LITNEO

LITNEO

(The Art Comic Blog of Indie Toronto Artist LitNEO / LittleNeo / Littleoutrageous)

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2 Very Short Comics

“Daydream” is a very quick drawing using the prompt “Daydream”. I thought I didn’t like it but then I found it again in a mess of papers and discovered that I like it quite a bit. Obviously crudely drawn but it conveys lots. 

“I Am Not A Guesthouse” is a 15 minute response to a TWC prompt. I found the prompt piece online. Here it is (comic below):

The Guest House
by Jalauddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

I set the timer for 3 minutes per panel. Looking at it now, I think the first panel is the most effective. The character of the house with the door between her legs is the strongest image in the comic by a long shot. I like the second panel okay. The text is clear and the image frames it okay. The third panel is a mess. Even I read it “The walls are covered in ivy. To a closed door. I do to knock. Brick. They are the path leads door. A locked not invite you no solicitors. No junk mail.” Of course, it should read “These walls are brick. They are covered in ivy. The path leads to a closed door. A locked door. I do not invite you to knock. No solicitors. No junk mail.” That kind of confusion throws off the flow of the whole comic. The forth panel is okay but it doesn’t really work as well with the last panel. The last panel needs editing. There have been break-ins and robberies? Aren’t those the same thing? I like the repetition of the doors being locked and “not a guesthouse”. So far, repeating the first phrase of a piece at the end seems to be a tool I use a lot in my writing. I like repetition. I think it has something to do with my inability to focus. I sort of need the repetition to keep me on track.

I was interested in the other writers’ responses to the Rumi piece. It inspired a LOT of work about boundaries and I was not the only person to completely reject the notion of the body as guest house, in particular for women. There were good works that accepted the idea but talked about regulating emotional guests or of accepting a guest but not certain behaviours or luggage. I really liked those. There was also a particularly strong piece that dealt with issues of trying to eject unwelcome tenants successfully (false friends) and unsuccessfully (physical pain).

I think the comic format limits how much writing I can get in and I think it will tend to create overly simplistic responses. However, I don’t think writing and drawing separately worked. I did it for the Xanadu zine and I don’t like the integration of words and pictures in that zine as much as I like them here.

Triangle Diary

I like this exercise because it encourages drawing from memory so much. The drawings are FULL of mistakes but they still tell their stories. I love drawing people and I love drawing what I see so much but I really lack confidence when it comes to drawing places and things from memory. I was genuinely afraid to do this exercise the first time but now I’m really into it. It’s a good feeling to know that these places do exist in my mind and I can put them on paper.

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Non-Sequitur Comics

More Making Comics exercises. For this one, I kept a journal for a week and drew an animal from memory for each day. You’re supposed to try to draw animals you don’t know how to draw so… um… yeah. These are them. Each animal is saying the first sentence from their journal day.

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Mom, I've been Shot

Finally got my first Covid shot. Coincided with a day that I kept a picture diary, following the Lynda Barry style. This is actually a 40ish minute exercise in her Making Comics called “Triangle Diary”, (page 132). I went to upload it into my Covid Reflections blog and it just didn’t feel right. Like I said to my mom, “I’ve been shot.” I know we’re not through yet but it just feels good to start fresh.  And this doesn’t feel like a Covid Reflection. It isn’t a post-Covid either.

So this is an entirely imagined page. I drew it from memory. I know there are a lot of flaws but I’m actually pretty pumped that it turned out this well. I think I might need to specifically target perspective and proportion in my drawing exercises. I really have not spent enough time on either of these and it shows. In terms of storytelling, I feel like I’ve made some real progress  with the Toronto Writers Collective and then just following the instructions in Barry’s book. I just sent in an application for a workshop with TWC so… I guess wish me luck because I really want to make this work… whatever “this” is. I think it’s my Super Unofficial Masters in Fine Art.

You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to find some mentors.

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