Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Cartoonist

Ack! This week has totally gotten away from me. I decided to take a day off on Tuesday after finishing the last Jake Maddox book. That one day spilled over into two days and now I wake up and find, somehow, it's already Thursday. Oops.

So, today I start the last Jake Maddox book in the current contract I am in. Blue line pencils today, regular penciling for the next two or three days, then, hopefully, if all goes well, onto inking again.

One interesting thing I watched in the last two days is a DVD that was delivered to my doorstep called, "The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, Bone, and the Changing Face of Comics."

The official press release for the DVD reads:

"The Cartoonist is a portrait of Columbus-based cartoonist and Bone-creator Jeff Smith and his impact on the field during the past 20 years. The Wexner Center is pleased and proud to host the film's world premiere, introduced by both Smith and director Ken Mills.

The film surveys Smith's career during the run of Bone and also captures the key moment when he shifted focus from completing his popular epic to beginning new projects, including Rasl. Shot during the run of Smith's Wexner Center exhibition Bone and Beyond in 2008, the film is filled with interviews with fellow cartoonists including Harvey Pekar, Terry Moore, Paul Pope, and Scott McCloud. Director Ken Mills is cofounder of Columbus-based Mills James Productions."

It was an interesting viewing experience. Unlike watching a documentary of say, Nirvana, where you can watch and remember where you were at that time in your life, you really weren't a part of that struggling music scene so you can watch with the eye of an outsider. With "The Cartoonist", things that happened in that movie I lived through. People like Jeff Smith, Scott McCloud, and Terry Moore were the heroes I had when I was doing my own self published comic book in the mid-to-late 90's. Hearing them talk about the hardships they had to overcome where some of the same things I went through. Of course, they all made it and had successful books and I had to fold mine after issue three.

Jeff Smith is a modern American success story.

It made me realize, for all the interviews you read about how someone overcame incredible odds to make it where they are today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who did the same thing, tried the same ideas, and fell flat on their ass.

No one ever wants to interview the guy who gave it his all and failed though. ha ha.

So, yes, the first viewing was a little rough for me. But, I've watched it many times since and, upon further viewing, I really enjoy it. Once again Jeff Smith is an inspiration to keep going and to keep drawing and to keep doing comic books.

OK, back to the drawing board. I am going to pop in the DVD of "the Cartoonist" again and draw the day away! Have a good one!

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