Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Honors Thesis- Graphic Novel

So I'm in the middle of my senior year of college and working on my honors thesis. I'm combining my major and minor and doing a graphic novel. It's not the Frank Miller type graphic novel, but more "Persepolis". Marjane Satrapi is a literary goddess of mine. I'm also writing an intro/paper on it and my argument is that the graphic novel is outgrowing the term "genre." I mean, we have amazing graphic novels about everything from super heroes to small personal stories about growing up in the Midwest. How can that be one genre? I normally don't get hung up on labels, however I think lumping things together like that implicitly labels them as simple--something you can throw away in an all-purpose category.

Anyway, I met with my thesis director today, and it was a big help. He keeps me in check and motivated. I've been living in this work by myself for a long time, so it gets to the point where I forget I'll ever share it with anyone. When I get that it then make me look at what I've done and hate it to the point of torching it. However, have no fear, I won't be starting any fires. I'm feeling very invigorated.

Here are a few pages from my project. It's a collection of short stories about my childhood. these pages are from the story that depicts the time in preschool when a boy exposed himself to me. On the ride back, my mom asked me what I did that day and I'm told my word for word response was "a boy showed me his peanuts." So, here you go. All of my personal stories I chose to write up and illustrate, are the ones that I share over coffee with friends. They're the ones (whether they're big and dramatic or small and funny) that I tell people so they know me. So here you go, whoever you are out there--here's a little piece of me. If it brings up a memory for you, I encourage you to share. The top page is the first, so start there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Macbeth + Cosmo

Macbeth was the name of the game today in class. So many questions! Is it fate? Self-fulfilling prophecy? What does it mean to be a man in Macbeth? Unsexing? All valid and intereting points of discussion, though clearly, most readers of this play are left wondering "What would Macbeth reading the horoscope be like?" I think it would turn into a horrorscope, myself. Here's my Macbeth doodle.

We also got into the interesting topic of codpieces--a fashion wonder that has gone by the wayside for the most part. The male Wonderbra, yes? I'm not done musing on that. There just might have to be some sort of codpiece ad. Some would get up to two feet long! Jewel-encrusted, and decorated in a way to identify one's political or religious affiliations. People got pissy when Obama didn't have an American flag pin. Where was the outrage when he was lacking a codpiece covered in red, white, and blue rhinstones?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I've recently read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She's the same person who brought us "The Yellow Wallpaper" in case you're not familiar with the name. It's from 1915 and a great read. Three men come across a world inhabited only by women. Now you're probably thinking this story could only go two ways. 1) It's the intro to a bad porno. 2) It's a man-bashing, penis-hating, Y chromosome-loathing festival.

It's neither, so go read! Whenever I read something, I draw. The characters, settings, anything. This is what I've done here. It's from a moment early on in the book when the men, Van, Terry, and Jeff, are discussing what they think this world of women holds. I would like to point out that Motley Crue, the 80's metal band, and singers of "Girls, Girls, Girls" owe something to Gilman. Terry sees a world of "Girls and Girls and Girls," in Herland. Funny, right? So the next time you're at a party and someone says "There is absolutely no connection between 1980's hair metal and feminist literature of the early twentieth century," (which most likely, someone will-it's a pretty hot topic) you can pull out this little nugget of knowledge and wow people.
Terry turned out looking a little like Burt Reynolds or something. That kinda works.

Mission Statement

The mission of my blog, Doodle or Die, is to offer readers (if you're out there) amusement in my struggle to use my English major and my Art minor. Yes, when my parents asked, "What do you do with an English major? Should you have something else as a backup?" I was the kid who answered, "Oh don't you worry, mom and dad! I'm gonna get a minor in Art as well!"

Don't be mistaken, though (especially my fellow English/Arties) my heart beats in a painfully optimistic way despite my sardonic flashes--it's just the language setting default for my generation. The world belongs to those who do what they love, right? Right. Though...I could still end up in a spiral of crippling poverty with only the company of feral squirrels to keep my last strand of humanity intact. If that's the case, well.... The dirty corners of America's streets belong to those who do what they love, right? Right.

Ever since I can remember, words and doodles have oozed out of me. I've gotten to the point where I can't write without drawing and I can't draw without writing. I'd like to use this blog to also reclaim some integrity for illustrations. Pictures are a language deserving to be read just as much as any text. The graphic novel is on the rise and I'm excited to see a day when the inclusion of illustration doesn't mean something is intended just for children or it's some sort of instruction manual.

Above is a glimpse from the beginning of my journey. I did this in preschool and I've gotten better....arguably.