Monday, September 01, 2008

Hi, Jinx!

I was struck tonight as I was drawing. I've been revisiting past characters and doodles as I try to wrap my mind around creating stories for a series of comics. I have a bunch of characters, doodles really, who I find fun to draw. So I'm sitting a bunch of fun characters who I need to spin into fun stories. And I arrived at an interesting question: what about Jinx? (if unfamiliar, go to Jinx the Monkey and watch the animation).

It's silly to think I've overlooked him for so long. How many times a day do I see the words "Jinx the Monkey"? He's one of a handful of characters I've animated...even rarer that he has a voice (my voice, pitched up). More importantly, Jinx was a character who I created with a story in mind. It was a simple idea to put him in the context of a carnival and do my version of the cartoon trickster. He had a friend named Wheeler—I even created a couple adversaries (Louie and Dijon). I cranked out the animated short for my senior thesis, exhausted myself in the process, and decided to table the idea post-graduation. It was his first and last act.

After drawing him again tonight, there's something I find really appealing about his design. I also noticed I didn't draw him the same when I compared this sketch to the benchmark of 6 years ago. He's not as happy, either (maybe resentful?) I couldn't help but ask myself if he's a character worth revisiting, in comic form. I have a bunch of characters to work with at this point, but I'm gonna entertain the idea for a bit.


Honolulu Dogfight said...

I just watched Jinx and realized I had seen that before ( cold hard flash?), and enjoyed it. Yes you should do comics with Jinx. Get the monkey off your back as it were. I'd buy kooky monkey comics.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks, George! It's like being reunited with an old friend. I'm gonna sit down tonight and spend more time drawing Jinx and his cast of friends. Maybe I'll post. I'll either grow tired of him again, or something will begin to spark.

I've also decided to stop THINKING about what I should be doing for comics and just DO them. Maybe a comic a day (1 or 2-pager) in my sketchbook so I can get to know my characters more. Figure out what I like about them, hoping the stories will begin to flow.

Lately I've been designing each of my comics from the ground up. New characters, new story, every time. Which is fine, but I think it will be easier for me to get into a rhythm if I can develop a handful of character/story concepts that I can play on again and again.