Two Johns side by side, both comedians in their own way. Candy and Cleese. I hope you like them.
Each drawn in 4 minutes with felt-tip marker pen on A5 format paper.
I’ve been wrestling with character designs lately. I even started reading books I had bought some time ago to help me (I obviously have not yet read them through). However, before I mention those, let me stress that designing characters is hard work, whether or not you’re gifted with talent bestowed upon you by God himself.
To make matters worse, I know nothing of storytelling. I never had any use for it, and accepted that my friends didn’t listen to what I had to tell, because I told it so poorly. However, now I have cornered myself into becoming a storyteller, I have to put effort into, well, telling stories. You know, with a begin, middle and end.
You see, telling stories usually involves characters (more generally: agents, acting entities). Just having rocks that stay put in one place may interest rock geeks, but normal people (not being particularly interested in rocks) probably want something to happen in a story, some actor who does something stupid, tries to correct that stupidity (with the help of others), fail at first, but succeeds in the end, against all odds. That kind of thing, that unattainable (for me) mysterious phenomena that seems to grab people’s attention, is what I mean. That which grabs you by the throat, and forces you to keep following to some kind of conclusion, a finale.
Drat, if I already had a story, I could draw rough characters and hope the story would be interesting enough for readers to forgive the poorly drawn artwork. However, no such luck is on my side. I have neither a story, nor any characters. I am, you could say, running on empty.
Of course, I looked around, asking for advice. Someone told me to go back to my childhood, because all children pretend and do roll playing, don’t they? Yes and no. I did pretend, but I didn’t play role. No one had told me that I had to do that, so I guess I forgot. Even as a child I was a complete failure, it seems (Did I mention I was dropped on the floor a few times before I was 1 year old, and almost died in a fever?). I guess I shouldn’t expect any better as a grown-up. Figures that I often pick the line at the checkout that has the person who forgot their money or did someone else to hold up the line. Why can’t I just checkout in my shopping cart instead of doing some ritual at the exit of the supermarket?
But I digress. Lack of talent and having little success in life shouldn’t stop one, I think (heck, I’m still breathing, against all odds; isn’t that a miracle in itself?). So I’m going to hunker down and beat this storytelling thing into submission. Either it works, or I will die trying. No more excuses!
To return to what I mentioned earlier. The books I want to use and draw inspiration from are:
My wrists already hurt mightily from all the drawing I did in the last few days and when I wake up, I feel just as tired as when I went to sleep. I suppose it’s only going to get worse until I have found what I was looking for.