Is it really so much to ask?
I think commenting on this much might be counterproductive, but I will give a warning: finding pictures of children praying as I drew this led to a truly stomach-churning tour of what Christians seem to consider cute and wholesome that I don’t recommend anyone else embark upon.
Don’t you hate it when another artist manages to tell your own life story better than you probably ever could? I saw 500 Days of Summer yesterday, and it’s basically the story of me and one of the guys I went out with recently. Making it all the more awkward was the fact that I happened to be seeing it with that guy, the two of us having chosen the movie basically because of the cast and commercials or whatever, and not really knowing what it was about beforehand. Early in the movie, my friend (We’re friends now) started laughing at some of the comments made by the main character and whispered that he reminded him of me a lot. By the time that the character was talking to the girl he was seeing in the film about how he wanted a title, and she was hesitant about the two of them being official and he was playing it off like he agreed with her and didn’t care, I was thinking that I should send the filmmakers a letter demanding royalties, because I remember very distinctly having written that dialog in conversation with the guy I was sitting next to, just a few months ago. I think the only scene in the movie that I haven’t experienced in some way yet is probably the last one, where he meets a new girl named Autumn, (The previous girl having been named Summer, hence the title of the movie) and we’re meant to believe that she is in fact his soul mate, or they were meant to get together, or something like that.
I go back and forth with myself about whether I am still expecting that last scene to play itself out for me but I do, in between my phases of whorishness, consider myself to be a romantic at heart. Anyway, It was a better movie than I expected and one of very few heterosexual romantic comedies that I’ve really felt an identification with. There are bits in a lot of Woody Allen movies that I can link up to scenes in my own personal drama, and I’m told (By an ex boyfriend who got very quiet and sullen upon watching the film with me), that I bear a strong resemblance to John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity. I’ve seen a lot of myself in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but that’s simply one of the best films ever made about relationships, and I think anybody who’s ever been broken up with and felt the experince very deeply will find that movie able to speak to them.
Sometimes I’m irritated with these things, sometimes not. Blood on the Tracks almost makes anybody writing about a breakup superfluous, because it says just about everything and says it better than you ever will. But I guess the point isn’t just to say it, but to say it in your own voice. To paraphrase Stanley Kubrick, every story’s been told, and it’s our job to tell it a little bit better. That’s intimidating too, though. It takes a lot of balls to say that you want to tell something better than Stanley Kubrick or Bob Dylan or Charlie Kaufman told it. So I’ll settle for the goal of telling it in my own way.
What all this has to do with the above picture is that I recently discovered the R. Crumb collection Gotta Have ‘Em, which is a compilation of his portraits and sketches of the women in his life. It’s arranged chronologically, and in the introduction he explains that he sees it as an autobiography of sorts, through his observations of the people in his life. The description struck me because, as people going to this website may have noticed, one of the things I’ve been working on recently is a collection of drawings of the guys that have played various roles in my life recently, and I’ve given a lot of thought to how these different series of comics and illustrations I’m doing can eventually be combined into a series of collections (The first one is planned to be called, Hot Mess) that would comprise a sort of, well, autobiography.
So, hey, should I be surprised that whatever I come up with, one of my heroes has probably already done something similar and grander? I guess it’s something you have to live with. Yep. But, like I was saying, I’ll just have to try to do it in my own way… And I’m pretty sure that R. Crumb wouldn’t really want to draw any of the boys that I’ve decided to draw, and if he did, I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t evoke the same feelings for him that they do for me. None of them, afterall, have giant butts or bird heads. So, with that overlong explanation, I’ll link to the actual purposed of this post: a new galley of my boy portraits on comicspace.com/rickworley .
I very rarely do drawings like this of people from life; I usually use photographs instead. When I have done guys from life before, their reaction usually hasn’t been all that enthusiastic. This time, though, the guy in question liked the drawing a lot, and I have to say that it wasn’t the worst time I’ve ever had drawing somebody. What happened after might have even been more fun, but I guess there’s little or no artistic purpose to me elaborating on it in this post.