Thursday, January 29, 2009

So you want to order a book!

Why would you? It's all in crazy moon language (Greek)!

Well if you insist, we can at least talk about it.

It would cost you 5 euros plus shipping to whichever crazy part of the world you're at. We'll have to sort this out between the two of us. I'm a virgin when it comes to shipping costs. Will you teach me?

You would pay me through paypal, optimally. Or you could entice me through promises of sexual favors that you'd think would never have to be acted upon to forgo currency for a time. But what if we perchance meet in the future?! Would you deny me then?

It's 60 pages. The full-page comics are from this blog (though delicately printed in their original resolution!) and there's a boatload of comic-strips I haven't posted here. The page-setting and graphic design has been handled by the wonderfully resilient and beautiful Anny (though you'd have to take my word for it) and the cover has been painted by the formidable German mountain of talent that is Ptoing (Sven Ruthner to his enemies) and you don't have to take my word for that, you can go over there and see for yourself! Lino-cuts now! There's even a professionally shot photo of me in there by Dominika Dzikowska (some of her work here). I find the photo to be wonderful, though some guys made fun of me for it in the festival. The women liked it though, I uh.. hope.

You may see its dimensions - for they are hefty and inconvenient for any but the most spacious bookcases - below:

Amebix + Bolt Thrower = B.F.F.E.

People tell me it's great. They have to, otherwise the charming person above in the photo with me breaks their kneecaps. Yes, while wearing that on his head.

I don't expect to sell more than 5-10 internationally since it's in Greek so I feel pretty alright with the idea of going to the post office these few times. Uh, actually I don't, that sounds really boring. That at the idea of shipping stuff I feel bored my true lack of ambition for success shows. Hey, you might have to wait a few days to get your order, actually. A week? If the weather is good, less because I go cycling with my dearest friend, Nick, towards the post-office when the weather is good.

But why would you want this anyway? Perhaps you should reconsider.

If you are dead-set about this you may leave me a message through e-mail. You can find my e-mail if you're reasonably crafty.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This is the comic I made for this year's festival. I don't know how big the screens you guys are using so it might be that the text is difficult to read, or you have to pan around horizontally... I really hope not. This is a byproduct of the format I used for this page. I uh, I printed this on A1 size (84x59cm). Keep in mind most comics are printed A4 or smaller. Sadly I didn't take a picture of it in the show as I 1) don't carry a photographic camera with me and 2) don't hang around my exhibit due to shame that I'm still trying to eradicate.

Also I guess this would be needed so you get both the macro and the micro view of the piece as the people in the show did. Pay attention to overarching elements in this thumbnail, they help with understanding the comic.

And yes, about understanding the comic. Hm, this is my most recent work and it's riding on this wave of post-analysis I've been indulging in lots on this blog so everything and I mean everything in this comic is calculated to support a thesis on instinct, determinism, id/superego clash etc etc the things we've been discussing here for the last 5 months. As such I have a very lucid idea about what I've done but not so much if I've accomplished it in the eyes of other readers. Now I could preempt you and tell you what it's about and so on but I'd rather if you'd feel compelled to read it carefully and make up your own mind. I just say these things to urge you to trust me that it's not just a 'whacky' collection of events, it will reward patient and exploratory readings.

On the technical level this page is an exploration of the digital way to make comics, as it was made at 1200 dpi in A3 size (that's a lot of pixels) completely in Manga Studio 3 Ex within the course of 13 days or so, about 3-4 hours of work a day. The work I'd otherwise put into 4-5 pages of comics went into this single page. The reason I went this way was because I wanted to make a comic that felt like a plot of a whole 2 hour movie in a single page. Sorta like a trailer. Condensed storytelling. I wanted to see if it was possible. It is. Successful? You tell me. Just keep in mind that there could be like, heh, 10 pages of comics between each panel.

The theme of the show was the number '13' (and obviously, bad luck). The format of the comic uses 13 panels, and the top part of the page as far as layout goes is the exact 180 degree rotation of the bottom part. The theme is very vaguely bad-luck-ish but that's as far as I tried to stick to it. I don't think '13' makes for good stories, personally, so I decided to veer off-path just as much as I needed to tell a good story. I am content with this to the degree that while I was preparing it on a piece of paper I brainstormed a lot of little quirks and ideas I wanted to put in it and after I was done I counted and realized about 80% of them made it in and not in a disruptive way. It felt 'right' to put that sort of effort in a single piece of art.

