11 April 2009

Sometimes the Story



Lolabola* said...

how fantastic!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dem, indeed,

I love the drawings, the concept, and the mysterious unexplained frames, inviting one to figure out or invent what they're about.

Dem said...

Thanks Lolabola and Natalie - I'm glad you liked it. I wanted to put some kind of explanation in comments but it was all done in a bit of a rush so I didn't find time until now.

This strip came about after a sift of old ideas books - I hadn't run out of ideas but I wanted to make sure that a 'now' idea wasn't overlooked. I found a note with four simple storyboard doodles and the following text: 1 sometimes the story's inside you; 2 sometimes the story's outside you; 3 sometimes the story's outside you because you've pulled it out and stuck it on the paper; 4 sometimes you are the story. It appealed to me for a number of different reasons but largely, it has to be admitted, because I thought it would be pretty quick and simple to execute.

This was almost the longest comment ever in terms of time and wordcount but I've just cut a load (and pasted it into a .txt on my desktop - I do love the sound of my own typing!) and am hoping to express it all quickly.

The sort-of-stories (or 'pseudo stories') on each page started out as an almost random 'see what happens next' process, with increasing control over what-happened-next as I progressed from page to page, so that the final page is a definite and obvious story of my construction. In the middle of working on it, I became concerned that when reading the finished piece, the reader's need to make a story of these storyless sequences would spoil the overall experience. So it's very gratifying to read in the comments above (and another comment on flickr) that trying to find or invent stories adds to rather than subtracts or detracts from the reading experience. When I finished it, and read it as a whole outside my head for the first time, I felt alarmingly underwhelmed about something I had reasonably high hopes for (but always regarded as a leap in the dark), and wondered if this was going to be one of those things that don't work, that are chalked up as a lesson. So again, the positive feedback is very welcome.

I'm not sure how but it wasn't until I posted the images on the blog that I noticed they're not straight, are climbing up hill. The frames were laid out on my drawing board with one of those horizontal ruler things with pulleys and the like to keep it straight so either that has gone wrong or perhaps it's something in the scanning/gimping (gimp is a free. open source, not-as-good-but-more-than-good-enough-for-what-I-do alternative to photoshop). I'm going to rescan and re-process it all when I find time and if I achieve a not-climbing-uphill version I'll swap it over and you won't know what I'm talking about, assuming you read this far and you know what I'm talking about anyway.