I am having a problem of the principles.
My presentation last friday went brilliantly. At the high school, to year eight, about comics and manga and how those two things actually are the SAME thing, and how to make your own impressive.
Afterwards, I stayed for four hours answering extra questions, and talking to very, very almost every group or individual as they worked on their day-project of “make a comic”. It was a blast, it really was. They were so KEEN, so imaginative and just the MOST ADORABLE. I have a thousand comics to make about that day.
But here lies the problem! In my most favoured part of comic-making: the character design.
I am finding it really hard to work on the character design.
Because I want to both accurately reflect the individual spirits of the kids in those moments, and protect their individual faces and identities. The day was full of honest artistic collaboration, and I feel that snipping out and isolating the moments that I feel make for the best narratives but keeping the specific personal trappings of the complex humans who were there with me would be commodifying their enthusiasm. It would be a betrayal. I’m not quite sure of what, but I feel that it would be of something.
Plus, of course, you never know if a portrait or caricature of somebody is going to hurt their feelings somehow. It’s wrong to force that upon somebody, especially somebody very surely still within their formatives.
Incidentally, I realised in bed the other night that this was the exact subject of the Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman that was making me SO ANGRY this week. I have a great liking for Jane Seymour (for her Marguerite Blakeney and for Somewhere in Time) but that show drives me bonkers. It’s so bloody righteous. Anyway – Dorothy had written a book, without telling anyone, and had it published; the book turned out to be about the true lives and confidences of the people of the town (all her friends). USING THEIR REAL NAMES. Set in their real town. To start with, almost everyone was mad and hurt. Then as the episode drew to a close, they all decided, after their husbands and wives passive-aggressively overruled them, that it was AY-OKAY for Dorothy to write “the truth” because it had led to one or two pretty small subconscious problems being ironed out. WHICH WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN THE CASE HAD SHE JUST SPOKEN TO THE PEOPLE INVOLVED INSTEAD OF WRITING A GOSHDARNED NATIONALLY PUBLISHED BOOK ABOUT IT.
So Doctor Quinn (no, I won’t call her “Doctor Mike”, unless you imprison me without food or water and force me to (please don’t do that)) made a speech to stop Dorothy from nevah writin’ again and everything was fine.
I think about this episode and I still want to kick things. Privacy is more important than that.
And so, that is why you haven’t seen any comics about the wonderful wonderful moments from my four hour post-presentation workshopping. They will be coming – I just have to figure out how to fictionalise them without losing the beauty that is the point of journalistic/autobio comicking.
Instead, here are some pictures of me. It’s sunny, it’s warm enough to walk without a coat! I do have my olden-days men’s thermal vest on under all this other pink, but I’m not suggesting it’s summer. Only that spring is surely appearing.
It’s still muddy as heck, of course! It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, which won’t make my walks any easier BUT which I am very much looking forward to because I haven’t had a chance to wear my Christmas-gift waterproof policeman’s cloak, yet.. and I think if you had one of these you would be just as keen to wear it as I am.
You can walk around this stile, but that is not something I am ever likely to do. Not my.. style. HAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Now I’ll warn you, ducklings, that I suppose I am technically “showing my underwear” in this next picture, but I am quite firm on the point that something worn to prevent the show of actual underwear does not count (in this modern world, at least) as ‘underwear’. It’s under my dress, yeah, but so is my jacket, and no-one’s needing the smelling salts because they can see my sleeves.
That said, I’m not keen on the idea of onlookers being treated to a viewing of the crotch of my tights, which is why I am a firm advocate for the wearing of bloomers. They’re warm, they’re not TOO warm in summer except for on the hottest days when everything is, they mean you don’t have to worry about your undercarriage if you’re the kind of person that’s inclined to. And if they match, they make you feel so “done”. Like you’re on a pattern-cover or in a sixties newspaper spread.
This jacket of mine is slightly the worse for wear after, what, six years? I’m not going to stop wearing it. A Bicester Village buy, from Fred Perry. The acid colours with black make me feel like a liquorice allsort, the strange soft-towelling, fluffy fabric makes me feel like one of the more exotic species of moth. And I like that it’s sort of ‘sporty’. It’s a style of jacket that I can sense has ‘a scene’ behind it, a subcultural history, but I have no idea what it is. I like that, I like that I can be so ignorant. It’s sort of fascinating. It makes me want to learn.
My idea of “Fred Perry wearer” is Big Pony Club style preppy country-lifestyle for rich people. I go to the website and it says inner-city Manchester and rebellion? Raves? That’s fanfuckingtastic, I have no idea about ANY of this.
My favourite flavour of milkshake is KNOWLEDGE!