There are some bits of text here that do not translate very well. There is a 'gag' in the naming of the characters (especially the name of the father) which is also pertinent to the storyline but you'd have to have done some sort of Hellenistic studies I guess to get it. I'll just spoil that little bit because most of you have not read about ancient Greek drama theater. All the characters in this comic are named after marginally related characters in ancient Greek dramatic theater. All that is, besides the father figure. To draw a useful parallel to Shakespearian drama: imagine this comic where everybody's named stuff like Tristian and Benvolio and Martius but there's one dude inexplicably named Burt. Completely outside of the drama paradigm. I wonder why... hmm.

There's also a few other plays on words that do not translate, but nothing that spoils the story, I think. It's just a shame you heathens can't read Greek.

Also, here's the variation page that was put up right next to the main page. It reads "Variation for Impatient Readers". It's a joke about how people really just skim over the text in the comics presented in these festivals. On that panel that I didn't have a clean background to leave I just threw in an upside-down Manos Antaras as his severe stare seemed to fit the stark emptiness.

There is a surrealist painter involved in the original comic. First one to note in the comments who he is and how he's exploited cruelly by me, gets my admiration. Obviously, besides this, I welcome all communication and well-meaning critique as this is very new and it would be very applicable for me right now to better my art.


Monday, January 26, 2009

A Festival Occured

(click on all images for manly sizes)

One day, the Yus bird decided to go to the Vavel Festival. So he packed up and went. There he met up with the rest of us and set upon the table the new comic book in which he features!

(This is not my coat. This is not my hat. I don't even smoke)

Although things seemed to have started slow...

The place was eventually packed. The book seemed to have gone down well with the natives.

In the next photo you may see the specially designed Culture Ovens the government has issued to churn out new comic artists when the ones manning the tables have died from exhaustion

The atmosphere in our little fanzine oven corner was wonderful, with old friends making return visits and new friends debuting. Next to my spot were the wonderful people of Schizoid mag with whom I established pleasant retort and company and here I will thank them again very much for it. I sold about 120 books, which is about 1/3rd of the way towards paying off the debt from having printed it. I estimate that in the next 3 to 4 months I will be out of the hole on that respect.

I met many people from my little corner and I asked them kindly to when they've read the book leave me comments on the blog or by e-mail to tell me what they thought of it. The comment-space for this post is the place to do so then, kind customers, readers and foremost humans. I appreciate the communication more than I appreciate the patronage, and I already appreciate the patronage quite a bit so, there you go! Let me know what you think!

It was four days of sitting, bad eating, one-upping each others extravagant claims absurdly (something of an inside joke with the Schizoid folks after a while, memorable quotes include myself saying "I never tell lies" and being replied with "well I never tell lies TWICE") selling fanzines, being surrounded by beautiful women (seriously, kinda surreal! beauty to my left, beauty to my right, what is to become of me!) and of course, patiently and futilely drawing on the counter. Here are some assembled shots:

I stress that these are not my drawings (well some of them are) but a communal effort of friends sharing the common bond of being bored out of their gourds. All of the Free Your Line people and all the Schizoid people along with their assorted friends (about 12 people all together) contributed to beautifying a tabletop that as we speak is being painted over to be used again next year.

Also I should mention that none of these were my own photos, they've been kindly donated by a friend who for nebulous reasons would rather remain nameless. There's much yet to teach this friend about abandoning all shame, I feel. I'd have posted more photos of the other rooms of the festival but I spent 4 days pretty much in that space so I think it's more honest to communicate my personal experience. It involved a lot of sitting down, a lot of calculating change to give to customers and a lot of friendly conversation. It was good times, for me. Good things happened in this festival to me and to people I love so hey, good karma all around!

If you have any questions about the festival or anything else you'd like to know about me and my deepest dreams and sexual fantasies, don't hesitate to ask.

After all of that four-day constant commotion the Yus bird was a bit grumpy and tired so I took him home for rest and recuperation.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 5)

Page 5 of 5.

Oh my, the yellow page. Everything happened (down to the Super Mario stand-in taxi driver) like in the comic. The actual drawing here is a bit rushed in places but I... was in a rush. To feed, to clean up and finally to sleep were incandescent bright priorities at this point, not a silly comic. You're not supposed to make a full story in a single day now I know.

