Nuance

While I’m not what you’d call prolific, of the things I’ve done recently, this is the one of which I’m most proud:

And I’m not entirely sure I can explain why – it’s just one of those occasions when a thing works exactly the way you wanted it to; all the details are right (and in something that brief, it’s pretty much all details anyway). In some cases, I knew what I was doing – that little shing sound when I pick up the knife? That came from a different take where I fumbled it against the sofa while I was trying to pick it up, but I liked it so much that I extracted it from that clip’s soundtrack and added it into the final take. But for the most part I just got it right without really knowing what I was doing. The timing of snapping of the book shut and tossing it aside is just right, and to be honest I wasn’t even aware I’d done it while I was shooting.

…a massive wank on my part.

I’m aware I’m basically praising my own acting ability here, but the point is I didn’t really have an idea of how it was going to turn out – I just did what felt right and it worked out. What was in my head ended up being reflected almost perfectly in reality, which barely ever happens for me (for anyone?). It’s not so much “I love it when a plan comes together” as “I love it when the half-conceived collection of attempts I throw together results in a level of quality I had no right to expect”.

Here’s another one: Before Monkey Fluids, the only other thing I’d done to garner any kind of real acclaim* was Mr. Fuckin’ Stupid, a comic I did for Craccum, the Auckland University student magazine. My pretensions of being a cartoonist have always been hampered by not actually being able to draw, but I compensate by keeping things minimal, and trying to get right those little details that I can manage. Again, most of the time my amateurish talents weren’t enough to achieve even this, but every now and then the stars would align. This strip contains a single panel that I’m inordinately proud of:

MrFS_panel

This one’s even more vague, but the expressions on both of their faces manage to convey (for me, at least) exactly the emotions I was going for. Again, it largely happened by happy accident – for the vampire, I’m pretty sure most of it is due to the fact that the inking went a little wonky when I did his fangs.

I’m pretty sure there’s a point to this other than reminiscing about how accidentally awesome I’ve been in the past, and I think it’s something to do with looking for joy in the little things, and how good things can happen when you’re not expecting them, so, you know, get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’, man. Life’s a garden, dig it? No, that’s not working – let’s just assume this whole post was a massive wank on my part. And you all just watched.

*Defined as “people I’ve never met have heard of me”. Having my Monkey Fluids T-shirt recognised by the woman behind the counter in a supermarket in Warkworth, whose boyfriend was apparently a fan, may just be the high point of my life so far. Which is, frankly, horrifying.

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