Far be it from me to promote another bald bespectacled cartoonist who isn’t our own dear DJ Bogtrotter, but I’d like to bring pbrainey to your attention. Yes, he’s only a friend of a friend (hi Neil) but he’s got a new book out that I quite like - The Book of Lists – and he’s signing copies at Borders in Milton Keynes this Saturday. Feel free to browse his website, which includes extracts, as well as a marathon blog on every 2000AD ‘prog’ from 1 to 1100 (he’s currently at 912.)
So what do I like about The Book of Lists? Well it’s witty, and the character drawing is whipsmart, but mostly it’s the discipline of it that grabs me. Basically, once he’d decided on what exactly the list would be he forced himself to draw a frame a day, regardless of inspiration, and, while the results may be a mixed bag, I think they give a more organic reflection of the creative process. The book somehow seems to be more him as a consequence.
It’s amazing what you can do when you give yourself no choice but to create. The lovely DJ Bogtrotter recently completed the 100 cartoons in a day challenge, and has blogged quite intelligently on how the sausage-factory approach impacted on his work. As his increasingly fatigued brain began to struggle with the artistic challenge it began to function differently, throwing up random, absurdist ideas he would never have consciously considered, and that were expressed in frames I wouldn’t otherwise have expected from him, such as:
The discipline in drawing is the same in writing, which is where I store my great faith in blogs. If a blog compels you to write regularly then it’s a good thing. If you have to force yourself to do it, even better. I think the very act of writing encourages an evolution in the brain so the more you write the better writer you’ll be – though not necessarily in a critical sense. You might never win any awards, or even be recognised by your peers in any shape or form, but you will become more efficient at capturing yourself. What you say may be the most pointless, puerile, derivative arsefeta ever to be shaped in pixels, but if you make yourself write over a period of months and years then what will emerge will be your voice.
The Book of Lists is pbrainey’s voice, and it’s a good ‘un.