Friday, November 09, 2007

The Build-up to Pipe Dreams

It was early 1991, I was over a year and a half out of the School of Visual Arts. I had just quit an unsatisfying job at Pure Imagination and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my BFA degree. I wasn't sure what direction I would take my work. I was toying with doing caricatures. I was on a roll working with gray washes and thought this may be a way to go.

Still, I was into the idea of being an editorial cartoonist. I was totally against Gulf War 1, and tried to express my anger with cartoons against the war. The problem was, even though I was very angry, I was weak in conveying that anger.

See... America's addicted to a junkie...get it?

I was a fan of alternative comics like Love and Rockets and Hate. They were published in the city I had decided to move to, Seattle. I tried to create some comic stories but never was able to finish anything of worth.

Besides, the money was better in editorial comic strips and my gnat-like attention span was more suited to it than alternative comics. Still, my editorial comics lacked an edge. When the war was going on, I was trying to examine the absurdities of it through my work.

There was a huge lottery jackpot in New York at the time. At the same time, CNN was hyping up the "greatness" of the Patriot Missiles, and how much it costs and I put two and two together to come up with this lame cartoon.

Before the comic was finished I realized the gag was lame. However, I loved the way the character in the striped shirt turned out. It was different from any other character I created. The character on the left is a variation of the lunkhead character I do that represents the opposite of what I consider to be my thought process. I looked at it and decided to try out another strip with a third character that was physically based on me.

I didn't finish those ones either, I still was into doing editorial cartoons about the war.

I wasn't doing much better with that and was trying to mix the two together with a fourth character being in Iraq, dealing with the issues there. I realized that I was ripping off Doonesbury and I felt in order to get syndicated I needed to be more focused on a smaller cast of characters and who knew how long the war would last, so I went back stateside for inspiration and decided for once in my life to finish a project. I worked on some sample strips.

Next... The Preview

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Scanlon! I've enjoyed reading about your process! I am all about process and inspiration these days. Can't get enough of art documentaries. So thanks for sharing! Keep it up! It's been fun seeing you on the facebook too! Hope all is well in your world. --Marci