Archive: December, 2016
Let's See if I Remember How to Do This
I used to draw. All the time as a kid, less so as an adult, sporadically in recent years. Not at all in ... well, I'm not sure. Months, anyway, and then just one or two things. For whatever reason, I was inspired to pick up the sketchbook again a few weeks back, and doodled some. And it sucked. Like anything else, drawing is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing, and I had nothing. I was hearing the Toby Ziegler line from "Enemies," when he and Sam are choking on a puff assignment, about how his and Sam's talent couldn't have gone far. "Somewhere in this building is our talent."
Anyway, it took a few attempts, but I got to a point that was ... less bad ... and I turned out this:
Not terrible, but not up to standard, either, but I figured, hey, better is better. Don't know what's going on with Superman's left eye. And the likeness on the other ... well, still. Progress.
Couple more mixed-result pages over a week or so, and I started to feel a bit more in the groove, turning out a page of Morena Baccarins. Pretty OK, especially the one on the right.
Keeping with the theme of Pretty Women on TV, I went back to Rosario Dawson. First one on the page (top right — I'm left-handed, so I start on the right) isn't quite right, something in the jaw; it looks more like Jessica Biel or someone else. But the next one — THAT'S MORE LIKE IT. I'M BACK, BABY!
OK, the bottom one was a step back, some issues with the tones. Her eyes are not that baggy. But I still like it.
Next up in the TV Crush lineup is Ming-Na Wen:
The larger one here gave me fits, and I'm not completely pleased with it. Proportions are a bitch sometimes and I still don't think I have the eyeline quite right. But in general, solid.
Now I'm feeling pretty confident, and I go to the old standby: figure drawing with a bit of T&A.
I've always been more partial to the T than the A, but that last one still turned out really well. The one on the bottom I'll finish later.
I started collecting comics when I was around ten years old. I organized them, tried to keep them in shape, and struggled to find a way to pile them on shelves that didn't warp them or leave them vulnerable to fading and discoloring or random cat frenzies knocking them over and denting them. Eventually, I learned about the existence of longboxes and bought one, but that soon was outgrown and I improvised other boxes that became ugly and unwieldy.
A couple years later my mom was having our kitchen remodeled, so there were carpenters and other workmen in the house a lot, and one day Mom asked them if they could build some kind of cabinet for my mass of comics. (She did this without any prompting from me, too, which is the sort of thing I try to remember about her rather than the ugly alcoholic stuff that came much later.) So they did, and it was OK, but not really ideal -- just kind of a deep shelf unit turned on its end -- and after a time I maxed it out anyway, so one day Mom again said, "why don't we have them make a better one," and I sketched out what would be better. And by the time we moved into a new house not too long after that, I had a pair of long wooden drawer cabinet things that doubled as furniture and storage.
Those things are great, and I still have them today. They held most of my collection for years, with only a couple of longboxes supplementing, but as needed I would get another box and tuck it away somewhere.
My overflow now exceeds what fits in the cabinets.
Now, though, things are out of control again. I occasionally put some comics on eBay and try to thin the mass some, but the incoming stuff always outnumbers the outflow of eBay dumps (and really, I should just put a lot of the chaff in some bundles and sell it for pennies if I really want to make space), and my library room is in a constant state of disarray. I've cleaned it up some of late and tried to organize, but the conclusion is that, since I can't seem to muster up the will to sell off half my collection, I need more of what my mom suggested for me during her kitchen remodel.
But I'm a grown-ass man now (allegedly; I mean, this is about thousands of comic books) and I don't need to hire contractors to build things, I can do it myself. So I will.
I used The Google and determined that, as expected, my mom was not the only person to conceive of such things and others have built similar units and documented them. One fellow even recorded some of his construction work at the time as well as the finished product. I'm going to come up with something that is a kind of cross between what my mom had made from my teenage sketches and what this "cougarcomics" fellow has done.
I'm putting this up here mostly as a reminder to myself and as a public declaration of intent so I won't blow it off; I don't know when I'll get to it, in some ways I think I should start right away because I have time and I tend to have less work in the winter than the rest of the year. On the other hand, sometime in the next year or so (?) I intend on moving, and do I want to move even more heavy wood furniture than I already have? Maybe better to wait until I'm in a new place. But, who knows, it might take longer to find a place to move to, and in the meantime the problem continues, and when I do move, I'll have a lot of stuff still in these crappy cardboard boxes that could get dropped or dented or whathaveyou. So ... probably ought to do it sooner.