I'm not aware if it's customary in heathen lands for taxi drivers, especially when they pick up people from commute stations, to try to fit in as many people as possible and then entertain their brains by trying to figure out the optimal route that hits all the drop points, but in Greece it's something of a high art. Although of course, completely illegal. I have sheldom taken taxis when I travel abroad because as I've found, they're too expensive. Your savage, heathen lands happen to have developed and trustworthy public transportation systems in place that suit the populance and therefore you don't resort to taxis a lot. In the highly magnificent pillar of civilization that is Greece, if after the train ride (which is dependable but smelly) I wait for the bus to take me home, I might be waiting anything from 30 minutes to three times that. Completely up to the drivers whim. I dislike that position so I customarily spend the 5 euros for the cab ride from Kyfisia to Drosia (which is "wherever the hell home is").

And yeah, the dude in the front got of literally 100 meters later from where he got in. I guess the slight rain and his expensive suit wouldn't mix. This should have been an observation panel in itself really, but, much like a panel needed between 'I headed home' and the fucking toilet that would establish what 'home' was, I was too tired and cut corners. Perhaps a few more panels of the small-talk that occurred between me and flirty mcsexy eyes over there would be prudent because it was interesting how I assumed the role of THE GREAT OBSERVATOR. I noted everything she said with her friend, her bag, her clothing, how she laughed. I judged and spared with the kindness reserved for heart-struck fools. I wondered how our love would be and her body's contour on my satin sheets high in my castle of solitude soon to be renamed. All in all, I should have made another page. But. 24 hours. Tired. Not a robot - sadly. No, wait, not sadly! I'm happy to be a human being, to have tender fleshy meat-thing emotions that when upset can send me spiralling out of daily control and into patters on slow but assured psychological self-destruction.


I hope you liked the comic and you don't feel too irritated by proxy. It was a turning point of me definitely towards the better, so it's an experience that - besides the occasional milking for comics and party conversation - is actually pretty important to me, in all its mundanity. Honestly, I could have gone on narrating from that point onwards to today (it would take about 3,000 pages of comics, I think) and it would be a consistent call-and-response model. Echoes of the choices I made during that time resonate to everything that happens to me today. I wouldn't make that comic because I don't think that when I die and St. Peter asked me what I did with my life I should answer 'oh I made an existentialist comic starring myself working through adolescence to maturity'. It's just not the right thing to say. The right answer is:

"I did everything I desired.
I became a human being.
I live forever."

So, yes, still working on that.

P.S. My friend Esseb (yes I know, what an informative website!) also attempted this, and it turns out I didn't mess up as much as I thought! Some of the outfits are ridiculous but I needed them to be different from each other!

P.S.2 Tomorrow I will have at least 100 of the 500 books I'm printing. If those run out during the festival (which, here's hoping, will happen) I am sure from the 21st to the 23rd or 24th, I can run back and get more. Excited about the festival, excited about everything. Yet another good day with brilliant and kind sunlight. I hope everything is well in your life too, reader.



Monday, January 19, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 4)

Page 4 of 5.

The whites here were put in photoshop after the fact, as while I was drawing this the deadline was looming and I decided to just finish the story and do the highlight work later. It didn't take more than half an hour later on at home with photoshop, but you'd be surprised what strange judgment calls you make on what is worth doing after 20 hours of drawing or so.

If you notice this page is generally more discreetly drawn, it is because I switched mostly from the pentel brush to a regular 0.2 and 0.1 pigment marker. This is my usual style really, the brush is something of a new thing. So when I revert to markers, there's instantly more control. I still used the pentel for the SEAS OF UNCOMFORT and the EMOTIONAL RAIN effect. A half-empty pentel + textured paper = lots of interesting dry brush effects one can try.

I am really fond of the 'longing stare' panel. The little Beholder thought bubbles are a nice visual trick I think that really explain the mentality in question.

Sadly for anyone who might to reassemble the girls in photoshop, I think I kinda confused myself at some point so it might not work out completely. Still the point carries through, I hope.

Kyfisia is just an Athenian suburb, 'high-class'. It is my stepping stone from downtown Athens to home (I live in Drosia, even further out, "with the wolves" as we say). It takes me about 30 minutes to get from Athens to Kyfisia with the train, spanning about 15 stops along the way. I didn't think it would be possible to meet her again given that she'd probably get off at any point between these 15 stops, so this is why the inner conflict quickly turned academic. I should have explained this point a bit more clearly in the comic but I was getting tired and my storytelling was deteriorating. I hope it still makes sense without the extra knowledge of how the Greek train communication system works.

Robert Mitchum is a bit of an inside joke between myself and Thanos in that he encapsulates all there is about being a man. I made this once and it sorta stuck.

