Monday, June 20, 2011

The first person who makes swirly wall paper is gonna make a mint

Yes patiently waiting supporters of the otherwordly and despisers of all things "Vote, Rate and Comment", we proudly announce that ELDRITCH! is now available!

To celebrate it's release, which came out last Wednesday on just about every digital platform in existence, Aaron and I decided to venture into the world of living people *shudder* with our significant others and treat ourselves to a viewing of the Tim Burton art exhibit currently inhabiting the LAMCA.

This thing is a monstrous display of art from the man who made striped tights a staple for most teenage spooky fashion. The exhibit shows the full range of Burton's art career, from his 7th grade renderings of Vincent Price to his not very well know Don Martin "period". Newspapers and sketchbooks, scribbled with clowns and Jack Skellingtons are framed so that you want to break into them just to page through the whole thing. There are sculptures displayed, as well as TV monitors showing his early film making attempts.

And that sir and/or madam is JUST THE FIRST ROOM.

But it wasn't all the walls covered in deranged doodles, black-lit crazed carnival weird-go-rounds, Nightmare before Christmas-ings, and various mental musings that only a guy who turns Hansel and Gretel into a terrifying David Lynch-esque short, where a boy eats a live Gingerbread man for the DISNEY CHANNEL, can come from that stuck with me. Nor was it the room full of German Expressionist pieces that I drooled over. No, out of all those things the one that stood out to me was a letter to Tim Burton from an executive at Fox regarding Family Dog.

Yup. All that amazing, inspirational, imaginative art and the thing that buries itself in my brain the most is a letter from a suit.

To sum up, this letter (which was framed next to some storyboards just for that extra sting) basically states that Fox felt some of the plot points in Family Dog, an episode that was part of Spielberg-produced Amazing Stories show, might be too gruesome for the audience. They even "suggested" changing them to reflect a more comedic tone. I believe the phrase "doggie heaven" was used. Yeah. Sure. Sounds HYSTERICAL.

That letter was dated 1987. And the reason I think that letter stuck with me is because that same line of thinking is alive and well today. So much creativity is either held back or squashed entirely by a higher executive type who feels they know what's good for a story or music or an art piece just because they had a few test audiences give feedback. Entirely too much "We like what you're doing, but how about, y'know, you do something else." I'm not saying opinions shouldn't be taken into account when creating, in fact that can be a great editing tool. Instead of helping, all I'm seeing is a great influx of studio interference tempering art out of corporate interest. Diluting things that "could" be fun and exciting into the lifeless and the horribly dull. Or at the very worse, make them play baseball in some awful equivalent to Space Jam.

This made me think about ELDRITCH! When Aaron and I started this trek through digital unknown-ness, one thing was abundantly clear, there's no one in a suit behind us trying to make the next big thing, but rather we (as a team) are expressing our vision as we see it, for better or for worse.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to ink Issue 2 while I daydream of dancing with the bug eyed inflatable wavy tube men with the stitched mouths we saw at the end of the show.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you. Thank you for verbalizing my thoughts exactly. Thank you for ELDRITCH. Thank you for paving the way, as comics-makers, for my own leap into publishing my own book with my own illustrations and undiluted twisted stories. If it hadn't been for independently-minded comics creators, I would have never believed that independence was possible in the publishing world.