Tuesday, September 04, 2007

September 4, 2007
Got a call from our art director, Dan Harshberger, this morning, weighing in on the layout on the Mickey Free site (mickeyfreeonline.com). He doesn't like the thick text boxes with the heavy drop shadow. I assured him Robert Ray and I were scrambling on Friday to put up a dozen pages as a work-in-progress. Also, I told Dan I'm still not happy with the balloons and Abby and I had a short design confab this morning about them. Still torn between all caps vs. upper and lower case. To me all caps is old school, but Abby's point is "well, if 90% of graphic novels use all upper-case, there's a reason for it."

Yes, it's called the blind leading the semi-blind. Ha.

Here's an aspect of the project I have been enjoying immensely: something I call Patina Puddled backgrounds. There is an integrity in these backgrounds that I really respond to, and I'm not sure quite how to integrate it into the structure or story. I sloshed, I mean painted, a series of these with my opposite hand (my right), just to shut off, or bypass the left-brain linear notion of "skill."

Speaking of integrity, Kathy and I watched the academy award winning Kramer vs. Kramer on TCM over the weekend. I hadn't seen it since it came out in 1974, and I was stunned at how it had not lost any of its power. So many "good" movies from thirty years ago have started to fade, with the goofy hairdos and ugly cars and styles trumping or at least undermining the original effort, rendering everything into a campy, but embarrassing mess (we watched the end of Gidget just prior to Kramer). Not so with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep (So young!). The writer-director really hit it out of the park with this one (he also wrote Bonnie & Clyde). I don't think there was a false scene in the whole film.

Yesterday, we saw the Milos Foreman film Goya's Ghosts with Natalie Portman. Loved the artwork (Goya's) but hated the movie. Totally silly and unbelievable at every turn. After that, we went outside and paid again (dues for artist karma), to see Rocket Science, a small indie Sundance movie. It was everything that Goya's Ghost was not. It never went where the screenwriter's handbook told it to go. Every plot twist had a sweet integrity. Reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite, although it didn't have quite the satisfying payoff at the end.

Shifting gears today. Need to write six Classic Gunfights scripts for the Outdoor Channel. We're taping in two weeks.

"Where would the gardner be if there were no more weeds?"
—Chuang Tzu

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