I had a great day! Brainstorming and drawing and laughing hysterically. Yep - pretty great in my book.

It's pouring rain, but I ran home so I could post all the stuff we learned today while I was still really excited. But I made the STOOPID mistake of opening the Lawyer Envelope first.  As Homer Simpson would say, "DOH!"

OK. It's a few hours later, and I have consumed most of this chocolate bar...

My hands and brain feel calmer (calm-omile tea helps too) - so I will start again.

Part of our homework for Cartoon Studio was to read Batman - Year One and One! Hundred! Demons! by Linda Barry.

We spent the morning talking about each book - they seemed rather unrelated, but it was interesting to see how the first person narratives were treated in each. Then we were given our first task...

We each picked two slips of paper, one with a personality trait, the other a job description - I got "tough" and "retail clerk". Then we filled in a two page questionnaire as if we were that character.

You don't need to read the actual notes, I just want you to be able to follow the process so you might try it on your own if you like.

Next, we were given a slip of paper with a situation - mine was "Everything is going wrong." And we had ten minutes to free write on that topic as the character. We had to keep our pens moving at all times.

Next, we had to pull out 6 sentences that stood out- action, thoughts, whatever.

Now - don't look ahead yet, wait for it!

We were given a blank strip with 6 boxes and told to put those sentences into the boxes in the style of Lynda Barry (one of the books we read - above) - that's a big block of text at the top of the box. And then lightly sketch in the action or image we thought belonged with that text. Seems reasonable, right?

Then - the teacher said, "OK, now substitute Batman for your main character."

!!!!!

Everyone groaned, but I think the comics were so much better with Batman!

Here is mine (Batman as a tough retail clerk having a really bad day!):

We put them up on the wall under a sign reading "One! Hundred! Batman!" And we laughed hysterically at poor Batman's unfortunate jobs. I mean, Batman as a telemarketer! Ha!

After lunch, Steve Bissette took it one better. He showed us how to create new monster/creatures out of thin air (practically) - and he taught us the value of model sheets. Model sheets are most often used in the animation industry to show how a character should be drawn, by sketching it out from different directions with notes on details like textures and colors. Here's what we did...

Steve handed out a ton of animal and insect books. When he rang the bell, we opened to a random page and drew either the head or tail of whatever creature was on the page. I had a hipposa (sp?) spider with it's golfball looking egg sack. When he rang the bell again, we handed our book to the next person and randomly opened the next book, drew the next quarter of our beast... I had a cobra. Then the next... I had a French trotter horse. And last part... the wings of a bee. Phew!

The parts didn't really fit well together, so we got to redraw our pieces to integrate them better into a new character.

And then we made a model sheet of our new character, showing the different sides and any important details. I named mine a "Cobriposa".

Then the BEST part! Steve mixed them up and we had to draw someone else's creature, in action, using the model sheet to guide us! When we finished, we got to critique the creatures drawn from our design and the artist critiqued the accuracy and helpfulness of the model sheet.

Here is the action shot I created for Kristen's creature. She had written "So Smudged, So sorry" or some such, at the bottom of the page, so I shortened it's name to "Sosmudged.' (wink)

Awesome, right?!
I wish I had the character sheet to show you and the amazing action drawing that was done of my creature - but we'll have those next week in class.

Now that I am feeling hyper again! I need to focus on sketching out an 8 page comic of Aesop's Fable - "The Birds, The Beasts, and the Bat."