4.01.2009

Introduction

This blog is about cartooning- or comix- as a method of self-expression, creative exploration, and a way to devote yourself to finding and articulating what you want to say.

This blog is also about the visual nature of any storytelling, and offers useful ideas and practices for non-cartooning storytellers. Visualizing their stories in these ways will make their job easier, their work freer, and their story truer to their own hearts.

What stories and actions and images am I? What else lies at the heart of being human and what lies at the heart of most arts? What lies at the heart of this words and pictures medium, and more importantly, how can we let it guide us to the spirit of our work?

These postings, ideas and exercises come from 20 years of dedicating myself to little else except asking these questions.

I’ve always passionately believed I had something to say, and that that something was EVERYTHING. I wanted to say everything.

I wanted to say everything, but didn’t have the tools. This blog is about those tools

In my 10 years of teaching, I may have come across ideas and practices that work again and again. I developed some and I’ve stolen many, but even in teaching I’ve never settled, and I’m always trying to find the next right method for for the subject and student at hand. The important thing is to have the tools to question intelligently and creatively, and to explore productively.

The exercises offer a lot of surprises for the dedicated creator. It doesn’t require you to even be aware of your ideas, or be certain of your theses or themes. This book doesn’t require you to know what you already want to say; it assumes you want to SAY EVERYTHING.

If you’re going to create forever, you have to allow yourself to be surprised. Allow yourself to not know what will come next, to not be always in control, to not plan everything.

Werner Herzog:

Be brave, be adamant and even arrogant. Be open and be curious. Expect to find yourself on shores you didn’t expect. Arm yourself with pens or brushes or whatever visual tools you like, and read ahead for the tools to go subterranean, digging into your past, present or roiling insides, to recruit your senses to make your readers, your characters and yourself feel more alive.

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