The Infinite Corpse is an online collaborative comic that is open to everyone in the world who makes or wants to make comics. We are particularly looking for outstanding efforts in humor, creativity, and draftsmanship. Each new artist is asked to follow another artists 3 panels with their own 3 panels. Each artist is allowed to take the comic anywhere they want,(a few seconds forward, a million years in the future, 20 years in the past, etc.) as long as they follow the 7 simple rules. In order for the Infinite Corpseto grow, it must remain outstanding. Each contribution will need to be okayed by a panel of artists from the Chicago artist collective Trubble Club.
It has no beginning and it has no end. There is no right way to start reading… so please, dive in anywhere.
This project is meant to be a place of constant inspiration. New art coming in from everywhere. If you’ve contributed before, you can contribute again and again as long as you never follow your own previous panels. The Infinite Corpse is here to be useful to narrative artists. A place to keep creative juices flowing, and for an occasional sense of instant gratification, something we feel is needed by artists who labor for years to put something out. It’s probably needed by everyone.
The Infinite Corpse takes its inspiration from one book, and one idea. The book is The Narrative Corpse put out by RAW in the 90s. This was a book based on Le Cadavre Exquis (The Exquisite Corpse), a parlor game played by French Surrealists in the early 1920s. In The Narrative Corpse, 69 cartoonists drew 3 panels after another each only seeing the 3 before them. The Infinite Corpse picked up the story right where The Narrative Corpse left off, except instead of the character “Sticky” in that book, we have “Corpsey.” Picture him as Sticky with all of his flesh rotted off. But The Infinite Corpseis not a book, and will never be a printed book, because of the second inspiration; Scott McCloud’s idea “the infinite canvas.” The idea that an online comic does not have to obey any conventional page restrictions. Many webcomics could conceivably find a home in a printed book. The Infinite Corpse is meant to be at home online with no boundaries, and grow like a balloon filling up with stories like twine. It’s a giant beautiful surreal artist-based choose-your-own-adventure story!
The Infinite Corpse is an art project that is just for fun. A giant comic quilt to get lost in. Please! Contribute! Invite friends and talented strangers you meet on the bus!
Here is one panel from my three-panel contribution (I also have contributed a few of the “meanwhile” panels that reconnect threads [can you spot them?]):
Please now spend the next millenium delving through The Infinite Corpse.
Recently, my chum Joe Tallarico asked me to participate in Lumpen‘s Comics Issue, the last of which came out in the mid-90s. I’d like to say that it goes without saying what a wild honor to be a part of this. Especially when you see the lineup!
Before I take up your entire screen with said lineup (which is actually just a list of all my friends in town, more or less), I’d like to show you the page I have in Lumpen, which is entitled “So Lonely,” and is based on a true story:
This comic (amongst others I cannot show you at the moment) uses a trick I’ve been positively obsessed with recently, which is adding a layer behind the coloring of a textured surface. Adding the texture allows for a more natural look to the color, instead of the flatness that can occasionally plague digital coloring.
Here’s a scan of the texture I used, which is the back of an old sketchbook that’s coated in Gouache:
In addition to “So Lonely,” I also colored in the comic that Trubble Club has in Lumpen. Here are the first three panels:
So, having enticed you with samples of all the amazing work I’ve had a finger-in-the-pie for, won’t you look at this list of contributors and be further enticed to pick up a copy for yourself? They’re free, I should mention. They’re scattered around town, so be on the lookout!
Ryan Travis Christian
Luke Temby (Cupco)
I recently made the above image for Girls Rock! Chicago. It was done under the auspices of “Hey, Ian, can you do something for me by tomorrow?” And despite this, and having other things like “life” getting in the way, I think it came out quite well.
In case you are worried that I spend my time doing nothing (aside from listening to “Low” on repeat and watching Jon Pertwee-era Doctor Who), I am here to prove you wrong:
I’ve been working on a few different comic projects, some of which I have remarked on below (Happiness #3, Under Ice: Kate Bush Zine, and also the forthcoming Chromazoid 2). I’m also spending quite a bit of time writing. I write first, naturally, for the Number One Sliders Fan Site “Earth Prime,” where I’ve moved by Sliders blog, “Think of a Roulette Wheel.”
But more interestingly, I feel, I’ve begun a writing project where I’m taking on The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1995 opus Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, one song at a time. I’ve just made it to “Here is No Why,” which was, for a very long time, my favorite song. It’s not, anymore, but I’m very proud of the entry. Here’s a bit of it:
Rock & Roll, so often, is the misremembering of what’s come before. As generations pass on their influences, an aural game of “telephone” ensues. A kid today listens to a band who listened to this band who themselves listened to that band who themselves were influenced bythis band, who listened to The Beatles, who themselves listened to Elvis. But the band the kid today is listening to isn’t thinking of Elvis. He couldn’t care less about Elvis, though he’d be formless without The King.
Between the misrememberings also comes the response and recoils— The “alternative nation” was an offshoot of the grunge miasma, which was itself a response and recoil from the hair metal birds nest, which was a response and recoil from punk rock dystopia. But Punk Rockand Hair Metal were a response and misremembering of Glam Rock.
Hair Metal took the sexuality and guitar riffing, and put those above things like ‘taste’ and ‘subtlety.’ Glam Rock, certainly, was full of wanton sex and brilliant riffs, but it was also about liberation and pose, rather than posture and libation. Punk Rock took the revolutionary force of Capital-C ‘Change” from Glam, threw the glitter under the bus, and blunted Glam’s Social Sashay into a pimpled sneer. Punk & Glam shared a desire for the headline: Bowie declaring himself as ‘gay’ in the music press, or Rotten declaring himself the Antichrist.
Glam & Punk where also just as important for their eye-opening Image as they were their songs. Grunge, though, while a musically very much tied to Glam & Punk, were consciously anti-Image (thought this anti-Image posturing led to a ubiquity of flannel anyways). “We’re not fabulous,” their clothes said. “We’re just some guys.” Uncool was the new Cool.
Grunge’s child Alternative, though, re-embraced color and Image, reachingbackto the‘psychedelic 60s’ for inspiration. It was too soon to call it a resurgence of Glam Rock, though— Glam was still too tied to Hair Metal to even be considered ‘uncool-ly cool.’ But Alternative embraced the Uncool, the Slacker Chic, even more than Grunge did. Once Nirvana covered “The Man Who Sold The World,” (and once people realized Kurt didn’t write it), Glam was on the ascent.
There’s much more, if you’re interested.
In case you are also wondering, in an attempt to make this website an actual, y’know, website, I’ve updated the “Words” section to be a pretty decent-looking Writing Portfolio, where you can dig on all the writing I’ve been up to, man.