a comic phenomenon


It happened.

I made a cartoon.

A real cartoon with panels and speech bubbles and everything. (Click to make it readable.)

It's only a page long, because that's all the cartoon-making I can stomach. Seriously. I hate making comics and cartoons. Hate it. It's tedious and dull and completely unfulfilling. I like to write and I like to make images, but I don't like to do both at the same time.

Part of the reason was that was I was younger, I was somewhat pigeonholed into being someone who made cartoons exclusively. To the point that people seemed to get annoyed when I expressed interest in doing any other forms of art. You know, because to admit anything other than entirely predictable behavior is hard for some high-schoolers. In fact, I've been told by one particularly silly human being that I "should really stick to cartoons." Needless to say, I didn't take this brilliant advice. It should be also mentioned that this person was not a terribly good artist and was troubled by the fact that anyone might be better than she. It should also be said that this person asked the school librarian what anal beads were.

But there are times when I feel the need to cartoon. It's good, cheap, dirty fun. It's like smoking cigarettes or doing Jell-O shots or making out with strangers. It's not good for you in any way, and you'll feel cheapened afterward, but damn if it isn't fun.

Enter Duck Vs. Cactus.

Duck Vs. Cactus was born on a dark night in a diner while waiting for a spinach-and-American-cheese omelet. There are 5 in total (I think) and they're all scribbled on the backs of placemats. It tells the (roughly put together, non-sequitur, surreal) narrative of the conflict between drug-using criminal lowlife Duck and shady, two-timing Cactus. On Duck's trail are cops Octopus and Triangle (Cactus is revealed in one episode to be on the police force while simultaneously being a strong presence in the underworld). Other episodes feature Duck's girlfriend, who is kind of a cross between a bird and a bowling pin, a gang of violent drug-running Goldfish crackers, and Wendy Williams. It all takes place in a desert. Duck has died several times and it doesn't really matter.

This is Duck Vs. Cactus #4, the shortest one. Because it's so short, I was able to clean it up and render it in ink pen and Sharpie on Bristol plate. It's tentatively titled "You Might Be Trippin' Balls." Because, well, that might be what's happening. This should probably have a continuation of sorts, but I haven't been to a diner in a long time and these only really manifest in diners.

I suppose this can actually tie in with my fascination with corrupt and decaying Americana. But this is less nostalgic and less informed by 19th and early 20th century images, and is more snarky and post-modern.

Or maybe I'm just trippin' balls.