Friday, August 19, 2011

Beatle 'Toons 2: The Putting Off-ing

While I was looking through my blog archive resizing the pictures plus some cleaning out of my old binders from high school (FYI, it wasn't *that* long ago) to really put where my art has progressed into perspective. Not to belabor it or anything but I went through a really bad "EVERYTHING I DO SUUUUUUCKS!"-depression which passed but mostly it was looking through my past posts and seeing how little I brought up my little Beatle 'toons project  with cryptic "For reals this time" and how few of my NUMEROUS doodles of them I posted here. (I threw a lot of them away because what's the point of keeping an otherwise blank piece of paper with only two or three small doodles on the outer margins? Plus they're smudgy)

Anyway, point is a lot has changed since and not just how I drew the characters so I thought I'd sort of re-assess what I'm trying to and sort of spoil any plot stuff. ^^

I had it in mind to do it as a Flash cartoon and some of the earlier "ideas" (I can't really call them scripts but that's what they are, basically) are set like episodes with a beginning, middle and ending with gags thrown in. The most episodic are one based on the song "Octopus's Garden" (with the ending being "All a dream" or something) and another one as a take-off of the Japanese kaiju film genre involving the Beatles turning into giant monsters and destroying Tokyo. I have a whole litany of things that could work if it was in either a comic format (an opening with a very manga-esque panel arrangement) or a cartoon format (a whole gag with the Beatles as giant radioactive monsters talking in these very deep Japanese voices and some badly translated English subtitles at the bottom.) I guess I could do one and then the other and have the comic be a sort of well-drawn and colored storyboard but eh.
There isn't a problem with any of these 'episodes' but I have this whole problem with that is me second-guessing myself in thinking I can't do anything longer than a page and still thinking in terms of cartoon-length Beginning-Middle-End. I've been reading webcomics like Hark! A VagrantOglaf (NSFW) and Kinoko Fry and seeing what can be done in the medium of comics about length and not thinking I need to pad anything out if I only have one exchange or one joke. Not to say I'm not going to do longer storylines but to sort of go "Well, if I have JUST have one joke, I don't need to build a whole thing around it to make it fit or stick it somewhere." BREVITY, I guess is what I'm trying to say.

Another problem I sometimes have is sort of imagining what the Beatles would say or do in a certain situation and have it be in character. I know the creators of the cartoon had the whole Standards and Practices thing to scoot around and the set Beatle archetype of Paul the Cute One, George the Quiet One, John the Smart (more like Smart-ass one) One and Ringo the...Ugly one? But I don't have that problem and then there's whole Should I Put Dirty Jokes In, Y/N? dance I keep doing. I mean, it goes without saying I'm wouldn't be doing it out of malice or to 'cheapen' them or 'take the Beatles down a peg'. I just thought the Beatle cartoons were funny and goofy and wanted to do my own so I guess its an Affectionate Parody of it, if you want to put a label on it. Then there's the whole based-on-actual-people-thing. I know its something I shouldn't actually be worrying about but I know there are people who have this image of the Beatles in there head...and it doesn't involve the Beatles swearing, smoking (cigarettes AND pot!) and having sex. Y'know, like they did IN REAL LIFE! GASP! (I actually had one idea where they are asked to talk to some aliens and stuff but they happen to be high so they just giggle through the whole thing and John and Paul are trying to drive a flying saucer and use it to bother Brian Jones. )
There is the problem with going too far in that direction (maybe I could get an editor?) without leaning too hard on the dick jokes. Thing is, my unrefined humor (the jokes that just come out without be worked on and tweaked) is a lot of stoner/fratboy humor. I had an idea of breaking the fourth wall and just getting all the "Family Guy" cutaway jokes out of my system in one go.

I'm losing steam so the only quibbles are:
-I had this idea of using the comic to break the fourth wall as if the Beatles were being filmed or doing a comedic sketch (glancing at the 'camera', messing up their lines, holding up scripts and complaining about the writing) but doing it as a long-running thing might be problematic.
-In the cartoon, they all have black hair even though everything else is in color and I didn't know whether to color them with their actual hair color or keep it all black.

So if anybody has anything thoughts, I'd sure like to hear 'em. :)

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