A diary by means of a collage by means of a cartoon. Verbose explication in the comments. Arriving fresh Mondays. read comics the wrong way at: Latent Narratives
read comics the wrong way at: Latent Narratives
I never really know how each week is going to turn out. Sometimes I struggle, and the ragged effort ends up looking like a dog's breakfast. Last week, for example, was a last minute scramble (I scrapped something I had been planning all week), and so was disappointing to me. Though it did earn praise from friend who felt it looked 'vulnerable,' I think it conveys a lack of control.Sometimes I struggle, and it satisfyingly comes together in a way I didn't foresee. Sometimes I breeze through and it ends up feeling wrong. Sometimes I breeze through, and it's great.This week wasn’t particularly a struggle, but it wasn’t a breeze either. It just kind of fell together. It progressed, step by step, and on every step it just kind of worked. Not amazing, but also not disappointing, and what I ended up with was awfully close to what I had imagined. This doesn’t happen all that often.I had an image of the whole strip being made up of those indecipherable 'out of phase' lines, but realized that this concept portrayed my own isolation more clearly. So, I had to figure out how to draw those lines (harder than I expected, but perfect when I figured it out), and I also had to be able to model the dialogue (conceptually speaking) in a way that was immediately evident. I realized that the ‘shot/reverse shot’ convention from film was the visual cue that I was looking for, but looking for the right model on which to base this comic took an inordinate amount of time. After a couple of sketching attempts, I came across this scene from the Coen's "A Serious Man" (2009): the 'first rabbi' scene, where Larry Gopnik is seeking advice around his mid-life crisis, and is receiving useless crap in return. "Just look at the parking lot, Larry." I hadn't intended this, but it turned out that, thematically, this scene is a perfect model for the point of the cartoon: there is no communication. There is no communication! This is my all-day, every day. I try to convey an idea, and what I get back is someone who has grossly, often deliberately, misinterpreted my intent. The simplest tasks require an exhaustive dance. Professionally, I weigh the significance of this lack of communication against the systems we model to facilitate health care. It's all Babel. It's a problem. And it’s a problem that’s dangerous to our health.But more poignantly, this persistent feeling of being totally out of phase with those with whom I think I am communicating results in a lifetime of heartache for anyone who is close to me. I live under the growing conviction that I should be isolating myself as much as possible for everyone else's protection.People don't seem to be able to comprehend the level of disconnect I see, visually represented here. "What you're describing is just people not using good communication skills." "Everyone feels the way that you do." I sometimes get buffed up for a short period, and walk around convinced that I'm simply being narcissistic, reveling in my own impulse to over-think, selfishly turning this experience into something about me ... and in this buffed-up state I feel for a bit that I *am* just like everyone else, and that perhaps I am capable of living a normal life.But then, inevitably, it comes back. I experience a moment in which I realize that I have no idea how to express myself in any way that might be constructive. And, again, it's driven home that, fundamentally, I am apart. Anyway, this week represents one comic that all came together in a way that conceptually met the demands I was putting on it, and ended up looking gratifyingly clean. Complaints? The background may be a little too busy. But still, I really love the wavy-line effect.