Tuesday, May 11, 2010
There is one more JT comic I have to do out of a promise, but this is how John Thorn ends. I don't think Ill ever write and draw about his life past college, but if you're slightly curious, I always thought he'd get a normal 9-5 job, hate it, quit, become a fireman, travel the world for a month every year before eventually settling down and becoming a teacher and a father.
It is interesting to me. I have had this ending planned pretty much since I started this series so it ends exactly as I expected. A quiet little comic in which a picture is taken and one too many cheesy lines are delivered. The series started with JT not knowing what to do and ended up very much the same, but the whole middle is so much different than I expected. I started simply. Simple style. The characters were only cardboard cutout deep in my head. The comic was not ambitious in spirit at the beginning so I wouldn't make a mistake which may have been my first mistake.
I look at the first 50 or so comics I made and can't believe I let myself draw something that was below my ability. I was always able to draw better than what was shown back then. If I had tried as hard as I do now, they probably would have looked just a bit worse than they do now. But I knew I was gonna make mistakes. I just wish I had made these mistakes going for it all like I have more recently.
I also felt like I've cheated John Thorn and Weeaboo Girl/Stephanie and Lu and Travis a few times. It is a strange feeling. I remember, a few years ago I went to see a movie, the Nines (?), at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar and the director and Ryan Reynolds were there for a Q&A afterward. At one point in the session, the director talked about how the movie was a product of him wondering what were his responsibilities to his creations. Of course, at the time I did not understand what he meant, but I do now. I feel like I've gotta apologize to JT and WG because I always had to make their relationship a joke. Apologies to Lu because he never got much time to be much. A sorry out to Travis since I never finished his story. I understand that these are comic strips and that jokes are expected, I just wish I could do more with it. Sometimes, I felt like I had to force a joke and take away from the fact that JT was in fact growing up.
I thought this was most evident in the Albino Squirrel Saga. The albino squirrel is killed by JT when he pigheadedly sets it free by throwing it out the window. Haha Funny end chuckle smile and on to the next comic. The joke diverts the attention from the fact that JT decides to forgo the easy route and becomes a bit more responsible. I felt like I had to sneak in his growth every time I wanted to do it. Hopefully, people will also look at the stylistic differences between now and the beginning and see some sort of growth beyond the superficial.
I also wish that I had decided to be as ambitious as I have been for the past 8 months since the beginning. My plan for the last 8 months was to be the creator of the most visually arresting comic in the history of the Daily Texan. I pretty high goal considering Chris Ware got his start here. I don't know if I have gotten anywhere near that point. That's hardly for me to judge. But in the end, I understand that I was not ever going to be flawless and that I was going to make many mistakes. Looking back at them all, I am OK with the mistakes I made. I was a stupid 20 year old then. Im a stupid 21 year old now, but a slightly better artist. I have John Thorn to thank for that. I had no idea that you were gonna shape so much of what I would become. I remember thinking you up. Average college student and lazy with a name that rhymes with longhorn who would occasionally serve as my mouthpiece of criticism but refused to do so and compelled me to write you differently.
Thank you so very much for everything JT