The more I think about creating things with short-term goals, the more I find myself interested in reading things that fall on the more DIY side of publishing: blogs, webcomics, and, most recently, zines. Drawn and Quarterly is a publisher I’ve never heard of before, though in looking through their catalogue I realized that several of their books have been on my to-read list, especially First Year Healthy,which D&Q describes as:
“the story of a young woman, recently released from the hospital after an outburst, and her burgeoning relationship with an odd, perhaps criminal Turkish immigrant. In a scant forty-five pages, working with a vibrant, otherworldly palette of magentas, yellows, and grays, Michael DeForge brings to life a world whose shifting realities are as treacherous as the thin ice its narrator walks on. First Year Healthy is all it appears to be and more: a parable about mental illness, a folktale about magical cats, and a bizarre, compelling story about relationships.”
That art tho. Wowza. So gorgeous.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
3. Conventional (short film by Karen Gillan)
I actually saw this about a month ago and wrote it down to be in one of these posts, but then forgot about it. That was probably my brain trying to save me from the soul-crushing misery that is this story. For those in the dark, Karen Gillan played my very favorite companion Amy Pond on Doctor Who, and is also in a bunch of other stuff I didn’t like as much (Guardians of the Galaxy, and the truly terrible Selfie.) She wrote, directed, and stars in this short film about a horror film actress whose fame has fizzled out, and who now makes (very little) money doing appearances at conventions. It’s slow-burning and horrifying. It’s beautifully shot. It will make you think deeply and then feel really icky about the price of fame, what it’s like after your 15 minutes are up, and attention addiction. It’s great, and I’m hoping Karen Gillan makes more stuff. Also I hope I can get this film out of my head now that I’ve remembered it because wow. Nightmares.
4. Because I’ve been thinking about writing graphic novels recently, these “behind the scenes” looks from some of my favorite illustrators’ books are INCREDIBLE. (Also, Fran is my favity fav forever. I love her illustration style, I CAN’T WAIT for the English version of her book to be released!)
I also love this post, about the artist’s behind-the-scenes process: http://verabee.com/2011/06/process/
5. Old stuff, Made New.
But I also love this adaptation of Hamlet. And as I said on Facebook (the embodiment of “old stuff” made… well… I’m waiting for Facebook to make itself new. But yeah):
a) This is the best 3 hours I’ve spent in a while.
b) Oh. How I wish for a BBC Sherlock/Hamlet crossover.
Horatio: “Before my God, I might not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of mine own eyes.”
Sherlock: “Horatio, don’t talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the whole street.”
WATCH IT. SERIOUSLY IT’S EXCELLENT. NEED OTHER REASONS? UHHHH The 10th Doctor/Killgrave (of Jessica Jones infamy) plays Hamlet. Sir Patrick Stewart (oh, you know, only CAPTAIN MOTHEREFFING PICARD and Professor X) plays Cladius. And if you need other reasons? I don’t even know you. Exit (Hamlet, I,2,480.)