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 oil...like 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