Developing Comic Further – Environment, Characters and Panels

Playroom

The previous post on this comic idea had some sketched hints at the ‘playroom’ kind of aesthetic I wanted for the bedroom, so I thought to try working on some different angles/compositions/framing for panels that would give the reader the impression that the wall was in fact being projected on to, and that the images on the walls are moving animations.  I keep coming back to the Rugrats, but in particular, those scenes where we are seeing the world through Spike’s eyes – all distorted with fish-eye aspects.  I can’t find any examples online, but it’s quite a nightmarish viewpoint.  Add the playroom from Akira into this, along with that age-old futuristic ideal of images everywhere*, and I’ll arrive at something scary/recognisable/cute in time enough.

This isn’t the bit I mean at all, but I can’t find any images of the playroom online either. I think it’s the ominous lighting in the fight scene with Tetsuo that has me referencing it more than anything, though, so this image will more than suffice.

*A fine passage from Cybersexualies essay Technophilia, by Mary Ann Doane, refers to the impressive amount of imagery in science fiction (though it certainly isn’t something we’re unfamiliar with in every day life):

‘Garrett Stewart remarks on the over-abundance of viewing screens and viewing machines in science fiction in general – of ‘banks of monitors, outsized video intercoms, x-ray display panels, hologram tubes, backlit photoscopes, aerial overhead projectors, slide screens, radar scopes, whole curved walls of transmitted imagery, the retinal registers of unseen electronic eyes.’  And in his view, ‘cinema becomes a synecdoche for the entire technics of an imagined society.’ (30)

It seems like having this ultra-‘natural’ scene projected onto the bedroom walls will be quite an obvious illustration of the use of technology to create a new, ultra-human, and un-Other-based environment, a central theme in my dissertation.  Having the child in the scene playing with a tablet-type device feels a little lazy, but I was also aware of the importance of including very recognisable technologies in order for the story to be relatable; tablets are pretty ubiquitous right now.  Here are some goofay designs:

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Gaming

Struggling at the minute to decide what language the child is learning on the device – if I choose Japanese, I’m giving myself an opportunity to practice my own learning, but I am aware and wary of the whole Orientalism cliche in so much science fiction… We’ll see.

I am having some trouble deciding on what the two characters (mother and child) should look like too.  Every time I make a conscious effort to draw a person, a character that I have made up, I suddenly find myself drawing hideous, hideous faces, the kind of which I’d never draw when I’m just doodling, and drawing faces for my own enjoyment.  At the same time, if I try looking at other comic artists whose work I love, I’ll copy them, and then hate myself for being that unimaginative, that lazy.  The only real solution to this problem is to keep drawing every day (as absolutely everyone advises), and eventually the brain-to-wrist connections will get stronger.  This is what I got from this recent exercise:

GrossKiddo

Kiddo

Madre

Rockabye

So, that’ll be something to push harder on tonight, and hope that the aesthetic comes out when I have at these (more definite) panels in the next few days/weeks:

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Child comes into room after following baby’s cries, and sees mother-robot breastfeeding little baby sibling.

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Snaps out of that. Mother-robot comes over to pick child up, child has knife, slices open veil (onto which the image of mother’s head is being projected)

This is another fantasy/dream sequence, and when it finishes (with a detailed image of the mechanical head under the veil), the child goes back to their playroom and is happy when greeted by its tablet.

While at home in Northern Ireland for three weeks, I’ll use this time to draw out the comic, in black-and-white – probably using ink and a paint brush, potentially working in fineliner – once I know what I want it to look like/which tool I can use more skillfully, that decision will make itself.

Comic Cover

I have been working on cover ideas, using many different colours for the face in the mother-robot’s veil, similar to the work of two artists I came across in the last few months, who use colour with bold, electric energy:

And someone who goes by the handle 8 9 3 9

Less half-clothed ladies for half-clothed ladies’ sake though.  Also looking closely at the colour palette of Wesley Allbrook’s comics, particularly the pink-pink of Montmartre à trois.  She’s incredible.

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COP Creative Response – Story-forming

This comic tells the story of a child whose natural biological mother is now permanently absent.  She died shortly after giving birth to their younger sibling.  The father – a wealthy, successful, busy man – sees that the children need a mother.  Humanoid technology is at this time progressing, though it has not yet reached a point at which these androids are indistinguishable from humans.  Engineers are having particular trouble getting facial movements just right, and as a way of bypassing this problem, came up with the temporary solution of projecting animated human heads from the inside of a veil which is draped over the head, and securely attached around the shoulders at the base of the neck.  The father of our family decides this is the best course of action, especially for the baby, who he believes would suffer greatly from the lack of its mother’s nurturing.

