17 September 2007

Tough





5 comments:

Lolabola said...

love the sense of timing. I actually felt the weight of it as I scrolled down

rr said...

maaarghghghg.

shall we call you sysiphus?

Dem said...

Once again comments appear before I have chance to explain!

Hey lolabola - thanks for the comment - glad you like it.

rr - is that you clearing your throat? Where I come from, being called any kind of sissy is fating talk, especially a fussy sissy! Can't work out if you liked it or not but glad you worked out something of what it was about.

Anyway, my explanation...

This has been years in brainbox gestation and several weeks on the drawing board. I'm not actually sure if it's finished but I'm working on something else and needed the drawing board to get on with that so I took it off, scanned it and made it finish whether it was actually finished or not.

The origins of this lie in a conversation a friend and I often have. He does various creative things - writes and performs songs, writes scripts, makes films - and so do I, and we often end up talking about how the secret to creativity is momentum. Those many conversations have echoed in my work and words on here before. What we mean is that if you're doing it then it's the easiest thing to keep doing it, you have momentum and it carries you along and every day you wake up itching to loose some creative endeavour upon your body of work. And when you don't have that momentum, starting anything is so difficult, seemingly impossible, and things just go undone, unstarted, unfinished forever until you stumble upon that magic formula or starter motor that gets the momentum going again. And whenever I've thought about this (and I've thought about it often) I sensed that there was a strip in it of some sorts, somewhere, but I also felt there was something about the story of Sisyphus in it and that was where my strip would take me. For most of the many years that this has gestated in my brainbox it's generally taken the form of a straightforward comic about momentum and how having it is like Sisyphus rolling his rock down a hill and not having it is like a puny and knackered Sisyphus trying in vain to start that rock moving up the hill once again.

But when I came round to starting it earlier this year, the strip didn't want to take that form at all. It wanted to be something dark and vaguely tropical, where the story of Sisyphus exists in the head of a narrator creator as an inability to create and maintain momentum, and as a trope for depression. So this is how it turned out. Except I'm not sure if there's more to come, I just needed to clear my drawing board for something else, and post something in September while September still is.

Oh yeah, in addition to the pseuds corner head-up-arseish above, it was also a further experiment in inking the outlines with a brush then using a variety of nibs for the detail etc.

Dick said...

I'm glad I did the graphics before reading the explanation, Dem, because the Sisyphus element struck me immediately & it resonated strongly. This is a powerful & poetic representation of its theme, showing your creative head to be a long distance from that arse that threatens to accommodate all of our creative efforts. What a varied & productive journey from those early GOGW frames way back!

Dem said...

Thanks Dick - I guess that arse is always close or maybe it just seems that way because you remark that it's a long distance from... and yet I always feel that I'm working in its shadow. So maybe we all do, noticing the proximity where others notice the distance. And if that isn't an example of the phenomenon then I don't know what is.

It's unexpectedly pleasing that you mention the 'varied & productive journey' because I have a tendency instead to notice that in the old days I could finish one or two strips a week and now I manage one a month if I'm lucky. I suppose I should never mind the width and feel the quality. Hey ho!