Wednesday, April 21, 2010

David Wastes Paper on Me

"David Wasting Paper" is a blog by a self-described geek who asks cartoonists both famous and obscure the same set of questions and then posts their answers. The list of respondents is impressive, including Bill Griffith, Dan Piraro, Rick Geary, Bob Staake, Tom Richmond, Shary Flenniken, Ann Telnaes, and 105 others before he got around to me.

If you want to know whether I have any pre-drawing rituals, what I collect, which animated cartoon character I'd be, or my advice to someone interested in a cartooning career, here you go! Many thanks to David for the fun questions and the opportunity to be Number 113.


Jim O'Kane said...

Brian, he missed one I'd ask: what's the biggest - I'm not sure if it's called a "typo" - - the biggest drawing "regret" you've had slip past you into a production item? I don't mean like spelling or text, I mean something in a line drawing where every time you look at the page it jumps out at you and you want to redraw it?

Brian Fies said...

My only real nagging regret is the mistake you caught, where I wrote that 27 men had been to the Moon, forgetting that Lovell, Young and Cernan went twice. If I had a time machine (or we ever put out a new edition or softcover), that's the one thing I'd fix. That one hurts.

In terms of drawing, there are spots it pains me to look at but nothing I think of as a real bungle. Drawing is problem solving--figuring out how best to capture the moment or convey the action--and how I solved a problem yesterday (or last year) may not be how I'd solve it today. But I stand by my solutions as I made them at the time. No significant production errors come to mind.

Much of "Mom's Cancer" was drawn quickly and less skillfully than I'm capable of, and if I'd had all the time in the world it would look very different . . . but that's part of what it is. I *didn't* have time to linger over pretty pictures. Its harried flaws (to my eye) are part of its message.

In WHTTWOT, there are a few bits of art I'd touch up--in fact, I did when we published the German edition. No major redraws, nothing anyone would notice. I just thumbed through the book now to see if anything jumped out at me and nothing did. For better or worse, it's the best drawing I was capable of at the time.

That said, with every project you learn new things to try next time or, conversely, things you never want to try again. My future work will reflect those lessons learned.

Jim O'Kane said...

Brian -

Okay, now I feel terrible! Hopefully the next printing will allow for numerical changes and all us first edition folks will have "the rare errata edition."