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Leeds International Film Festival – Volunteering

LIFF

I love you, Leeds International Film Festival.

This year I had the pleasure of joining the red army of volunteers for the 27th installment of LIFF – this time round it was a two-week-and-one-day-long party celebrating a wide range of fine films.  As well as the obvious joy at the promise of viewing many, many films for free, the experience of meeting some of the many unknown, beautiful and kind faces of Leeds was too much of a draw for me.  If they’ll have me back next year, I have every intention of rejoining the ranks for another few weeks of intensive consuming – my ass won’t thank me for the hours of sedentation, but it’s a small price to pay for free deep-brain stimulation therapy.

I wanted to do a quick run-through of the films I did manage to catch, but will do a separate post for those that seem more relevant to my Context of Practice module (keepin’ tags right, keeps my schoolin’ right).

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

[link to its own post]

Carol Reed’s 1949 thriller, The Third Man

The premise was enough to send me goofy: a film noir mystery set in post-war Vienna, haunted by Orson Welles’ elusive on-screen alias, Harry Lime.  It was a gorgeous film, with enough skewed camera angles to leave even the least engaged viewer feeling unbalanced.  I gave it five, for five was well deserved.

Ask Hasselbalch’s Antboy

This was a pleasantly goofy Danish kid-superhero-kinda film.  The Danish pronunciation of ‘Antboy’ was my favourite thing.  The costumes were great too, in particular, the placing of a Dark Knight rip-off, imitation-Kevlar Ant suit on a round-faced little pre-teen – that made me larf.

Jindrich Polák’s Ikarie XB1

[its own post]

Sci-Fi Fanomenon Shorts Special (list these)

Hiner Saleem’s My Sweet Pepper Land

Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (+ Q&A with director and ‘making of’ documentary)

Unfortunately, I was quite drunk and fell asleep soon after the film started.  The Q&A with Ruggero Deodato was great fun though – he seemed a lively, chatty man, with no qualms about defending the gore in this film.  He said he’d never repeat it again though – the live animal slaughtering and whatnot.  A video of the event.

Fanomenon Anime Day:

Shinkai Makoto’s The Garden of Worlds

Gushy, slushy Shinkai Makoto!  He really loves his melodrama.  The animation was very, very beautiful, but I feel as though this short can be judged only by a moisture detector.  The first short I saw of his was She and Her Cat, and still remains my favourite by a long way.  While the animation was as detailed and the plot as heavily melancholic as the others, it was from the viewpoint of a gorgeously-drawn, plump little cat who is completely in love with his owner.  This slight subversion in what would otherwise have been just another tale of unrequited love gave it so much more self-awareness, and a little humility, which has made it stand out as one of my favourite anime shorts ever, not just those created by Shinkai-san.

Ryōtarō Makihara’s Hal

This was another fairly wet piece of romance.  It did have some fun, subtle future-visions of slightly more developed technology (aside from the humanoid replicants), such as beads that work as memory banks which can be placed onto a projector and replayed instantaneously, but it does stay fairly sober in regards to any other major developments.  The robot(s) concept wasn’t very convincing here – with no real insight into how they are made, powered, or any kind of technical difficulties with the actual machine.  This is difficult to discuss without revealing pivotal plot points and being a big fat spoiler, so I will leave it at that.  Eyes too big, protagonists too gooey, but the secondary characters were more fun, and again, the animation was very impressive.

Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s Patema Inverted

I got a burrito instead of watching Steins;Gate.  I do not regret this choice.

Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

[this gets its own post]

Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira

This marked the climax of the anime day: the 25th anniversary release of Akira was (as expected) superb.

Sean Noonan: A Gambler’s Hand

Some sketches from this ‘live collision of music, film and storytelling‘.  Drawing in the half-light of the Hyde Park Picture House was a challenge, but the dramatic, frantic playing from the string quartet (even the cellist with his sunglasses) was something I wanted to remember.

Gambler

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(I’ll be making some form of forced meatballs later in the week)

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Short Film City: World Animation Award 2

Cargo Cult by Bastien Dubois: Unfortunately I missed this one due to door duties, which – now I’ve seen the trailer – I am displeased about, as the animation looks great!

