Thursday, January 11, 2007

art project: 100 Demons

When I want to read a serious, non-explosion based comic I turn to Lynda Barry, the master of what she calls "autobifictionalography". Her book One Hundred Demons is one of the reasons I've started drawing recently, even though I suck at it. (If you're looking for more people to blame Scott McCloud and S. John Ross' Encounter Critical were my other two big inspirations. These three helped me ignore my internal critic and just draw some stuff, no matter how inept or juvenile the results.) Anyway, One Hundred Demons was itself inspired by an earlier work, a 16th century Zen monk who painted a long scroll with a hundred demons running across it. Barry decided to try a similar project.

Barry urges her readers to try drawing a hundred demons of her own. Strangely, she takes the brush and ink she uses very seriously and instructs fellow travellers to use a similar set-up. Then she notes that for paper she uses any old thing. Newspaper, yelow legal pads, whatever. Weird. Personally I'm going to ignore her suggestions for writing utensils and use whatever is at hand. Here are my first four demons, done with magic markers and crayons on printer paper.

They may not rank highly in the demonic hierarchy, but if you're a little pie-shaped yellow dude these guys are the stuff of nightmares.
Don't expect much more sophistication than this, folks. I'm using this project as an excuse to play with my daughter's art supplies.