On other news, as far as I know book is being printed (will call to be certain tomorrow), I am planning a NEW COMIC (it's basically subverted pornography). I found out Manga Studio 4 EX was out and successfully stole it (I swear if I ever become rich enough I will pay you the 300 dollars, SmithMicro software) and it has a very really really interesting new features I'm going to try in the next few days. I'll wrap up this comic in a couple of days from now and then Vavel festival is going to happen so expect a stopgap post with pictures and reflections on the event (I hope you don't mind). Then it'll be back to posting comics and also perhaps a few comic theory posts about the comic I'm going to make next. Actually, this is something I want to discuss with you... usually I don't really talk about the comic I'm making in detail until it's done. Would you be interested in following and providing feedback to the process of creation before it is finalized? Keep in mind that this is a cost/benefit thing. On one hand the mechanics of the comic are laid bare and you won't be 'surprised' by it when you read it in the end. On the other hand, the mechanics of the comic are laid bare and you will get a good glimpse at how they work. Also you will be implicated quite directly through feedback with making a comic better. How's that sound? Let me know in the comments, along with any questions or observations about the page above.

I am in good spirits today. The weather outside is beautiful too.



Friday, January 16, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 3)

Page 3 of 5.

Well the book is being printed so everything is fine on that end. I will have it in my hands on the 21st, it seems. That's fortuitous because the Babel comics festival starts on the 22nd. Kinda excited.

About the comic, this is where the paneling starts to become a bit more sedate because the brain didn't feel up to fancy designs anymore. The band that formulated after the demise of Nick's earlier effort still exists and plays and records today though by design its material is not something to share publicly. That band however is pretty much the 'other half' of my artistry and it takes a similar amount of my time as do the comics. It being very private is a different sort of experiment to what I'm trying to do with my public art. I think a lot of artists have a more private and a more open side even if they don't strictly differentiate the two by different art forms. It's kinda strange when an artist dies and slowly the work which for whichever personal reason they had deemed unfit for publication, slowly leaks out there. Kavafis, a Greek poet comes to mind. Do people feel a degree of shame when they peruse something that wasn't intended for them? I certainly do.

As before, ask questions and you will receive honest answers.

Also, since I guess most readers don't follow all the comments I'll state it clearly here: Due to a recent adverse situation, I would please advise commentators-to-be to not abuse their anonymity. A great way to do this would be to register with blogger to begin with, and make your profile link to something of yours. I really enjoy wondering through the links found thusly and this sort of communication is imperative to what I'm trying to do.

- Helm


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 2)

Page 2 of 5.

The printer dude was supposed to call me today to let me know he made a test scrap print of the Asides-Bsides book so I would travel to his office and check it out and give him the okay along with a down-payment, but he never did. I like Greece a lot, but this sort of stuff I really don't understand. You're a professional, and you want my money and you said you'd call and then you didn't. Although you know there's a very very tight deadline (21st of this month). What am I supposed to infer? I'll never understand what causes this sort of negligence. Well, I'll call myself (I mean, I'll call the printer dude myself, not I will call myself on the phone, I set a hard limit to my solipsism right before that) tomorrow and have it sorted out. The book will be printed even if it's the last thing I do (this week).

On the comic, this is the first 'good page' of the five in my opinion, I reigned in the highlights (applied white guache with a little brush directly on the colored paper -- no undos!) and generally started drawing a bit better (also this page is funnier I think!). It was a pain in the ass to clone-brush all that text away in photoshop to re-letter it for you heathens, but at least having reread it now I remember the very pleasant feeling at the table with the other artists working on their own 24hr comics. On my left there was Thanos and on my right there was Panpan. It was really good times. I would do it again given a similar symmetry.

I find the turtleneck + expression hilarious. I hope I'm not the only one.

Let's keep going with you asking me questions instead of me preempting them like usual because I'm still a bit busy with the printing stuff to ramble on for hours.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A 24hour comic! (Page 1)

Alright alright. Page one of five. I don't have much time I gotta go out to pick up my black cat from the doctor (his masculinity, it has been destroyed!) and then I have to bumrush the printer dude to get my book on its way to being done so we'll talk more about what's going on here later. Here, let's try a different idea! If you want some clarification on anything that's going on in this page, why don't you ask me in the comments and I'll be back later tonight to explain? Yes! Reader participation! Yes!



Friday, January 9, 2009

Sad Girl is doing alright

Click for post-apocalyptic size.

This is the girl from this one, later on. She's doing alright. She's reading about the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. She's taking care of herself. Her foot itches.