Guilt by Reda Bertkute: Again, I missed the first snippet of this, and so I thought maybe I had missed out on a pivotal plot point, but I wasn’t too keen on the heavy use of sketchy animation as it felt a little too much like an attempt to distract from the lack of content in the story.  The character was saggingly melancholic, and the scenes of disturbing surrealism worked well to create a sense of growing paranoia, but I wasn’t fully won over.

Punctuwool by Jacob Streilein: I really wasn’t expecting to be so enamoured with this animation at its opening – I felt a growing sense of dread at the premise of another animated short about clouds – but this was a really lovely piece of work from a very talented student at Calarts.  The textures and tonal work that could only really have come from use of traditional drawing techniques gave a warm dimension to the beautiful bounce in Streilein’s character animation.  The concept for the piece felt fresh too – the different emotions played out by the cloud herd were well thought through, and though their shepherd was a bit of an over-actor, the fact that his madness was softened in the end gave him a pleasant human depth.

A City on Fire by Michelle Tsen: The crumpled paper cut out technique was alright – not the best of the set.

Electric Soul by Joni Männistö: This was a gorgeous short.  Very impressive gait on those little LED lights – one of my favourite animated walks ever seen.

Winter Has Come by Zima Prishla: This was my favourite of this set.  The central fox character felt novel and fresh, the lace patterning was tastefully selected, and I loved the fact that their actions were somewhat sinister, but absolutely unopposed.  The oncoming winter cannot be stopped.

The Visitor by George Dechev: This was pretty cool, all full of beautiful young people as it was, and based on a piece of old literature.

The Nether Regions from Wonky: I found this one fairly annoying.  Not even the beloved voice of Brian Blessed was going to save this for me – the jokes were poor and actually surprisingly old.

The Missing Scarf by Eoin Duffy: Very impressive, but I couldn’t get past the infographics aesthetic.  I just felt like someone was selling me something – something old and tired, reimagined for a very contemporary world.

In the Air is Christopher Gray by Felix Massie: I think I had a similar problem with this one, but I thought the title (and opening line of the story) was a beautiful bit of worduse.

Rabbit and Deer by Péter Vácz: This was pretty.

Short Film City: World Animation Award 3

Futon by Yoriko Mizushiri

Ham Story by Ela Liska Chytkova

The Maggot Feeder by Priit Tender

Tap To Retry by Neta Cohen

Whaled Women by Ewa Eihorn and Jeuno JE Kim

Rhino Full Throttle from Kamerapferd

Devil in the Room by Carla Mackinnon

I Love Hooligans by Jan-Dirk Bouw

Subconscious Password by Chris Landreth

Then there was Yuichi Fukuda’s HK: Forbidden Superhero

Finally, Masterpiece: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns from Alexander Gray and Jeff Maynard

Automaton Idea (basix)

This is a quick crap sketch of an idea for a potential ‘made piece’ – but until I know a little more about building automata, I’m a little stumped with it.

Automaton Idea

This documentary from the BBC was wonderful at scaring me into the realisation that they are not a thing to be taken too lightly, however.  But, my god, John Joseph Merlin‘s a dreamboat if I ever knew one.  Just look at his swan, JUST LOOK AT IT!

Chen Man exhibition at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

‘Young Pioneer and CCTV’ 2009

Chen Man, described in her Twitter bio as a ‘representative of modern Chinese visual artists’, is a photographer working in Beijing.  Though her work is most associated with the commercial fashion industry, it was the playfully hyper-futuristic aesthetic of her personal projects which attracted my attention most.  In particular, her Pioneer series exemplifies her wish to combine the two concepts of beauty which can often seem utterly disparate (by the consensual understanding of ‘nature’).  She discusses this in what her interviewer describes as ‘a lazy Beijing burr’ in this article from Time Out Shanghai:

‘There are two kinds of beauty: natural, real things – flowers, children, the sky – and artificial, manmade things, things derived from human wisdom like iPads, cars, design. Now I’m trying to combine those two kinds of beauty.’

A fairly simplifying approach to take to the subject, but one that produces images which are almost startlingly contemporary in their dedication to the surface, to the aesthetic value.  The skin-tight plastic of the Pioneer’s dress; her lean, straight frame; the uninterrupted smoothness of her skin and hair – all combine to give the impression of a commercial product.  The fetishisation of plastic, of sleek functionality, is projected onto this model, and one can’t help but note that when identifying the ‘beautiful’ in this image, we tend to find ourselves admiring more the ‘artificial, manmade’ category of Man’s description.

