LANGUAGE, from Ian.
They asked me yesterday— “what do you mean when you say Death?”
I said, “I think about it so much it doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to anymore. It’s a little bit because it’s ‘the end,’ but not in the ‘suicide’ way (though that comes up once or twice), but in the way that eventually all things lead to it. Death I mean.”
I thought more and said, “and y’know, sometimes people say ‘there was A Death,’ and they don’t mean necessarily that someone died. Or even that something died. But it represents an end.”
I kept thinking, though. “An end.” But to affix “death” to something doesn’t actually represent any sort of finality, does it? If anything, it lends obsession and mourning (another kind of obsession) to it. Whatever “it” is— and it might not even matter. Pygmalion sculpting a ghost.
In any case, before and after “Death,” there is “Despair.”
Once, I became a monkey.
Cast into the Pit.
and as I languished,
I created a language
out of the anguish.
(in memory of Christian Thompson)
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)