"The seat belt is a little tight. Also, it chokes me."

“The seat belt is a little tight. Also, it chokes me.”

"The seat belt is a little tight. Also, it chokes me."

by Carla Speed McNeil

My first sketchbook is themed “Dissatisfied With the Vehicle”. All the quotes are from dissatisfied car owners, copied from transcripts of telephone conversations that crossed my desktop during a 1999 stint as a proofreading/data entry temp in a market research firm.

This particular drawing comes from Carla Speed McNeil, creator of the acclaimed science fiction comic book series Finder. Check out her purty new website, courtesy of Dark Horse: www.findercomics.com.

How to start a theme sketchbook, the Suzanne way

  1. Start with a collection of evocative phrases (or quotations, names, titles, etc.) based on a theme. This is usually  just a matter of noticing things as you go about your everyday life. The world is full of lists. Find a list, pick out the items that best lend themselves to artistic interpretation, and make that your list.
  2. Get a blank sketchbook. Write one of these phrases at the top of each page.
  3. Go to places where cartoonists (or really, any people who like to draw) gather. Comic conventions, for example. Get some of these people to pick a page in your sketchbook and sketch something based on the words at the top of the page.
  4. The more sketches you get, the more people will want to look at your book and/or add their own sketches. Makes a great icebreaker!

Sketch + Comedy

The completed jam described in the NPR piece.

This past winter, I was interviewed for a radio segment on NPR about the monthly comic jam nights at Green Brain Comics.

I’ve participated in countless jams over the years. I just really like doing them, and I’m fortunate to know so many cartoonishly inclined peers who will pick up a pen and jam with me; any time, any place.

I was in my twenties before I ever visited a comic book shop. I preferred TV to comics when I was a kid. My big childhood dream was to join an improv troupe or sketch comedy ensemble. I prepared for this by trying out for every school play. Whenever I flunked an audition, I’d mope around the theatre until someone gave me something to do. This typically ended up involving laying out program booklets or designing posters. Ultimately, I failed enough auditions to become a professional graphic designer.

Eventually, it clicked that I didn’t have to go onstage to do comedy, I could draw comics instead. Jam comics satisfy my desire to improvise within a group of funny people. The gang of regulars turn out for jam night each month is an improv troupe of sorts. We just draw instead of act.

Which is not to say I won’t act, when offered the chance.

The Inblogurator MMX1

Ball Point Bots: The Inblogurator MMX1

The Inblogurator MMX1
In the past, I’ve put my “Ball Point” pieces up on the “Fun” page of this site. Bots has existed as a printed minicomic since last Summer, but still haven’t added it here. I’m going to blog it instead, page by page, so it’s less of a chore for me (and you too, if you consider scrolling down a chore).
Say hello to the Inblogurator MMX1. It didn’t have a name in the hard copy comic (needed space for the title), so now you know something that people who own the comic don’t know.