This is by no means a new phenomenon, and I do wonder at the perseverance of the appeal of beautiful lady-machines.  In particular, the potentially more modern occurrence of female artists (particularly in the pop culture spectrum) appropriating these ideas of the indisputably female cyborg and applying this to themselves, or their subject (I can’t help but think of Janelle Monáe… and not just because I’m listening to her Electric Lady album as I type).  The objectification of the female form has been long-practiced in art, this is an inescapable historical fact, but is the sentiment so changed when a female artist is doing the objectifying?  The image of a technologically-empowered female figure has been noted by many to serve as an illustration of the ‘Monster’ of modern times (Maria from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is a well-known, early example of this), and is very much present this photograph from Man’s Pioneer series (I can’t find the name for this anywhere – should’ve taken better notes in the S&A Gallery):

The model here has produced a satellite from under her skirt.  Her face belies sexual arousal, with no hint of shyness in the direct eye contact with the camera.  The troubling infantile costume is my only (yet overriding) issue with the series.  As an extreme vision of the strictures put in place by the mass media of our patriarchal society, and at the same time playing right into the overt sexualisation of prepubescent girls, the costumes in this series are a worrying indication of an all-too-common theme (particularly in science fiction) of the female giving up her womanhood, for an immortal life steeped in reticence.

Babies, babies, gross, gross babies

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Babies are gross.  Just look at Sparkle/Ricky, the baby BMO finds in ‘BMO Lost‘, a heartachey episode of Adventure Time.  (S)he is one of the most perfect gross/cute babies I have seen in a cartoon, and an important undercurrent of my thoughts when drawing out some stupid babies to project my hologram-fish-mobile-night-light-thing on top of.  I was just running through some ideas built around babies getting raised in very close quarters with digital technology from the outset of their fat little lives these days.  Here are some babies:

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Here is baby with fish pencil drawing:

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Such a fat Sparkle/Ricky.  Working through with colour, trying to highlight the fact that these fish are holograms, but it just got uglier still:

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This is more an idea of setting for a story set a little further in the future than ideas of what I could make for our practical response – due to the fact I won’t have time to produce the kind of comic/animation I would class as finished before Christmas, and I want to make an automaton – but it’s all pushing me further into thinking about children being raised by non-human machines.

Hideaki Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion

OK, so here, I will attempt to outline why the anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a heavily influential factor in my Extended Research Project for Context of Practice 3.

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Omono otaku

Firstly, my serious interest in the show feeds on the topic of my essay for Context of Practice 1, ‘Otaku culture in post-war Japan’.  During the course of my research into the key components of otaku culture, Ikari Shinji (NGE’s teenage protagonist) was a near constant presence.  Shinji is a tragic figure, and knows it.  In this character, Hideaki Anno seems to have created the ultimate otaku stereotype: Shinji is lonely, self-involved, sexually frustrated, distant from his father – a victim of his environment.  He is expected to pilot Eva 01, in order to assist NERV‘s attempts to defend the earth against the Angels‘ attacks, but he is usually unwilling to do this, because it is scary.  He has understandable, relatable emotions in the face of this terrifying proposed task:

  • the angels are really, really scary creatures (I will expand on the goodness of this shortly)
  • in order to pilot the Eva, Shinji has to effectively relinquish his conception of his own identity, allowing it to merge with that of the Eva (which, by the way, is inhabited by the soul of his dead mother – oedipal much)
  • the responsibility they put on his shoulders is phenomenally weighty

My interest in otaku culture is has been renewed though this research project, especially when viewing it as a national syndrome which has (at least in part) arisen from a society deeply integrated with technologies that encourage escapism and increasing engagement with virtual reality.  This interview with creator Anno is confusing and seems to beg negation of any in-depth analysis into the meaning of his story.  The Ideas Channel produced this interesting video discussing the relevance of Anno’s opinion on his own creation, which is fantastic:

Either way, I have come to accept the fact that I have no way of getting around Evangelion as a pivotal point of interest in getting this project off the ground.  I wanted to pick apart what exactly about the series (television series  and films – as is often the case in many anime franchises, there is a series, followed by a feature-length reinterpretation of the series, and now a new series of films re-imagining the basic story with new characters and shinier special effects) that strikes such fear into my heart, but still keeps me coming back for more.  I acknowledge that the dramatic music and frantic editing (especially evident in Death and Rebirth) will have had something to do with the adrenaline pumping through my veins as I feed on this hyper-stimulant, but the fact that I can’t quite shake the things I have seen, or the almost-disabling sense of fear I have when recalling certain scenes, led me to believe there is something in the ideas presented that directly attacks something essential to my humanity.

