Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2016


My computer room is in disarray so I can't shoot the fresh visuals I'd need to illustrate this story. Instead I'll borrow some pictures of myself from previous blogs and hope for the best. Here goes....

Having acknowledged, at a very early age, the indispensability of women, I had to find the answer to only one question: which one?

The girl I found was a hormone driven boy's dream come true, but she was also given to outbursts of sentimentality. She's still that way today. She's a buddy. Women bore her. She insists on buying her round, but she secretly hopes that doors will be opened for her because she's really a quivering jelly of feminine sensitivity.

She writes mystery stories which I'm not allowed to read. She used to paint, but the possibilities of two dimensions have been exhausted, and, besides, the brushes are stiff with neglect. She subscribes to a literary magazine but doesn't always read it because of the demands of her career, of being a mother, and of being a righter of her husband's wrongs.

She crawls from room to room, gratefully whimpering when she finds masculine disorder and piteously hurt by any indications of masculine independence.  She is what writer Patrick Catling described as a "sweetly scented pink octopus of maternal solicitude."

She keeps looking up from her Sudoku (above) to smile. She wields a thermometer like a magic wand.

She's a terrible weight pressing hotly on the shoulders,  a hobble, a blindfold, a distracting sound, a thick wad of fly-paper in the Kleenex box. But she is necessary.

The tests have been numerous, but the final outcome had already been decided long ago when we were both councilors at the same Summer camp.

In the dark, in a rowboat beached under a sheltering cave of pine needles, in spite of awful fear, I first kissed Woman. Though it was an inaccurate kiss, just a touch of the lips, it was a kiss of total commitment. I hadn't yet come across Yeats' advice: "Never give all the heart." I intuitively spurned the advice then and gave all the heart there was, and I give it still.

BTW: This is a much altered version of a tome by children's author, Patrick Skene Catling.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I'm not scheduled for a new post today but I just stumbled on this comic I made a while back and I couldn't resist putting it up again...right now.  Be warned: it's a little hard to follow, and there's some misspelled words (but the word "Commics" is deliberately misspelled). It's about what happens when a hard-core realist like Joan Crawford joins a group therapy session for poets. 



Saturday, May 03, 2014


I like the way love scenes were handled in the films of the thirties and forties. Imagine how thrilling it must have been to have been a filmgoer in the days when gigantic, passionate heads loomed over audiences of silhouetted chain-smokers. Almost everybody smoked in those days, even some of the kids who sneaked in the exit doors.

Hollywood knew how to do love scenes in those days. They often started in the light...

...and then made their way into darkness. Maybe that was to assuage the Hays Office but I prefer to think that it was done to push the scene into the realm of myth and magic. 

Screen lovers of that period (above) were usually confronted with some insurmountable obstacle like a pesky, killjoy spouse previously thought dead. That elevated their love to the level of tragedy.

Sometimes the obstacle was a disease. Here (above) Garbo has only hours to live but she struggles to keep that a secret from her lover who can't understand why she seems to be so tired and mushy all the time.

Sometimes though, the couple won the lottery and ended up being deleriously happy. They looked into the future and saw nothing but a continuation of their bliss. 

I love the closeups (above) where one head studies the other. 

And how can you beat beach kissing?

Some argue that love scenes...the moment when two closeup heads come together for a crescendo kiss...are overrated. They point out that, when shown out of context, even well known love scenes seem disappointing. That's because the most interesting part of love is established in the light-hearted details or the torturous build-up spread throughout the film. For these fans the boffo climax seems unnecessary.

Maybe they're right, but I still prefer it. My Theory Corner gut tells me that you need a story that pays off...that builds to an exciting climax. Film is about hyper reality. You need a scene to hang that on, a memory the audience can take home with them.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


That's a John K panel above.  John's the best storyboarder in the industry.

Monday, July 16, 2012


What killed romance comics? I wish all questions were as easy to answer. It's pretty obvious that what killed love comics was...good artists.  People who draw well, like Neal Adams, simply couldn't master the surreal, grotesque world of twisted love.  Good artists took over the romance comics and drove the readers away.

