Monday, July 10, 2017
Ever since my old Alex Doonesbury piece, I've always wanted to draw my newspaper comic inspirations, so here is Luann DeGroot from Luann, by Greg Evans. I actually got to meet Greg Evans on a couple of occasions. I remember thinking he looks like his drawing style, love it when that happens.
Luann is one of my earliest, most definitive influences, which I've written briefly about in the past. And in fact, I even remember talking about and drawing Luann during my interview to get into Yale (which I did, so make of that what you will). This comic's effect was so great, it is probably the main reason I began to gravitate towards female-centric stories, because I dunno, these stories just felt like they mattered more.
Maybe it's because it feels like stories about guys are a given, so stories about females just feel more naturally original or cool or fresh. OH! Wow, I think I just had a breakthrough--because DBZ had macho manz and explosions constantly, that probably expended all of any "cool factor" such dudely tales could have, which coincidentally is why to this day I can't take movie trailers seriously when there's a cool guy walking away ever so obliviously from an explosion and snapping off a sick one-liner, bro. It's just done at this point. It was done in 6th grade.
To be fair, since I make images myself, live-action film works (movies, photography, etc.) feel so ridiculously artificial, I can't turn off the awareness of how fabricated these things are--how they are engineered to make the viewer think, "woah, that guy sure is tough and cool and not a millionaire actor with a stunt double." So I'm sure that's part of it, but I definitely remember not buying hype as early as high school unless it was for an animated movie. Yes, animation is the epitome of artificiality in image-making, but the difference is it can't pretend not to be--with photography-based arts, it's like super-duper slick lipstick on a pig in a beauty pageant. Animation is fluent pig-Latin, and photography is broken English.
Film-based works have to do their best to convince you the images are real because they tangentially are by virtue of the things in the work being actual, mass-having things. Drawn arts don't have that crutch so it's understood it's artificial from the get-go, and they aren't trying to hide this. Thus with animation, you can readily, completely suspend your disbelief and engage in the work, meanwhile with photography, you constantly think, That guy maybe just ate a burrito on his break before shooting this; or, I wonder if that dude on screen right now had an annoying conversation the other day; or, Does this guy ever feel genuine excitement when he opens a Christmas present?
Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, Luann, illustration. Yes. Now, since I gave Alex Doonesbury a more complete illustration, I do feel like I ought to do something as much for Luann. Here's the real backstage dope: this drawing started as a sketch of Vicky V, for National Sunglasses Day, but I decided to switch it over to Luann after the construction phase. So I fear this may only be partial credit for Luann fan art.
This is what the original sketch looked like on the daily sites, but I gussied it up for today's post. Something new I tried in the final was ghosting in an old landscape as background texture, but the main idea was to use good old Oakland A's colors since Luann's hair is yellow. It was also a mild study of old Kr0nPr1nz illustrations. This peculiar shirt was taken from an old frame, but I would have gone with something different, myself. One challenging thing was to make her happy because I was in such a lousy mood when I drew this, but that's not her character. Neither is "super cool," so the sunglasses didn't quite feel right. But that meant I got to go for more of her wide, sleepy eyes! I always liked how chilled-out she seemed.