c.1982? | age 14? Borrrr-ring. A bit like today’s page. Better drawing—but boring. As you’ll know, if you’ve been reading these blogs, I get more of a kick and tickle out of the oldest, most poorly-drawn ones. So we’re doing penance today: you get the rough with the smooth, at SWa9.

“Were sending a SQUADUP”

Art Notes & More Literary Appreciationment

I think this is from around 1982. I can’t understand why I didn’t even bother to finish drawing Solo in the top-right panel. I was probably impatient to get to some more BLASTING! Here’s my modern take on the dialogue in this old page:

“What is your operating?!?”
“Eh? You’re not making sense! My operating—what?
“We’re sending a SQUADUP!”

“Great, very helpful. Now you’ve completely lost me. What the hell’s a squadup?”

Film Notes

In the film, Harrison Ford—almost absentmindedly—mutters, “It was a boring conversation anyway…” and then snaps out of it, turning to shout in a very gruff growl, “Luke – we got company!”

It’d be interesting to know how much is Ford’s invention and how much is Lucas‘. Even if George did write it word for word, it’s the change in tone, indeed the entire rapid change in attitude that makes it. Carrie Fisher says “Harrison used to rewrite a lot of his lines” and wishes that she’d had the clout to do it too. But she concedes that her character was a pretty serious minded one anyway. I remember being surprised around 1997 to hear that he was acting in a comedy—the pirate/desert island one—with Ann Heche; especially after my wife Gabby noted how “he’s so boring in interviews“. But he was made for comedy. Light comedy admittedly, but he showed his comic flair in Star Wars and the Indiana Jones films. I swear, sometimes he used to remind me of Oliver Hardy especially when the pugnacious bald German gives him a bloody nose in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

But lots of performers—even funny ones—are boring in interviews and off-camera. Apparently Steve Martin’s really dull on set; Gary Cooper used to wander off and fall asleep in between shots and John Cleese and Stephen Fry suffer from depression—as do many comedians. Spike Milligan, during one attack of mania, tried to kill Peter Sellers—with a potato peeler. Yes, you heard me. Gary Cooper though, Hmmm. Ford is a little bit like him in some ways.

Wandering a bit today eh? It mustn’t be a great comic page at all—so it’ll need an extra push! Why not give it a share or two? That’s what really spreads the word about creative works online these days: social media shares.

P.S: I gave another Comics Lecture today!

I gave another one of my talks about comics and webcomics at Ballyfermot Senior College today in Dublin, to their Illustration Students. I enjoyed it, despite this bug that I seemed to have caught. Funnily enough, I felt great driving there and giving the talk, but I’ve crashed now. Perhaps I was running on adrenaline for a few hours?

I talked about by own life-story with comics right up to my grown-up comics, including Between * Wars and after a break, spent another hour discussing my own working methods and touched on those of other artists. We took a look at tools and materials, and the options available for publishing them online.

soldier 76, by Irish Artist Karl O'Rowe

A touch of Kirby, by Irish Artist Karl O’Rowe

I gave them an opportunity to leave at 1pm for lunch, but there was no rush for the door, so it must have been OK.

Many thanks to Miriam Van Gelderen—head of Animation—for inviting me there to talk again, and to the students: Especially the nice chap who assisted me with the AV gear and especially-especially Karl O’Rowe, a talented artist who gifted me a copy of his self-published comic ‘Masters of Lunacy’ which he himself wrote and illustrated. It looks very good and professional, Karl. And I’m really looking forward to reading it tonight.