It was a pleasure to do some artwork once again for FOGcon, the SF Bay Area literary science fiction & fantasy convention. This year’s theme is “the traveler”, with special guests Kim Stanley Robinson, Catherynne M. Valente, and (from beyond) Joanna Russ. Click for excessively detailed larger size.
Recently at a comics hangout in Oakland, I took out some mostly crappy newspaper comics and got everyone to play an improv/constraint comics game that the previous incarnation of that group used to do a lot. Its original inventors in Oubapo called it “Double Blind”, but thanks to the efforts of Jason Martin and Leo Puppytime it’s become known on the West Coast as SEXY POST OFFICE. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation of it currently online, so now here is one.
1. Get two people.
2. Get an existing newspaper comic strip, or something short and simple like that.
3. Person A looks at the comic, and makes up alternate text for all the word balloons and captions.
4. Person B looks at the original text (not what Person A did) and draws a different comic to go with that text— leaving spaces for the word balloons.
5. Person B now adds Person A’s text into the new comic. Non-sequitur enlightment ensues.
The big challenge here— besides allowing other people to see something you wrote or drew in a big sloppy hurry— is giving up control over something clever you did on purpose. You get the best results if you try to make a satisfying comic out of half the original and half your own work… but the thing you made is never what you actually end up with, and if it’s funny, it’s probably not funny in the way you had in mind (e.g. the now incomprehensible sight gag in the last panel below). There’s a lesson there, I guess.
Here are some earlier ones I helped with. Also some pretty good ones from the Gridlords crew in Portland— I notice that they seem to think the rules of the game should be guarded from the general public, so as to “keep it a tradition only spread among hangouts on hot summer nights,” so I hope I don’t get assassinated in some Freemason style for writing this down.
click for larger size
I had the honor of doing this promotional art for FOGcon, the Bay Area science fiction & fantasy convention that’ll be in Walnut Creek this spring. The theme this year is Secrets; hence the special guests this year are Seanan McGuire, Tim Powers, and (from beyond) James Tiptree, Jr.– not all of whom are depicted here, exactly. Click for larger size.
I wouldn’t say I learned how to use scratchboard yet, but I’m enjoying trying.