Ok, Here Goes

It has been a while since I shared a snippet of the book project with you, so here’s an update:


Yesterday I completed a short burst of activity in which I re-did two pages in a story that were just horrible to behold. This is a panel from one of the pages. I’m pleased with the overal design of these two splash pages, so wanted to visuals to be a bit better than my first rendering from a year and a half ago. Now it is time to move on to doing production on new story material, I think. That’s enough re-doing… until the next time.


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8 Responses to Ok, Here Goes

  1. anonymous says:

    These updates are nice but what I really want to know is,when will your graphic novel be published?

  2. Clifford says:

    I really want to know that too! I’m just creating stuff right now. I hope to talk more about publishing matters at a later point.


  3. anonymous says:

    Ok, given your interest in films you should also do an animated film version of these dialogues. The dark skinned guy looks too much like a white guy with a great tan and extremely curled hair.

  4. Clifford says:

    (1) I get your first remark a lot. Thank you. My usual response goes like this: A graphic novel is not just stills from a film, as though it is some sort of poor cousin. It is something different altogether. If I wanted to do this as a film project, I’ve had done it by now. It would have been much easier to do, and I’d have finished back in 2011. While I may do a film project related to this one day (some aspects of it have been on my mind) it would be as a different exploration altogether, not as a next step.

    (2) As regards your second point, I’d respectfully suggest that you do one of the following: (a) Meet a wider variety of types of people. There’s actually quite a spectrum. (b) Learn a bit about the meaning of drawings in this context more as symbols and less as direct representation.

    (3) I suppose your second comment makes a refreshing change from the usual thing I get which is that as soon as someone sees on the page a dark-skinned male character talking about physics they (somewhat tediously) assume that it is supposed to be me.



  5. anonymous says:

    Sorry, I never meant to imply any of the things you deduced from my suggestion about making a film. As for point #2 I’m intimately acquainted with the different types of blacks and their half black children, my relatives range from Senegal, Eritrea, The Philippines, Mexico USA white, and Haiti. the type you depict here exists but is a rarity. You’re the artist so you should do as you think best.

  6. Clifford says:


    I did not mean to imply that you meant anything in particular, and I did not take your intent as negative. I was giving a broader answer, as I indicated. There’s a tendency people have to want to connect the different visual media, and when they see sequential drawings, they jump ahead to film.

    You said in your new comment: “the type you depict here exists but is a rarity.”

    Then it is odd that you look at *one* person here and conclude it is somehow wrong, or notable. If I was showing thousands of examples of dark people and they *all* looked like your “rare” type, then perhaps I’d have been less confused by your first comment. You don’t know who he is, what his heritage is, and so forth, so maybe he has good reason to look like he does. Or maybe I just made a random choice. Either way it does not matter, especially if you’re only seeing one person. But that’s all beside the point:

    When it comes to race and representations thereof, everybody puts themselves forward as an expert. It is a topic that tires me. What you call “half black” (whatever that means” some people would call black and others would call that same person white. I don’t know what any of that means, when it comes down to the basics, and frankly, I just don’t think it should matter as much as people think it does. As I said, the symbols are more important to me than the specific representation. (Snoopy does not look like any dog I’ve ever seen.) I can draw people of different “races” with arbitrary accuracy, but that is not really the point of the exercise. I’m going to have all sorts of shapes, colors, genders, and so forth in my world, and people can associate them with one race or other, one person or other, one gender or other, and I’m going to leave it up to them to do so.

    The ambiguity will hopefully serve the larger point that science is universal.

    As you say, I’ll do as I think best (although you are far too generous in calling me an artist šŸ™‚ ).



  7. anonymous says:

    Please, no false modesty, You are an artist. I did not realize that the character’s racially ambiguous looks was intentional, I thought you were simply following a script or something defaulting to a white representation as the norm. I do hope you will do a movie, it would be great if you incorporated the animation you did sometime ago explaining the forces of nature (gravity, electro-magnetism,etc.) with some of the characters you are creating. This will be my final comment since I think you ought to get back to work on the project instead of entertaining questions from me. I hope you will be able to publish by 2014.

  8. Clifford says:

    2014!!! Ack! Also, intentional was not quite what I said – it is more complicated than that – but let’s leave it at that.

    Also, seriously, it is not false modesty. I get conflicted about these definitions, so I think of myself as a scientist who dabbles in art. Here are two sort-of reasons, that are not necessarily connected:

    (1) I know lots of people who are unquestionably artists, who live and breathe it full time, have had a great deal of training and study in the field, and some even make their living from it, often struggling to do so. By their standards, and out of respect for their profession, I prefer to say that I’m not an artist. Certainly I can call myself an artist no more than someone who loves science and has no training in it or struggle to make their living from it, but dabbles in it from time to time can call themself a scientist. It does not mean that I might not have something to contribute (just like the parttime science dabbler can sometimes contribute to science), but I prefer to use the term for the full time people.

    (2) Also, I think labels limit people. You may have read from earlier posts and comment streams that I think that people tend to decide very early on that they cannot draw, for example, which I think is very unfortunate (and a symptom of larger societal problems). They end up believing that you need to be “talented”, be “an artist”, i.e. part of some special group. I’m not a fan of classification when used that way… So I think I reflexively resist the term because I fear that as soon as I get pigeonholed as an artist, then I get somewhat negated as an example of a regular person who learned to draw by just drawing, and putting in the hard work needed to do so.

    But, as with everything, I’m in danger of having over-thought it a bit. Worse things happen at sea.

    Nice to talk with you.