I know what you're thinking...Jack Kirby (above) was a good artist and he was one of the inventors of romance comics. True enough, and he did a good job. But Kirby was the rare exception that proves the rule.  Cheerful, wholesome, family men like the artists at D.C. simply couldn't get down and dirty enough.

BTW: How do you like the Kirby drawing above? I like the way the man with blocky fingers wraps his arm around the girl with the webbed claws.  Amazingly, their faces seem to occupy the same space.

Here (above) a lesser artist tackles the same subject. In real life the girl's neck would be broken by this pose, but it works. The pose on the man's hand is a bit off, but it appears to have been scratched by bears so we forgive the mistake. 

Is this guy (above) kissing a cardboard cutout? What are those ginger root thingies on her arms? And why is she posed like that? I don't know, but it works for me. This is the kind of artist who belongs in the romance biz. 

The girl (above) puts her tiny little arms around her giant behemoth of a boyfriend, who appears to be sucking on her forehead. The artist is on to something here. The real life size difference between men and women is shocking. You can't imagine how people so different could even procreate. It's an interesting observation,  but only the lesser artists take the trouble to comment on it.  

Here (above) the girl has the usual tiny arms, awkward perspective cheats, and fish fingers.  That's okay, I'm used to it. 

What I'm not used to is the way their faces fit on their skulls, The girl's face is extremely wide, and wraps around the whole front of her head. The boy's face is just the's pinched and crammed into a thin, vertical strip. You see incongruities like that in real life but only the lesser artist is brave enough to comment on it. 

Like I said, good artists killed romance comics. Good artists are too predictable, too wedded to stereotypes to portray the kind of quirky love that romance media demands.

Monday, April 09, 2012



BEN (VO): "So you're the new waitress. Your hair is really straight. You probably spent like hours on that."

WAITRESS (VO) (doesn't respond.)

BEN (VO): "Oh...I should probably apologize.
                  I'm sorry.
                  I'm sorry.
                  Um, I don't know why I'm apologizing. OK, I'm Ben."

WAITRESS (VO): (Silence.)


BEN: "Oh God, am I being creepy? I hope not. Oh crap! You probably want to run away." 

WAITRESS: (Silence.)

BEN: "No, wait! Come to think of it, I don't care. I honestly don't care if it is creepy."

BEN: "And furthermore, f*** you if you honestly have a problem with honesty!"

BEN: "Let me tell you something....I'M NOT IN CONTROL OF THE TRUTH!"

BEN: "This is the world and I'm in it. And if I can't be honest about what I feel deeply inside of me then, well then...... f*** it."

BEN: "Er...can I say f*** around you? Do you care about things like...

WAITRESS (Silence.)

BEN: "What I mean is that if I can't be honest, and put everything I feel out on the proverbial table then I don't even care about anything anymore..."

WAITRESS: (Silence)

BEN: "You are so pretty."

BEN: "That sounds shallow but it's not. The only way I can convince you of anything is to say that I'm a VERY CYNICAL PERSON. I just DON'T CARE."

WAITRESS: (Silence.)

BEN: "I don't believe in love. I don't believe in 'meant to be.' "

BEN: "I honestly believe that there are like one hundred people. No. Like four hundred people are out there, who each of us could honestly marry. And we all just fall in love slash settle."

BEN: "But when I saw you. I dunno."

BEN: "I saw you buy a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and shampoo across the street, and my connection to you from that moment..."

BEN: "OK there is no way for me to convey this without sounding like someone I would like to murder slash report to the...OK this is going to sound

BEN: "So....... I love you. Boom. I said it."

BEN: "Bye!"


Wasn't that a nice little story? I didn't write it, the honor of authorship of this little play goes to [Aaaargh! I forget the name!!!!!! I'll look for it, and fill this in later! I'll add the name of the book I got it from, too!] I just drastically cut it down and added bridges to smooth the cuts. The original dialogue was far better than my bowdlerized version. 

The play is obviously a comedy, but it has something to say, too.  We can talk about it in the comments if you're interested.