I went on to do some research into Monster Theory – in a way continuing on from the studies into cyborgs and the fear of the Uncanny in my Context of Practice 2 project.  By way of the omnipotent Google, I came by this very interesting publication from Jeremy Jerome Cohen.  I particularly enjoyed his presentation of the ‘Monster’ as a culture’s own exploration – and simultaneous distancing from – their fantasies and desires.  This quote:

‘The habitations of the monsters (Africa, Scandinavia, America, Venus, the Delta Quadrant – whatever land is sufficiently distant to be exoticized) are more than dark regions of uncertain danger: they are also realms of happy fantasy, horizons of liberation.’ (18)

The idea that our fictional monsters are a fairly risk-free method of playing out our risky desires has really lodged itself snugly in my mind.  Applying this theory to Evangelion aids in understanding the appeal of the horror the show brings to me.  To wield enormous power, to become something more than myself, to (eventually) transcend the human form I was born with and connect, wholly, with a collective consciousness – these are fantasies explored in Evangelion, and the baffling, disorientating finale to the television series is an animated approximation of how we might experience these fantasies, were they to ever actually happen.  Cohen’s Monster Culture (Seven Theses) again comes in very useful in wording things right:

‘We distrust and loathe the monster at the same time we envy its freedom, and perhaps its sublime despair.’ (17) 

I watch the Eva entering ‘Berserker Mode‘ and am at once in awe at its unrestrained brutality in tearing the Angel apart, and completely horrified – sickened to my stomach, much like the employees at NERV who can’t seem to take their eyes off the scene unfolding on their observation screens.

As well as the powerfully scary giant robots, the underlying themes in Evangelion can often pose an even more sinister threat to the viewer.  This, I think, boils down to the loss of identity, a kind of death.  Not a particularly new fear, but now repackaged in technophilic terms.  This, I am now joyfully realising in a rather late-in-coming revelation, is the very same kind of idea discussed in some of the essays in Cybersexualities, where the concept of the womb is diabolical in its very biological function as it challenges the commonly accepted Cartesian ‘individual’ – and this is perfectly paralleled when the pilots in Evangelion enter into the belly of their assigned unit, where they are submerged in amniotic fluid which sustains their survival inside.  Their ownership of their own consciousness is sacrificed.  This is scary, and important.

I feel as though there is a great deal to examine in the psychology of the sexual tensions between the characters too.  The pilots are a bunch of hormone-driven teenagers when it boils down to it, but this ties into another aspect of the studies in otaku culture that interest me, which explores the idea that Japan as a nation has strong tendencies toward reticence, and ah, this is a different post.  I’ll come back to this.

I would very much like to dedicate large portions of my time to studying this show as an incredibly effective depiction of the modern, Japanese monster.  I’ve got some work to do.

Nest Magazine Article – Reanimation

One move in a series of actions I’ve been taking to advance my progression in getting my act together this year was contributing an illustrated article for our Student Union’s Magazine, NEST.  The next edition had a science fiction theme, which I was very ready to get behind, and each issue has an ‘Interview with a Dead Artist’ article, so I took this as an excuse to reanimate one of my very favourite artists, and bother him with pointless questions.

Thumbnail sketches working on the beautiful Beardsley face:

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Whistler’s Peacock Room, which he raved about once upon a time:

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I’d been trying hard to push myself into action in illustration for a long time.  With this drawing, I wanted to try out the methods outlined by Yuko Shimizu on her website.  It felt good.

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This was also a good opportunity to exercise writing.  I talk a lot about how I’d like to write more, and more disciplined, formalised, sensible writing.  I tried, and did this:

Recent attempts to bring cohesion to our increasingly fragmented world have resulted in collaborations between the Military Forces and the Arts Council.  One such project – Operation RE:BOOT – revisited the experiments in reanimation first pioneered by Giovanni Aldini in the 17th century, and was largely successful in its mission of bringing back to life a number of influential artists from different major artistic movements of the past two centuries.

