Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Eighty Characters in Silhouette (again, props to Mike Lynch)

In my challenge to Isaac at the end of last Wednesday's post, I was really curious to see what he'd do if he drew eighty characters in a small space as opposed to a small period of time (not that I begrudge him his own take on the cartoon sprints!). Since I happened to have a blank postcard handy, I thought I'd take up my own challenge. I had planned to just drop the card in the mail to Isaac, but since the ink was smearing I thought I should scan it in case it's obliterated by the time it reaches him; and once a doodle is scanned, there's really only one appropriate fate for it. So here are my silhouetted versions of Mike Lynch's eighty characters, drawn not in fifteen minutes but in 10.5 cm x 14.8 cm:

(You may click to enlarge, if you wish.)

I accidentally squeezed nine characters into the first line of my would-be eight-by-ten character grid, so I took extra space at the bottom right for my self-portrait silhouette. That self-portrait replaces the redundant "hydrant" on Mike Lynch's list; a silhouette of Isaac replaces the redundant "robot" as the first item on the third row. I nearly created my own redundancy by drawing Batman's pointy head for "superhero" as item seven on the top line, forgetting that Bats would have his own slot later on row four, item 3; so I added a few blobs and strokes to turn Batman's head into Wolverine's, with a few adamantium claws snikted for good measure.


Isaac said...

Geez, that's a cool image, Mike. I hope it arrives without getting too banged up.

I'm glad to see that you've got some of your doodling (and blogging) energy back...

John said...

I was thinking after the first post that this would be a great activity for a group of friends or even an exercise in a comics drawing class.
Though I would shrink the required amount to draw and the time. Maybe two items in a minute. It would get people drawing quickly but would also mean that critiques could happen more quickly as well.

Oh and, is that Charlie Brown on the bottom row?

Mike said...

John, that is indeed Chuck on the bottom row. For this drawing I again followed Mike Lynch's original list, which features Charlie Brown, only substituting little pictures of Isaac and myself to replace the duplicate robot and hydrant on Lynch's list.

And to judge from Lynch's original post, he has, in fact, used it in cartooning classes (though again I'm not sure at what level, exactly).

And Isaac and I are both big believers in the value of collaborative drawing exercises that verge into the competitive on occasion. If you want a real challenge, you and your friends or students can tackle the five-minute head-to-head gag drawing challenge. Our results when we attempted it were terrible, but Joe Sayers (jsayers.com) has produced some real winners.