Hurricane Nancy honors us once again by sharing some of her art. This is #453, entitled, “When they put you down keep on dancing.” All sorts of people can try to put us down. They think they can mistreat others just for the fun of it. That’s when it takes those of us with grace and dignity to persevere, and keep on dancing.
Be sure to visit Hurricane Nancy’s website where you can purchase her art!
Travel Diary is a very different format from The Domesticated Afterlife and yet they both share common ground, a similar vibe. As Finch related to me: “Beyond the punch of color, there’s a layering, complexity, and narrative abstraction that this project has in common with all my stuff. I think you could also relate this to how Form and Deed followed A Little World Made Cunningly: a slim abstract volume leaning from comics into ‘fine art’ that follows a lengthy dense graphic novel.”
I totally agree that, once familiar with the work of Scott Finch, a reader is going to pick up on recurring patterns and motifs. In other words, if you dig Finch’s art, you know it when you see it! Yeah, baby! Let’s never get too precious about comics, art, or, brace yourself, art-comics! Seriously, I totally respect the comics medium, as you already know. What I try to do here is find the right mix of respect and irreverence in order to keep things interesting. For those still new to art, I just ask that you make a leap of faith and know that art is many things: enlightening, entertaining, redeeming.
So, what is going on within the Scott Finch universe, pray tell? It has to do with the perpetual need for all of us to appease our own existential struggles. It has to do with the search for the uncanny because we know this world is not exactly all there is. And that, dear friend, means being ever open to the magical, the transcendent, the stuff that dreams are made up, the stuff that you may find just around the corner from one world into the next. The stuff of art! Finch does this with a real bravura vision that often involves stacking of various elements. Notice all the stacking going on in the above example: all those vehicles piled up. It makes you wonder if it’s ever really going to be any kind of vehicle, self-driving or not, that is finally going to make you feel that you’ve arrived.
When in doubt, refer back to the title. Travel Diary. Any clue there? Anything to hang your hat on? I go through each piece, page by page, and it all looks like contemporary hieroglyphics, a secret language that you don’t need to ever literally understand. I get a sense of a struggle dealing with the rules, the limitations, all the way down to our persistent mortal coil. If only we had wings! If only we let go and blended with our environment. We keep running towards something, if only our legs won’t give out! Finch packs a punch with each drawing; sort of letting you know we’re all in this together. There’s a heady mix of spirituality and playful experimentation on every page.
And speaking of running, and legs running, here’s the kicker: the whole thing is a bit of joke on us. Well, in an artful way, since you were never meant to take anything literally, or too seriously. At the end of the book, Finch reveals that this is a series of exercises made up of recontextualizing various bits of flotsam and jetsam from old sketchbooks! To add to the complexity, this is also the result of a mail art correspondence with fellow artist D.W., @kidclampdown. Finally, for the amazing color work, Finch collaborated with fellow artist Fazila Nasoordeen of Bahrain, @Z_neow. And, despite these nicely played artistic hat tricks, something of an exquisite corpse and then some, a narrative manages to push its way into existence. Ah, the power of story and persistent sense-making. I read a story of struggle to seek something better in life. Your mileage may vary or perhaps we can all embrace a certain level of common ground. Whatever the case, let your feet touch the ground.
I’ve done my share of 24-Hour Comics Day. This world-wide event among cartoonists is held on the first weekend in October. There’s another drawing prompt that is becoming as popular as 24HCD, the Hourly Comic Day, which is observed on the first day of February. What you see here are some examples of what artist Carson Ellis did for this year’s Hourly Comic Day.
You can also check out hourly comics from artist Vera Brosgol here. Or how about the work of artist Lucy Bellwood here. In fact, Hourly Comic Day is indeed quite the thing, dating back to 2005. You can check out a recap of artist Lucy Knisley’s work for 2022 here. 24 Hour Comics Day has entered the status of legend, dating back to 1990! But, as I say, Hourly Comic Day is establishing itself, much like Inktober has become a big deal.
Carson Ellis at 6 pm.
Let’s give ourselves some leeway this year. I invite you to participate in a drawing prompt during this month. Pick a day that works best for you and do this: draw a comics panel (basically a drawing and some text) that describes your day, one per each hour you are awake that day.
Carson Ellis at 8 pm.
Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong. You can send me what you come up with if you like and I’ll post it. Depending upon what folks send me, if anything, I’ll figure it out. So, yeah, give it a try. Seriously, I invite you to give it a try. I will follow up with my own drawings before the end of this month.
A new year is off and running with its inevitable highs and lows. “Here’s to life being good, despite it all!” answers artist Hurricane Nancy. Add to that a couple of new works to consider this time around, with accompanying commentary by the artist . . .
We are ringing in a new year and coasting along a bit during the holidays, getting our bearings as we contemplate doing it all over again. What a treat to have Hurricane Nancy with us to share more of her work. This is what Nancy says about the above artwork: “If only life was this simple. I could dress up and be whatever I want for any occasion. Not get sick or worry about our future. Just dress up and decide to make a great holiday and bright future!”
Visual sensemaking is a method to help you organize thoughts and plans by using simple content. It can be used in so many ways. If you happen to be artistically inclined, it can take you on some very interesting paths but it is there for anyone to use, whether you are an artist or not.
ANGELS by Hurricane Nancy. Color by Henry Chamberlain.
Hurricane Nancy offers us a meditation on the angels in our lives. I asked Nancy what she meant and she said: “There are wonderful people in life who help and encourage, when one is down. They love to see one creating and expanding their ideas and viewpoints. I call these dear people ANGELS.”