Nest speaks to Aubrey Beardsley, an important figure of the Art Nouveau period who used his revolutionary stylistic methods to explore the decadence, pomp, and often condemnable subject matter of his natural lifetime, at the close of the 19th century.  The artist has taken up residence in Whistler’s Peacock Room, and requests at all times to be addressed as ‘Monsieur Beardsley’.

N: Your work, your choice of subject matter, at that time was incredibly brave.  How did you deal with the damning reviews and overwhelmingly hostile reception of some of your more risqué work?

AB: I lapsed into depression, again and again, and often that would go hand-in-hand with episodes of blood-spitting.  However, after a time I came to understand that one may affect cool indifference and mask despair; moulding that outward cast to a befitting shape, and feeding on the attentions of your critics.  Sensationalism is a stimulant not solely for the audience.  Though your generation may find it much more difficult to produce even murmurings of novelty.

N: Do you have any advice to give to the students of LCA on being successful in the art world?

AB: What can I relate?  The atmosphere of our fin-de-siècle was potent, tangible, and we posed our questions or solutions as befitting the time, but that century was long ago.  Yours is simply madness to these poor eyes.  How could I advise you here?

N: What do you make of the state of the world today in comparison to that which you left over one hundred years ago?

AB: Being here, I feel nothing more than a minor character Dante never cared to bring beyond his Inferno.  This torturous dismemberment from everything I had known and loved, only to be positioned here; some godforsaken fortune-telling box, answering drivelous questions that wound me deeper and deeper still, an excruciating and constant reminder of this fallacy of an existence, all to ‘bring about a greater understanding of my work’, ‘establish direct contact for future art’s inspiration’.  This is nothing more than a final drastic and sordid attempt to peer behind the lace-trimmed curtain of my bedchamber to see what demons I did keep as bedfellows.

N: You were Catholic-born, and returned to the religion at the end of your life.  How was that possible for you – mentally, spiritually – returning to your childhood beliefs at twenty-five years old?  Secondly, what do you believe today?

AB: My life was plagued by frightfully common fears – illness, hatred, debt – but I lived.  My death I do not remember so much, but to be welcomed into the arms of a Heavenly Father whose embrace promised me an eternity of peace was surely a calming respite from the terrible nothingness I was facing.  I was not so painfully lucid as you find me now.  Brought back as curio on display in this lifeless Peacock Room – I can see clearly that this is an overwhelming sin.  I never did accustom to speaking about my faith in my natural life, and now, my context has made the task insurmountable.

N: I am curious to know why you decided to settle here, in Whistler’s Peacock Room, after there had reportedly been so much animosity between the two of you?

AB: Whistler’s peacocks are beautiful dead things.  I simply wanted to be near them.

N: You contemporaries were famed for their sharp wit.  Do you have any bons mots for our readers?

AB: No.

At this moment I was escorted from the room, and the interview was terminated.

– END –

I enjoyed playing out the things I’d been studying for CoP for this restricted, defined purpose.  This bit was, I thought, worth putting up here (though I cut it from the submission for print as it was already too long), if only as a harrowing reminder of what I think sometimes:

This reanimation – this confounds any semblance of existence I had come to understand on my short mortal term on this earth.  While I occupied it, I would curse the consumptive, flesh-made form I had been burdened with, and now that I am freed from the brunt of it, I cannot accept that I am alive, and from that, it confounds the very ideals I lived by in that time.  It is a strange and terrible paradox beyond the powers of my brain, and indeed, truly that is all that is left of me.

– REAL END –

Reading through his letters was effective in researching how I might steal his voice.  The affected dandy was a fun character to play.

Masaaki Yuasa

This is a very quick post to indulge in publicly declaring my love for the anime Mind Game, and the goodness that comes from Masaaki Yuasa – his expressive methods shock me again and again into celebrating freshness, exciting originality, and the power of weirdness in really making cogs turn in the brainspace.

This short is quite scary, with a premise that related too well to my research project for me to handle.  The image of the mother digitally represented on a mother-impersonating machine is undoubtedly one of the scariest visions I have seen in a while.  The trauma of leaving the womb is presented in a stark and strange way that un-normalises this very common experience.  Though humans generally don’t remember this event by the time they are articulate enough to express how it made them feel, being birthed seems to be well-regarded as nightmarish in concept, and I think Yuasa’s short has illustrated this imaginatively enough that it’s not simply repulsive to viewers, but instead comes out a beautiful and interesting piece of animation, where one can revisit fears of abandonment.