Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Drawings

These are from a series of drawings that were done one at a time as I conceived them. It was my hope that eventually they would coalesce into some kind of unified story. But I've realized that they should remain simply as they are; individual pieces that merely give the illusion they are part of something larger. That's how they were originally intended to be, and I can't force something artificial onto them. So the mystery of exactly what they mean remains. Maybe it's better that way.

The general direction I want to go is toward a look that shows many traditional fantasy and comic-book influences, but is somewhat apart from the Kirby and Frazetta idiom that dominates so much of the work in the field today. I'm as big a fan as anybody, but I'm just not them, and I never will be, *sigh*. People have remarked at times on the design-y kind of flatness in my work (I like that "paper cutout" style"), and I'm thinking I could just run with that. Besides comics artists, I admire a lot of the contemporary children's book artists like Maurice Sendak and Leo and Dianne Dillon. I enjoy some of the underground comics artists too, like Robert Crumb and Charles Burns, but they frequently come across as really ANGRY in both style and subject matter.


Mr Goodson said...

I see Moebius and Virgil Finlay as well, Tom.

Leo and Diane Dillon, that's a great reference.

These are fantastic and I think the lack of story wouldn't hurt these as a publication. The format just becomes snapshots.

Hard to pick a fvorite. I guess being lost in thought and walking to the Moon is my favorite combo of visual and caption. The visuals are too good to pick a favorite.

rickart said...

What an incredible treat to see these! Tom, you have made something that is intriguing, enigmatic, funny, haunting and really really cool. When viewed in sequence they do give off the effect of telling some sort of story. There is also something of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com/harrisburdick.html) quality to them in that they invite the viewer to create his or her own story based on the text and image you present.

I see influences outside of comics in these, such as Magritte and Van Gogh, in there as well. Ultimately, though, what I see is your very unique and personal approach and subject matter. I can’t say enough nice things about what I see here! You inspire me! Thanks for sharing!

I’ve got some new ideas that have been cooking in my brain for a couple of months now… it looks like it’s time to start doing some drawings!

Mr Goodson said...

As Rick hints at the end of his comments about sketches to do , this is definitely an INSPIRING set of images.

Just got to work and had an email that The last of the Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston, passed away yesterday.


Tom Moon said...

Too bad, always sad when a legend dies and an era ends.

September 14, 2093 -
The last of the "Old Men of Video Game Animation", Ellis Goodson, died today trying to blow out the 140 candles on his birthday cake at a work party in his honor. "He was the ultimate 21st century artist," said friends and co-workers, "He could do anything and everything related to comics or video games." Many of his fellow artists spoke in awe of Goodson's mastery of "old school" methods. Said one young artist, "I used to watch him using this antique instrument called a 'pencil' to draw with. It was a thin stick of graphite surrounded by a sheath of wood and sharpened with a metal blade. He would then make marks on wood pulp pressed into sheets called 'paper'. It was wild!"

Mr Goodson said...

Tom, Ambrose Bierce just wrote to tell me there is no reason to expect I will die. But added I'd still never be able to draw like you. He's into irony.

Davis Chino said...

Tom, this is such a powerful post, with so much great art, and so many great thoughts that you've written in the accompanying text, that I've waited to comment until I have a good stretch of time--and that's sent this insultingly silent message! I apologize--I'm blown away by the quality AND quantity. These look very "ready-for-prime-time."

I hear what you're saying about the difficulty creating a complete book out of these without an accompanying "story" that strongly drives the reader from panel to panel. But it can be done, and the result will be awesome--and it will be published.

I will write more on this--there is so much to say! But right now I am crashing out. AND thank you very much for the birthday wishes--after a busy day, this old man is conked.

Tom Moon said...

Thanks everybody for the words of encouragement. I've learned a lot about productive work habits from doing these on a semi-regular basis. I seem to get a lot done at 2:00 in the moring when there are no distractions and my mind has freshly processed the events of the previous day. I may still do more drawings like these, but I'm trying to develop another approach, as this particular one may have run its course.

rickart said...

I've made 3 of these my desktop on my work computer to make me smile during the course of the day.

Again, thanks for sharing these... they are really fun to look at and reflect upon.