Monday, February 21, 2011
In art, you're meant to be able to rewrite all the mistakes that you made in life. But the more I look back at Scary Go Round from a point of years' remove, the more I see the glaring mistakes that I made. They're not "ran over a granny on a zebra crossing" type mistakes, more the permanently documented evidence of missed opportunities and mis-steps.
There's definitely a point in Scary Go Round where I start writing the comic that I think people want, rather than the one that I wanted to write. Don't worry, I couldn't have written that comic at the time even if I'd wanted to. I didn't have the tools, some might say "chops", to do so.
The biggest hole, for me, was at the heart of Esther and The Boy's relationship. It's expressed in such vague terms. The average story was 45 pages long, which didn't leave a lot of room to get to the root of the matter. It's only since writing the new comic that I've begun to understand some of those older characters properly.
Part of the reason that I wanted Bad Machinery to be about kids, and slower, was that I could look at these things more closely. I love drawing nutty things, but it's the interpersonal stuff that interests me when I write, more now than ever.
I used to try to fit as many firecrackers as I could into a comic's dialogue, now I'm more concerned with what I can leave out while saying as much as possible. Does that make sense?
In art, you can always go back, but it's best to press on. Endless revision is the domain of the insecure. I did do a couple of little drawings while I was thinking about this though. Perhaps you can see them.