Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

13 November 2018

Cartooning Class Chat During Minecraft Comic Demo

Minecraft Joker and Batman face-off for 6 and 7 year-old Cartooning Class

My 6 and 7 year-old students love to do mashup comics combining super heroes and Minecraft. The classroom comic demo concept above was driven entirely by the students who told me who to feature in each panel and what they would say.  All the while each student would make their own version of the comic from pencils to inks to color. As we were busy drawing the class comic, I loved listening to my youngest students discuss the motivations of the characters.

One student (who admittedly was more 'Team Superman') pondered, "I think Batman is kind of evil like the Joker. He’s not concerned with other people who might get hurt when they fight”. Such musing by a first-grader is somewhat remarkable.

Another said, “Batman likes to have all these crazy bad guys to fight so he can be the hero.” In spite of these comments that question Batman’s status as a hero, he maintains a favored spot in my students’ esteem.

I let them talk as they draw without interjecting my own views.

In a previous class of older attendees, one of my Middle-School-age students said he liked the comics from the 60s and 70s because they are not so violent.

My small classes are hardly the basis for a bell-weather of opinions or trends. But who knows… this younger generation might have an impact on the tone of comics of the future.

My demo is made on an easel in front of the class as we all draw together. I snapped a photo of my demo and later colored it in Photoshop.

Minecraft-themed comics thumbnail

11 November 2018

'Likes' Beats 'Retweets'! -- Or Not?

What do you think? Does giving a tweet a ‘like’ beat giving it a ‘retweet’?

Of course, each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. But Twitter tells me when people I follow like something. That notification on my timeline is like a de facto retweet, in my opinion.

I’ve liked tweets that I agree with AND, sometimes just to let the sender to know I noticed and appreciate the fact they made a comment.

Usually, I retweet something I want my followers to see AND that I might agree with.

More often than is probably wise, I will often both like and retweet. I’m beginning to realize that might be overkill.

So If I had to choose only one of these two responding options on a given tweet, I have become convinced that ‘like’ is the most efficient for my followers who will be notified that I liked the tweet.

All that being said, I notice (yes, I check twitter analytics for my tweets) that if I comment on a tweet, it will get more notice that if I retweet with an added remark. I’m still trying to figure out that whole thing.

Here’s an article (oldy but goody) that discusses the ‘Reply, Favorite, or Retweet’ options with more detail.

© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.

02 November 2018

Vintage Aquaman CD-ROM Comic Book Movie Clip

A CD-ROM Comic Book (from 1996) that I rediscovered from storage is something of an artifact due to not being able to be played as originally intended on my current Mac desktop. Fortunately, its video resources are individually usable. The CD-ROM utilizes footage from the Aquaman Saturday Morning Cartoon Series that ran from 1967 to 1970 on CBS. I watched that often as a kid. Below is an embedded video of the intro.

Below is one more clip. It's a sequence of images that take an unexpected turn: Aqualad - Aquaman - tentacles - mushrooms. LOL!

Below is an embedded video of the entire episode of "War of the Water Worlds". It's a bit cheesy but fun! The video might require you to watch a commercial before it starts.

09 October 2018

What a Fantastic Mashup!!!

I've loved Mashups for years and here's a recent one that is just terrific!!!

25 September 2018

When Globalism was Ascendant...

I came across this illustration I created for an article in 1985 about the phenomenal "We Are the World" charity event and hit song.

It had enormous media coverage and participation by top musical celebrities. Can you recognize some of the faces I illustrated as caricatures in the art?

This was a time when 'Globalism' was not a dirty word. The event fostered a sense of responsibility for needs of people suffering on the other side of the world from one's own safe place.

We'll return to those priorities one day.

© O. Douglas Jennings

24 September 2018

Mutual Causality Comic (an over simplification)

The relationships between "Mind, Space, Time" have been occupying my thoughts these days. I made this little comic to work out some of the implications. I am suspending, for the sake of discussion and intellectual thought experimentation, the idea of faith in God. And I'm attempting to pare down the notion of Mind vs Matter(chronology).

Nothing very rigorous, but an exercise in visualizing a concept.

© O. Douglas Jennings

20 September 2018

Overwhelmed by the Voices

A classic X-Men trope is that of the telepath that must learn to not be distracted by the 'chatter' of mental activity around them that only the telepath can sense.

This is how I feel sometimes when I engage with social media. So many 'voices in my head'. And some social media platforms are easier to deal with than others. The higher the interpersonal stakes the more problematic it can be for sensitive personalities to be able to function comfortably. That is why Facebook is my least preferred social media platform. Too many family and long-time friends share that space and I feel like the intense emotional connections/history is a gravitational force that exerts undue pressure for me mentally.

Twitter, on the other hand, is like an impersonal crowd. And the connections are mostly based on hobbies, interests and public venting. It's tools for managing interactions seem less personal and therefore emotional stakes are diffused.

Those are the two ends of the spectrum of social media, I think. It might be said that Facebook is 'high-context' and Twitter is 'low-context' in regards to emotional participation thresholds.

Do you agree? What is your social media platform of choice?

© O. Douglas Jennings