Friday, January 03, 2014


Today is day three of the New Year. January 3rd, 2014.

Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you and me with "new year's resolutions"! What I am going to share with you is a little peek at one of things I'm doing this year (not planning, but 'doing'....)

I use this blog to write about my latest projects, or to talk about an event I had attended over a previous weekend. I've also used it to talk about a favorite comic book creator, or a filmmaker I admire. I've shared behind-the-scenes process on current works, and have shown you new artwork for upcoming projects. A way to keep folks up to date with my work, and talk about things I love.

And I'll continue to do that, but I'm also going to write a new series of posts focused on the idea of creating. Making comics, as that's my foremost creative outlet, but also talking about art in general. The creative decisions in undertaking a new project, and also taking some in-depth looks at other works from other people. Things that inspired me in the past, whether it was over 35 years ago, or last week. Also, people working today who spark some creative fires in me. Old stuff and new stuff. My stuff and their stuff.

In the past, I've meant to share some insights on my own choices in telling stories. Creating my characters, choosing what type of story I want to tell, designing the covers for my books. Why self-publishing? Why do conventions? Why make comics?

Me and Michael Aushenker at the 2011 Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco.

This series isn't meant to be a "how-to-make-comics" course. I've been teaching comics workshops for 10 years now. I love it. Working with kids, guiding them in creating their own comics is totally rewarding. But I don't teach them how to do it 'my way'. I provide them some general principals, then get out of their way as they craft their stories.

This will be more of a "how-I-create-my-comics" series. Everyone has their method on how they create their art, so I can only show you what I do. My hope is that the information posted here will be interesting to read, as I know that whenever I hear a writer, cartoonist, musician or filmmaker discuss their work I always learn something that I can either relate to artistically, or at least find some inspirational insights into the process of creation.

In addition to sharing my own work and process, I want to devote some time to discussing specific works, and share with you what I got out of them and how that shaped my own view on telling stories. There are specific creators I want to spotlight, particular comics and movies that I can point to and say "Oh, that's a favorite of mine and a big influence because....". 

I'm often asked by friends to either resume my old Do-It-Yourself comics podcast JAVILAND or start a new one. I appreciate the thought behind each suggestion, but for the last several years my motivation for doing a new show just isn't there. Besides, with the visual nature of art, I'd want to be able to share images with viewers. So I figure these blog posts will fit the bill.

I can't tell you right now how many posts in total I'll do. I'm planning on doing these at least for the duration of 2014. I'm not sure how often I'll post either. I could say once a month, but I might want to do shorter posts at any given moment. So let's keep this loose and impulsive, which is kind of how I often create anyway. There will be lots and lots of visual, but also links to websites and videos (the problem with Youtube is that at any given moment, any video can be pulled down for whatever reason. Hopefully this won't be the case with the ones I pick).

These post will be, for a large part, self-indulgent. I mean, they're meant to highlight things that I love, and how I relate to them as a viewer and creator, but hopefully every post will at least be readable to anyone tuning in.
As I mentioned, I'll be highlighting current, working artists in addition to those who may no longer be around. I'm thinking perhaps that some short interviews with a few subjects might be interesting to include. We'll see. There's no shortage of folks today whose work I admire. 

 Satan's Soldier © Tom Scioli

My most fertile era of inspiration comes from the 1970s and 80s, no question. It's the era I grew up in, and the one that's had the most long-lasting influence on me. But like I mentioned, things around me, today, continue to inspire, so expect anything and everything to show up here.

As far as a name for this series? Let's call it CREATION JUNCTURE.

Cartoonist Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man), a living legend in the world of comics, has a quote that's a favorite of mine:

"A creation is actually a re-creation. A rearrangement of existing materials in a new, different, original, novel way."

Everything I've ever created had a life even before it materialized in my mind. It's true for any creator. A movie they saw, a song they heard, a play they watched. A memory of attending a wedding, or a funeral. A first date, or their last break-up. A vacation they took, or a trip they would like to one day experience.

I'm sitting at my drawing table, or in front of the computer, or driving along the highway, and I'm  thinking of a new comic I want to create, or some other work of art I want to produce. In that moment, I'm at the crossroads. I'm fueled by ideas I received from other creative works, or by an experience as a living, breathing human being. And I want to channel those ideas into an expression, that usually finds itself manifested as a printed book, or some other work of art.

It's the point where inspiration and expression collide, intermingle, reassemble and continue forward.


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