Come monday I'll go to the printers to get my Asides-Bsides book self-published. Vavel Festival starts at 20 of this month, I intend to have it there for people to buy and enjoy. After that I'll put ordering details up here in the case some of you international readers, say it possesses you to buy something in a crazy moon language and not english, want to have one.

Comics again soon.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Enter Vast Dominions, Welcome to My Dream (part the last)

That's it, then. I don't have much to say about the story closing... well, actually I do but everyone should be free to read this in their own way. I got quite a variation of explanatory remarks by people at the festival and although some made me wonder about my capability to convey a clear and linear story, others were delightful, so I won't try to channel the commentary.

Aesthetically I'm pretty happy with it, I guess... I should have paid more attention - this is a recurring gripe with my own old art - to proper facial construction and less on characterization, but as it seems most people don't notice the wonkyness so this mostly hurts my art in the eyes of other trained artists, heh. Still, more drawing from life would have benefited me then and it would benefit me now. I guess I'm a bit impatient, I want to get to the guts of it. Women tell me this all the time.

Well perhaps we will discuss the metaphysics of the comic in the comment space after you guys and girls have let me know of your own take on things.

I think next I will translate and post the recent 5-page 24hour comic I did, yes.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Enter Vast Dominions, Welcome to My Dream (part the third)

Page four out of five.

Yes that's what my dreamself asked the other, I can't account for how stupid it is... it sorta makes sense in dreamlogic, I think. How can you and I be here together? Perhaps this is subconscious residue from when I had watched early in life the Back to the Future movies and where if you occupied the same space with your older/future self, the universe exploded or something. I guess the child Helm took this bit of the cautionary tale very seriously to the degree that this was my first concern in my dream, when meeting my other.

But his answer, his answer. What a strange answer. Who is he keeping company to - or perhaps, supporting, urging on? What is he feeding? And where is here, exactly?

You might notice that paper cut over the name of the person whom the other is talking about. The purpose of it is twofold: The most important thing is that I woke up with a very vivid recollection of the whole dream, but I couldn't remember for the life of me the name he told me. I think it was a woman's name but that is as far as I go. I cut that bit of paper out of the page not only because I couldn't remember but because it is a valuable communicational device here. When I make art that predominantly talks to myself (usually it is music, but sometimes it is comics. And a dream comic, after all, is psychoanalysis) I attempt to shape it in such a way that it might serve me, serve my evolution as a human being further. I have figured since an earlier age that if I am going to talk to myself through art, it might as well be a worthwhile conversation. In a way I infuse my super-ego aspirations through my art, a perfect, final Helm is talking to the mundane, faulty real Helm and trying to urge him on the right path through existence. Nobody else's art is as useful to me as my own, because if I do a honest job of it I can look at it again years down the line and it's still relevant, still urges me in the right directions and it still makes me feel and remember. I can't ask more from art, much less my own.

Following this line of thinking, the creepiest thing about this comic is the super-ego/id merge going on. If I use my comics as chambers for self-betterment some times, what does it mean to meet this... thing, in my dream, and to have it tell me this unsettling declaration? I have interpreted this dream in many ways since I made the comic and I will spare you because nothing is more tedious than people explaining their own dreams. Recounting them is fine if they're interesting, explaining is another. My hope of future understanding what it meant is captured through the harrowing bottom four panels where the dreamspace Helm 'remembers' what id-machine wants him to remember. At the time this seemed more like an excuse to draw the pretty pictures, but for me nowdays that part is the most courageous of the comic. Dream of death, yet awake, that sort of thing. The carved out spot has been filled with different names in the last 2 years.

The further choices made in the comic stem from this remembrance and understanding. We will talk about that tomorrow.

Oh, yes, the second reason for the tear in the page was this: I wanted the actual artifact on show, the pieces of paper on which the comic is made, to accentuate their role as artifacts, I wanted a harsh metaphysical break from the story so the reader would be shocked out of narrative. I wanted him to be curious and I wanted him to be reminded that that is a piece of paper with lines of ink on it, what is behind of it? Why would someone do that? What is he missing and what is the reader reading missing? That sort of thing.

The funny byproduct of my doing so is that when I delivered the piece in an envelope to the Babel people, a week later a person in mid-panic called me to tell me that my art has been damaged. When I let him know that I did that and it was intentional, he let out this huge sigh of relief. In a way this was the most feedback I got for these artistic choices because as far as I can tell nobody that saw or read the comic decided to let me know how that little gimmick worked for them while I was on the festival.

