Saturday, September 12, 2009

beanbots #13

All my life I've doodled little cartoons of funny things that happened around me. I generally whip them out in pencil or pen, on a post-it or cocktail napkin or whatever's handy, just to get a laugh out of whoever's standing there at the time. Half the time it's just for my own amusement, frankly, and once I've jotted a few lines that capture the idea, I put it down and foget all about it.

This strip is my first concerted effort to take those funny ideas and execute them in finished form. It works like this: my kids will do something funny, and at the first opportunity I'll doodle a strip that would look incomprehensible to anyone but me-- just little squiggles to indicate the key gestures, facial expressions, lines of dialogue. I might get a laugh out of it when I doodle it, or later when I'm flipping through my stack of "scripts" deciding which one to draw.

Which is good, because once I've started drawing it for real it will never ever seem funny to me ever again. Once I'm a little way in I have no idea what I ever found amusing in it, or what comic strips are for, or whether I should even be allowed to own and operate a pencil. It's only because I've made a commitment to the other members of Act-I-Vate that I can force myself not to tear it up, lest some unsuspecting web trawler stumbles across the thing and has their time wasted.

It makes me think a lot about what it must be like to be say, a Judd Apatow, someone who writes and directs comedy movies. Imagine spending several years of your life, utilizing millions of dollars and the talents of hundreds of people, fighting a million battles a day small and large, and then spending another eternity re-watching every second of it over and over in some editing bay. All just to express an idea that you thought was funny over a cup of coffee who-the-hell-can-remember when. It must feel like going insane. I don't know how anyone does it.

Well, with that said, enjoy the strip. I know I won't.

Click image for full strip.

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