Saturday, February 23, 2008

Adventures in Confusion!

... because, apparently, it's just more fun to draw Commander X as slightly perplexed. Maybe it's because the character confuses (and surprises) me so often. The Commander has been my "flagship" character for years and drawing him has taught me quite a bit about creating comics. There's still so much to learn, though; not the least of which is his TRUE character. I seem to change him around constantly, which doesn't do much for his stories. That's one reason I haven't drawn too many of them lately.

I'll figure it out... eventually.

In the meantime, I'm much happier with this sketch of Commander X than I am of the last one I did; click the thumbnail below for a larger view:

Check back for another sketch tomorrow: I've still got to do one more for this week to keep on schedule!


Kevin said...

I'm surprised there hasn't been a "Commander X" natural blaster running around Paragon... That'd be toofresh.

The Ninja said...

It's funny, but I was thinking about something like this the other day. Why is it the Commander is so ubiquitous in your comics, but at the cost of being almost invisible against the backdrop of the universe you are creating. At least, I've detected some of that in him.

The answer I came up with is that it's because he IS you. Everyone else is larger than life. You take the raw characteristics of people, places and events that have happened in your real life, and transform them into caricatures. But the one person that is hardest to turn into a real archetype is always yourself, because you know yourself. We're never comfortable really exposing ourselves, and we are unsure about the truth in the revelations we write, because we aren't sure about the truth in our own lives to begin with.

You are trying to draw out a character that is already more drawn out than any character you have ever drawn, because that character is you. It feels too simple, but it is actually so complex that you can't even begin to simplify it enough for a comic character.

If I could make a suggestion, it would be to stop trying. Just allow him to be you. Draw out the world around you and BE the fly on the wall. Let this world be your fantasy version of reality, and let the Commander be your avatar there. React as you would and let your id be your guide. Create ridiculous situations that defy logic and reality in a sci-fi world and let the Commander be the never changing foil against which all that madness finds a foundation to rest upon.

In doing that, the audience can also be the Commander. The reader can find their own humanity in him. He can be the door to reality than we can all peak through to see all the fantastical ideas you have in your head. He's the one we can all relate to. And as we peak through his eyes to see this universe, you can give us each a glimpse of how you see the REAL world, because the fiction you've created is not so much a fictional world, as much as a parallel version of the real world, the way you actually see it.

Get what I'm saying? The Commander isn't a character. He's the narrator. He's the fly on the wall. He's you. He's the first person.

しのびー said...