Tomorrow this story ends.



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Enter Vast Dominions, Welcome to My Dream (part the second)

Carrying on, page 3. As it happened in the dream.

I think I saw the wide mouth grin in my sleep because in conversation with Blazej Dzikowski some years ago he had conveyed to me this scene I think from an amateur and/or small budget horror film where this man falls asleep and finds himself in strange positions when he comes to. So he films himself while he's sleepwalking, and one of the things his body does is look to the mirror and make the sort of grin that a face would make if they didn't know, or care, what humans use their faces to convey emotionally. I haven't seen the film but I guess the startling part of that description stayed with me because that's what I saw in the dream and what I tried to capture in the drawing.

I don't know why my dreamself thought that if he averted his gaze and then looked again the other would have disappeared. Dream logic. He tries a slightly more direct attempt later on in the comic. Two pages left.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Enter Vast Dominions, Welcome to My Dream (part the first)

Sorry for the pompous post title, I enjoyed the synchronicity of listening to Savior Machine while writing this post. Perhaps you could listen to them while you read it also, wouldn't that be nice? We are not the same person and we will never know the inside of another but here, let's pretend!

This is material made originally for the 2006 Babel comic art festival here in Greece. This is an annual festival organized by the people who put out the same-named comic magazine. Both the festival and the magazine enjoy a rich history and culture and they've been absolutely fundamental at increasing awareness of 'comics for adults' in Greece. It was the first time I was asked to participate and participate I did. The theme for the show was 'Dream, Perhaps?' (a reference in a collected work by M. Manara when we was still making amazing, beautiful, insightful pieces of art and not just ass comics). My entry is emphatically a dream (as stated in the introductory page). I took a few liberties which I'll discuss further on, but on the whole the dream experience is unaltered.

Exactly because this is a dream, there are some visual language tricks that I try to recur a lot so they become familiar though always odd and (hopefully) unsettling, what with the squiggly lines that signify beat pauses... and also I am trying to make the textual elements become textural as well, much like G.P.Russell, whom I respect very much (check how in the first panel they obey perspective). Also the hard black line for the stare at the last panel.

I've been discreetly placing these curvy lines in so many comics of mine since we put out the 'Free Your Line' magazine (on the third issue of which I also put this story) as a bit of an inward homage. The name of the fanzine might have come to us as a jest but I tried to take it as a lateral concept, the idea that one 'frees his line', that he doesn't define his work by the standard of others. I place the squiggly line a lot by my signature even when I'm not using it as a visual language piece as a little respect to that circle of friends and what they mean to me.

When this went to the festival some snide comments by other artists were conveyed to me about the quality of the paper I had used. You cannot see here but the original (which I gave to the show as opposed to photocopies) was inked on very cheap paper with the result of the big black border in the intro page - which was hand-inked, there's no floodfill bucket in real life, as sadly, there's no undo - had visibly 'scarred' the paper. The black in places and was generally not completely opaque, the handwork was visible. In the version you are looking at of course I have ran sharp Levels in photoshop so the black is black black, but this is not because I agreed with these comments and was ashamed by the paper or the 'hand-doodled' effect. I believe a piece for a festival should be shown in the format it was made, imperfections and all, it's not just a comic story to be read, it's an artifact to be examined. The Idea Space comic can wait for when it's publicised in print, I see no reason to pretty up the original when I'm showing the original, nor do I really see the reason to buy fancy expensive paper for work that'll be harshly thresholded for final print anyway. What, will better paper make the comic better? That sort of 'professionalism' makes me wary of professionals. The sort of people that keep their doodles and serious work alike in perfect carefully plasticized folders named after each month of each year. Just make the thing and it's done, it's made, you can move on.

Oh well! I will return with page 3 (of 5) in a couple of days.

Also, it is now 2009. I have made some resolutions of my own that aren't very easy to explain... it's perhaps because I don't usually make resolutions that when I've decided to do so they became quite involved and multi-layered... the gist of it is that I'm leaving behind the shames that I've got left, slowly but surely. I will try to stand more bare until I am naked, slowly but surely. I will take what I desire because this life is mine and I owe no shame to anyone man or institution or belief. That sort of thing, it might sound abstract and distant but it's not, it has to do with every single day that'll come. It'll be interesting therefore, this year, the 25th year of my life. I can't tell if it will be a good year for it but I can hope. I hope for me and I hope for you.

We could obviously not start then in any other way than with a short story about what makes simple things worth it, by a suspiciously monosyllabic faux-prehistoric giant bird.