Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy 1st anniversary, Harry's Finale!!

The original release.

Order here!

Recap yet again.

So, I've gone over life, tech stuff, the lessons the books teach, the things Harry predicted, what else is there to talk about?

Ah, of course, the elephant in the room, the art!
Let's dig in!

Well, it's unconventional, but I stand by it.

I could wish for better hands, fancier pens, more RAM in my mental graphics card, and smooth the lines out, tighten up the little details, balance some of the proportions, but that's still exactly the style I'd do it in.

Never wished to be someone like Jim Lee.
S'not who I am.

Nor am I this delusional knucklehead who thinks he's turning out Jim Lee type work, and is patting himself on the back for that.
I'm sure there are people out there who don't like me, or at least don't like my stuff, who think that me even self publishing my strips at all is that level of Quixotically delusional, and that the above is the delusion.
Fuck off.
You're idiots.

It is what it is, it tells a story, and I have an iron certainty they're funny stories.
I've never wavered on that the past 20 years.
Nothing has made me blink or flinch.
Every time some new thing came along that made me doubt a little, and think "I should just throw it in and quit", I'd just read the fucking books again, and the doubt went away.

I'm dead certain, if Harry were adapted for TV right now, he could pick up right after Futurama, and go even further.
He could outright slaughter American Dad. Easily.
On my worst day, I could kill American Dad.
That's not hubris, I'm dead cold certain of that.
Quote me on it, I don't care.

Would Marvel, or DC, or Dark Horse take my stuff?
Fuck no.
Does that bother me?
Fuck no.
Never has.
Not for a minute.

Way I look at it, is this.
The founding fathers of comic books would not get work in the business if they applied today.

Let me repeat that in case it threw you amiss with incredulity.
The founding fathers of comic books would not get work in the business if they applied today.

Do I need to underline and highlight it?

Okay, maybe visual aids will help.

Here's typical Batman art today.
This is what they're looking for.
If you can't do this, go fuck yourself.
Don't even try.

This is Bob Kane's Batman.
This would get laughed out of the offices, and thrown in the garbage, and peed on today.
Okay, in our world, with our back-history, they might just think "oh, he's doing a nostalgia thing on the Bob Kane style, that's cute...".
THEN they'd reject it.
Of course, they'd let Jim Lee do a rip on that style for a nostalgia issue, or a time travel thing.

Anyway, pretend there was no Bob Kane, no Batman.
Or pretend someone walks in off the street with "Aardvark Man", and it's drawn in that style.
You'll be kissing sidewalk, and nursing a boot print on your ass.
So would poor Bob.

Shit, it gets worse for poor Superman....

Can you imagine the reception that would get now?
It would make Simon Cowell blush.

So, you've got to wonder, how many Bob Kanes are out there not being discovered, or are throwing in the towel entirely? Or, not even trying? Just nipped in the bud, y'know?

Am I saying I'm one of them?
Well, fuck no, cuz I'm right on here doing it.
But, what I am saying, is a business that would crush its own golden geese isn't one I fret too much with impressing.

I'm true to myself, and I don't sweat the rest.
The comic industry standard is a corporate standard, not an objective one.
Just like weight, and faces, and teeth, and skin, and hair, and clothing, and speech, and everything else corporations have tried to standardize with their little confining boxes.
No thanks to joining in on that.
You know by now how I feel about all of that...stuff.

Also, there are other artists who eschew the corporate standard, and even find relative success.

Here's some old Matt Groening...

Tch, fuck yeah, I can equal and top that six ways 'til Sunday.
But, he didn't break into Marvel/DC/Dark Horse, he got in through comic strips.

I never had a paper that carried it though, it must have been hipster big city papers or something.
We were always stuck with Cathy, and Marvin, and Hagar out in the sticks.

But, fuck that whole structure anyway, because we've got the internet now.
Let's look at some internet successes....

Here's Homestar Runner....

I love the show, Strongbad E-Mails is the real star of the site, but look at that.
On. My. Worst. DAY.

Here's Jesus & Mo, the one every atheist I know swears by...

Funny strip, dogshit art.

Doesn't mean it doesn't give me a chuckle though.
And this guy sells paper books.
I can only assume people buy them.

Here's a random panel from The Oatmeal

Well....that's tricky, that guy can draw well, but apes primitive.
But, people love it.
Me, I dig it too.

So, why do I languish in obscurity?
Well, like I said here..

I dunno, maybe I'm supposed to be more shameless, and plaster the internet with banners, and shit.
Sorry, I'm not an extroverted kinda guy...*shrug*

If it's an advertising thing, you have to spend money to make money, and I am flat stinking moths in the wallet broke.

If it's the work's not the art, it's not the humor...maybe it's the tone.
The Oatmeal is jolly, Homestar is jolly, Groening is a little jaded, but still loves life, Jesus & Mo has a tone of above-it-all wit...

Mine is a message of complete hopelessness.
It's one I deliberately cultivate.
It may have been a side-effect of depression ages ago, but today, it's a message I choose, a message I want to get across to people, especially children, and one I'm heroically proud to champion.

....but  a lot of folks don't dig it for some reason.

It's a STRANGE thing to me that that would be the case, but...go figure.

No...I think even tone and content wise, this could find an enthusiastic audience.
I think it really does come down to advertising.
And my abject hatred of it.

So, yeah, back full circle, and all of the above is why I stand by my every goddamned pen-stroke on these damned books.

Also, I always thought my technical basics were always in place.
I can foreshorten like no one's business, my perspective and symmetry were always about right, I never fucked that stuff up too badly. Nothing jumps out and bites me.

I sure studied enough Commander Mark, and practiced my ass off back in the day...

That's right, Commander Mark (see clip).
Jesus, I look like that dude now....

So, I guess that's the end.
See you next time.

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