Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

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

11 September 2018

Lex has an Armor Problem

It's funny that baldness is so important to Lex Luthor's ''Brand'' that, even tho' he essentially performs risky tasks with high-tech armor, he rarely, if ever, wears a helmet. That's the most unbelievable part of that character's narrative to me.

Can you imagine if Tony Stark, as Iron-Man did the same thing?
Fans would most certainly call out that improbability immediately.

Post and Art © by O. Douglas Jennings

09 August 2018

Der Löwenbändiger

I'm often surprised by how ideas develop and take shape to have a life of their own. While listening to a book review of C.S. Lewis' apocalyptic sci-fi novel 'That Hideous Strength', I began to create a doodle/drawing on a post-it note.

I had an image in my mind of a a powerful figure with his hand resting on some object... One thing let to another and -perhaps I was thinking of Lewis' Narnia books as well -- the object became a lion. And then the details of the figure took shape with his heavy boots and commando pockets, etc.

The title 'Lion Tamer' came to mind but, after searching various translations of that title on Google Translate, I rather fancied the German phrase. So there you have it. Just a bit of fun while listening to a review that is transcribed here.

The observations of that review are meaningful. And worthy of a separate post.

30 July 2018

Forget Impeachment....


I agree that impeaching Trump would be a satisfying outcome in many ways. But that would leave Vice President Mike Pence to assume the reigns of power in the Oval Office. To say Pence is a white-washed version of Trump is an understatement.

So it would seem that the best strategy for removing Trump is at the ballot box... in both 2018 and 2020. In 2018 the goal is to break the GOP strangle hold on Congress. In 2020, of course, it is to deprive Trump of a second term. I consider both of these actions to be parts 1 and 2 of making sure Trump is a "Lame Duck" President by the time he leaves office.

Of course Pence will run in 2024, but I'm betting the contamination he's acquired from serving as one of Trump's foremost enablers will be his downfall.

#MakeTRUMPaLameDuck2018    #LameDuckDonald2018

05 July 2018

I've been on a Watchmen Jag...

I've been on a Watchmen kick and enjoying two fascinating books from my local library:

Watchmen : the annotated edition:

'This book examines each of the series' twelve issues in unprecedented detail, moving page by page and panel by panel to reveal the hidden foundations of this milestone in modern storytelling. 

Edited with notes by Leslie S Klinger, this 2017 edition draws upon critical and scholastic commentary, in-depth interviews with Dave Gibbons, and previously unseen original source material Klinger provides the reader with a unique and comprehensive view of Watchmen as both a singular artistic achievement and a transformative event in the history of comics as a medium.

Set in a world in which history has been forever altered by the existence of superheroes, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' monumental graphic novel Watchmen is one of the most influential comic book series of all time. Following two generations of masked crime-fighters from the end of World War II to the height of the Cold War, this compelling tale unfolds from a simple murder mystery into an epic saga of power, corruption and the ultimate meaning of humanity. More than 30 years after it was first published, Moore and Gibbons' masterpiece continues to inspire and entertain readers around the world. Named one of Time magazine's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, Watchmen has won countless critical accolades and honors, including the Eisner Award and the Hugo Award"-- Description Provided by publisher.


Watching the Watchmen:

The essential companion to the original graphic novel Watchmen; filled with archival materials and eye-popping images. 

By Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, this 2008 volume includes remarkable preliminary sketches, photos and detailed behind-the-scenes stories of how the Graphic Novel came to be written and the collaboration between writer Alan Moore, artist Gibbons and colorist John Higgins.

The Watchmen graphic novel has spawned an entire industry of films, commentaries and coffee table books -- many of which I have enjoyed from my library and I recommend.

02 July 2018

Emoji Career...

Ok. So maybe the Emoji Movie bombed at the Box Office —or at least on Rotten Tomatoes. I confess I couldn't bring my self to see that movie. But sometimes I still wonder if there could be a future in "Emoji Technology". Would it be a stretch to imagine that someday there might be good money in being an Emojitician?

Screen capture from getemoji.com
After all, as I explore in my previous blog post about the First Graphic Artists, symbolic, iconic imagery has a long, LONG tradition in anthropology and human history. The "Have a Good Day!" Smiley Face was the precursor to our love-affair with today's emojis. I'd love to have a glimpse into the future to see the next generation of the friendly little symbols.

Who knows. Someday we might all communicate primarily in emojis and there might be advanced degrees in "Emoji Studies". "O Brave New World!"

UPDATE 7/5/18: After I posted this blog, I found out about the "Emojicon" in NYC this Summer!
AND the article in Fast Company Magazine had a similar illustration concept as I had! ^_^

20 June 2018

Worse Than That Other Racist POTUS

The Ghost of Andrew Jackson - © by O. Douglas Jennings
I've often thought that POTUS 45 is a lot like POTUS 7, Andrew Jackson. Primarily because both were populists and racist. Jackson is most infamous for the "Trail of Tears" -- forced relocation of Cherokee Native American Tribes from the Southeast United States to much further West to so-called "Indian Territories".

A cantankerous, slave-owning racist, Jackson despised Native Americans and was callous to the suffering he caused them. But at least he didn't stoop so low as to take their children away from their parents.