Saturday, October 29, 2011

Best. Video. Ever.

Friend O'The Blog Jim O'Kane and his Captain Girlfriend (I don't know if we're supposed to be coy about her identity, so let's just call her "Nancy") not only spent part of their day visiting the LitGraphic exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum (per my previous post), they shot and edited a 10-minute video about their trip. This made my month! Take a look and we'll talk on the other side . . .

So cool! With production values and music and everything! Some random reactions:

FiesFest! I want the t-shirt! Of course, every day is FiesFest around here . . . Just ask Karen. Who says "Hi" back to Nancy, BTW.

I was unexpectedly moved to see my pictures again. I hadn't really anticipated any reaction at all, but they made me happy and a bit wistful. Peeking in on old friends who are doing well.

The portion of the video in which the Fitchburg folks evidently set up part of the exhibition to look like a child's bedroom threw me a little. For a moment I didn't know if I was looking at Jim's or Nancy's bedroom or what. It's a unique approach to the material (nothing like it at the Rockwell or in Toledo) that I'm not sure I get. The art itself makes the point that comics aren't just for kids. But it looks fun.

I enjoyed Jim's interview with the intern. Good questions, interesting answers. I can just imagine the packed truck rolling up to the Fitchburg Museum's loading dock. I told the story of sending my pages to the Norman Rockwell Museum in the first place: I figured I'd FedEx them, certainly with a bit of insurance and so forth, but no big deal. Instead, the museum dispatched a specialized 18-wheel environment-controlled art-transport truck to my little residential court, and two guys sat on my living room floor and custom-built a padded portfolio out of foam-core board for each page. Sealed, wrapped, strapped, crated and chain-of-custodied. I learned a lot about the difference between Comic World and Art World that day.

Nancy and Jim wondered what was under some of my originals' pasted-on lettering. If I recall right, the answer is sloppier lettering. The larger point is that the types of corrections they noticed in my work and others'--the pencil marks, white-out, paste-overs, erasures, do-overs, slices and slashes that I cherish seeing in original comic art--are really becoming a thing of the past. Photoshop killed them. Even in my work: I still pencil and ink on paper, and don't ever expect to change, but all my lettering, editing and corrections are done digitally now. The productivity gains are large but it's good to remember they come at a cost. Comic art will not look like the pages hanging in Fitchburg for very much longer.

It looks like the Fitchburg really had the space to spread out and show all the work to good advantage. It's hard to tell from the video, but my impression is that they had more physical space than either the Rockwell or Toledo museums (I didn't attend or see any photos from the Michener Museum exhibition). That's nice. And there's definitely something about bold, saturated wall colors that sets off black-and-white line art very nicely. I'll have to remember that if/when I get around to painting my office. (Next year, it's always "next year.")

Today was 75 (24C) and sunny where I live. I just wanted to say that in case it's snowing where you live. Fitchburg.

Jim, Nancy, thanks so much for your time and effort. Karen and I enjoyed that a lot. I'm glad LitGraphic was worth the trip.


ronnie said...

That's a really large, impressive display!

Fun video too. :)

Jim O'Kane said...

Brian, glad your show turned up in Fitchburg because until your post, Nancy and I had no idea that town had an art museum. Not only did they exhibit your traveling show, but they also had quite an impressive collection of Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, and Greek art. Definitely will return (when the weather gets better) to examine more of their collection.

Do you have a tour schedule for where your art shows up next? The curator-intern didn't know what the itinerary was for future destinations.

Brian Fies said...

It sounds like a terrific museum, glad I accidentally led you to it.

I don't know the itinerary; I just rely on my name popping up on a Google Alert to let me know what's going on. I'd have to check my paperwork, but I thought the exhibition was supposed to be done and all the artwork returned by now (not that I mind), so I wouldn't be surprised if Fitchburg were its last stop. But I just don't know. If I hear anything I'll raise the alarm.

Thanks again for the video. It's pretty great.