Monday, September 20, 2010


So my fancy, aluminum, super-sleek keyboard for my new-ish imac lost its ability to properly express the "u". Hmmm yes. So I'm on my more-than-four-years old Macbook Pro, which is sans battery, has an itty-bitty screen, and is covered in stickers that thoroughly define my identity. I was full of woe until I was reminded of the desktop image I left it with months and months ago:
As you've already assumed, I am now delighted.

Sooo....inspira-tron. I guess, since I'm writing and illustrating a comic, I should start with some of those.
It is likely that Bone will always be on the top of my list as far as comics go. There is so much to love- The black and white, the mastery of line, the characters, the setting. It is exciting, suspenseful, funny, and...I guess I'll say it...heartwarming. It is not all I aspire to be, but it's a lot. I owned it for a long time before I cracked it open and spent one glorious weekend with it. It's one of those books I wish I hadn't read, so I could read it again.

Oh it's so obvious that I would pick Blankets, isn't it. But you know, I had avoided reading it for something like 6 years because its cover makes it look like namby-pamby-lovey indie garbage. But I was at the library the other week, and thought, oh well, it's not going to kill me. And then I loved it. Definitely not because of the story. I think that's for two, I'm tired of the inevitable incident of molestation I will encounter in an autobiographical comic. Two, I've never suffered a crisis of faith. But the gestures are beautiful. Every page is perfect and inventive. I ate this one right up because of that, even though the story made me go "Ack."
Okay yeah I know I talked a ton about Asterios already. But seriously, look at this page. It is undeniably beautiful, inventive, and funny! This comic is so darn complete. The colors are all incredible, the character design is clean and specific, and, oh, they act like real people. Which is almost unheard of in comics. If. you. ask. me. The only thing it's lacking is real... entertainment value for us youngins. It's hard to get excited about a story involving an old asshole and his nigh-submissive ex-wife. But it's really beautifully told, all the same.

Next subject...the cinema! Mostly I want to talk about strong, interesting, realistic(which typically means completely unlikeable) characters, tension, and time travel!

Characters first. Here are my favorites, all of them taken from movies written by Charlie Kaufman...
Oh my God, I love Nicolas Cage. Please don't tell anyone. In Adaptation he plays Charlie Kaufman and Charlie Kaufman's fictional twin brother Donald. Obviously as far as character realism goes, Kaufman is cheating a little by basing him on a real...himself. But...he's still my favorite fictional person ever. He is fat and awful and just so totally wrapped up in his own integrity. I mean, he's indescribable. And I've never felt such a kinship with anyone, real or imagined...or both, in this case, I guess. I just want to write people like Kaufman can. Flawed and awkward and selfish...John Cusack in Being John Malkovich.

Oh, and I've never found a more realistic depiction of a long term relationship than Joel and Clementine's in Eternal Sunshine. Just everything. They don't have clever, bouncy, funny dialogue. They interrupt each other, they say things they don't mean, they start fights with each other over the dumbest things. Clementine is obnoxious, Joel blah blah blah you get my point, I'm tired. Moving on.

Tension. I dig it. I wish I could come up with a more clever example than The Prestige but I can't right now and don't especially feel like it.

Time Travel!! Here are my favorite time travel movies:

Oh My God this poster, what a mess. You can't read the text in the middle at all..and what is this movie about? You guessed it...whales. I'm not kidding.

Despite these two gems being my favorites, I wouldn't model my story after anything from either of them. Now, here is a movie that does time travel right:
Somehow it manages to be a completely realistic depiction of two friends that build time machines and then use them to win money during March Madness. I THINK. They don't exactly hand the plot right over to you. You have to watch this movie several times and then wikipedia it to figure out what really happened. But it's quiet and lovely and twisted. Made for $7k! So yeah, if there's anything that inspires the time-travel aspect of my story, it's this.

Well, that's all.


  1. Hairy chests! Nicolas Cage is better as a chubby man.

  2. Your desktop background has inspired me. Come find me later and I'll share mine.