A few days ago, I was sitting at Empresso Coffeehouse soaking up the free AC and staying cool on a scorching Californian summer’s day. As always, my trusty and ever present sketchbook was lying open in front me with a fresh blank page beckoning me to put down something. Not feeling overly interested in delineating any of the locals, I set my pen down and started drawing, not knowing what would appear. This Surrealist technique of automatic drawing is something that I’ve used often in the past, but not so much recently. Some of my best ideas have come about this way; my drawing, Raven is something that was created by starting with no preconceived idea whatsoever. As time went on, a female figure began to emerge slowly, but surely on the blank page before me. I thought that this might be a good opportunity for me to do something different from what I normally do — something that would surprise people.
A couple of days before starting this idea, I had been looking at Moebius Oeuvres: Les Années Métal Hurlant, an omnibus volume containing every single story that legendary comics creator Moebius contributed to the groundbreaking French science fiction comics magazine, Métal Hurlant. Feeling inspired by Jean’s brilliant line work, I proceeded to craft a faux comics cover in the spirit of his now legendary work. In order to capture some of that essence, I knew that I was going to have write my text in French. Luckily, one of my dearest friends speaks fluent French, so that certainly made things easier for moi, as my French is limited to a few phrases and pick up lines. Looking at my drawing, I spontaneously came up with some things that I thought would make a strong statement. Now, mind you, I wasn’t concerned with being politically correct or anything like that at all. I wanted to say something, and I wanted to be very direct about it. When I texted my friend to see if he could translate my text for me he said, “Oh man, this is going to be a challenge.” Of course, he came through like he always does, and thus I was able to finish work on my idea. Despite the fact that this is fairly detailed, it’s still nothing more than just an idea for now. With a little more effort, it could really become something quite strong. I’m not exactly sure if I’ll work it up into a more finished piece, but the possibility is certainly is there.
Finally, I’m sure that you’re all wondering what my faux cover says, right? Well, part of the idea was to make you feel the way I felt when I would look at one of my French
hardcover bande desinée books. To this very day, I still sit and stare at them trying to decipher bits and pieces of the wonderful puzzle that lies within them. The fact that I do not speak French has never ever been important to me. My French
hardcover bande desinée books have spoken to me loud and clear from day one in a language that transcends any and all cultural differences. Anyway, I’m sure there’s quite a few Francophones out there amongst my readers who will enjoy the statement that’s being made in my faux cover; Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.