Warning: if you are offended by anything about the Devil - skip this post!  (It's not that bad, really).

Backing up a few hours... we started the day with a Scavenger Hunt. It was a beautiful day to be outside, so this was quite fun. We took turns drawing a card with a direction (i.e.: West, Up, Left, etc.) and a card with a color or shape. Then that person led the group in the direction until they found an object that could be interpreted as being that color or shape. When we ran out of cards, we stood and observed and sketched the final object/location, then presented our findings back in the classroom. Weirdly... both teams ended in the same location!

Our final location was at a granite pillar meant to protect pedestrians from stray cars coming up on the sidewalk. The other team ended at the railroad crossing signs right next to our pillar. The whole thing was completely random, so very weird indeed. The point was to get us out of our daily "corridor" (or rut), through randomness, and to pay attention to the environment around us.

Our next assignment that stems from this exercise is to do a four page comic book using three random things we selected... randomly... from a reference book. These are very pale sketches of my three objects...

I was completely baffled how I would turn these three letters into a story until my little art director Facetimed me. As I was explaining the predicament, she started spouting ideas!

"The A is a cheese so there's this little mouse who..."

Yes! Yes! I have to start drawing that before I forget it. She's brilliant. Thanks, Lilah.

She also helped me come up with the idea and characters for the final project of the semester. The class was split into two groups to work on a comics anthology. We had to come up with a theme that everyone could agree on (maybe the hardest part!), draw 8 pages of comics each, design, layout, screen print, assemble... etc. at least 20 books (with 68 pages!) by December 9th. And yes, there will still be other homework assignments on top of that.

Our group had started with the theme of the "Devil's Advocate" but it kept shifting and devil-advocating for a week!

We had a bunch of meetings, did research...

Sara finally came up with a great phrase to use for our title "Speak of the Devil" - since all our stories mention the devil in some way and we needed to tie them all together. Our teacher had warned us not to use any commonly associated "devil" imagery on the cover as it would skew the reader's perspective towards certain stories and make the others seem out of place. An anthology must make everything belong in the volume. Somehow.

The quote actually says, "Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear" - kind of like Voldemort (Harry Potter) - "He who must not be named."

I had an idea for the cover that made good use of the quote and wouldn't need any graphics or patterns and could be used within the book on the title pages too. So I made a mock-up (very late last night)...

"Speak of the Devil" will be silkscreened, with white ink, on black paper. And then "And he shall appear" will be screened in clear, glossy ink, so you only see it when you tilt the book and the light makes it "appear". Cool, right!?

I was also up late doing the regular homework. My lettering homework was to use my story (for the anthology), lettered as I planned to do in my comic. But I didn't have an actual story yet! I was panicking, in texts to my new fireman guy, and he started texting back parts of the story! So I took parts of those texts, (it needs editing, I know!) and lettered them...

Tonight I gave Lilah the assignment of figuring out how we wanted to end the story. Total chaos, or happy, or with a friend... zombies or no?

Not only is the Anthology a collaboration, but my own comic is turning out to be a collaboration as well.

Lilah had also done some great sketches of what she thought the characters should look like and I drew them in my own style. In class this afternoon, we worked on creating model sheets for one of the characters. I did the Little Devil. I'd been having a hard time with his satyr legs, but Steve (teacher) explained how goat legs don't actually bend backwards. If you can see the faint sketch in the background (in blue) - the hip is where you expect, then the knee and the ankle - but the goat is actually walking on it's tippy toes!

In this drawing, LD is flat footed and looks weird...

In the Model Sheet (on graph paper), I've redrawn his legs to be like a goat's.

Lilah was disappointed when I showed them to her. She thought her Little Devils looked much better. Ah well. She's probably right, but I have to do my own homework in the end. Ten more years and she can enroll here and show me "how it's done"!