and I wanted to put it to practice right away.
There was a problem, though. This was smack dab in the middle of my work on The Deerfield Informant. I wasn't thinking about the characters from TDI. I wasn't concerned with my own characters and situations. I was thinking about poetry. About how, when I read Craig's poetry or most poetry that I can tolerate, I always visualize the "events" that transpire. No matter how brief a line nor how lengthy the stanza count. I found it much more satisfying than storyboarding an entire script or visualizing the sequences of a whole novel. I decided to look up various entries in Craig's poetry blog, Brainsmoke directly and I became inspired. More focused and determined as well. It all became quite clear. I thought to myself, "I need to to ask this friend of mine if I can make his poems into comic strips." We arranged for a day where we could meet for a single day in Hudson Valley.
We met… and what was born from this encounter evolved quicker than I had anticipated but better than I had ever hoped. And now we are going to release this to the world. It will be called Shrimpy Denton. It still combines old + new, young + old (which was my original concept for the Deerfield Informant webcomic). Although, it does so with a more gag-lines, comedic delivery, and, dare I say, it "strips" down my original intent.
The Deerfield Informant may be tired and nearly dead, but Shrimpy Denton will make sense of it all*. Please, stay tuned.

*avoiding the 'phoenix from the ashes' axiom purposefully, thank you very much.

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