Thursday, July 6, 2017

So, where did I disappear to?

It's hard to believe that Hoka Hoka Burb'l Burb'l is out in the world after all these years.
In the Afterword I explain some of the reasons why it took me so long.

After a lot of personal ups and downs, in the spring of 2016, I finally settled down and started acting like a serious comic-book creator again. After last year's San Diego Comic-Con, I promised any one who was listening that I couldn't dare show up at Comic-Con 2017 unless I had a finished book in hand. (It was kinda close, y'know?)

In order to accomplish this I had to shut out the world and be totally immersed in Beanworld. That meant ignoring almost everyone I know, and stop looking at Twitter, Facebook and all comics related news sites.I reached a point that the seemingly endless crawl of things in my feeds were either people squabbling over politics or ranting about corporate comics stuff I'd stopped caring about.

I recognized that after 30+ years I didn't have to know everything about the business anymore because no one was paying me to know all that stuff anymore. (I'm not even sure it is possible anymore.) It was liberating in a way only a few former colleagues can really understand.

The only social media I participated in was Vine and to a lesser extent Tumblr.
I loved Vine.
Exploring the endless visual and sound possibilities of a six second video loop was seductive.
Vine was the perfect distraction.
Over time, I fell into the company of a ragtag bunch of visual artists, writers, photographers, and people that are just really funny.

The best part was, with very few exceptions ( Hello,TheMisterBumboShow.), hardly anyone on Vine knew anything about me beyond the stuff I was regularly posting. I participated in a few local Vine meet-ups and I didn't try to hide Beanworld or anything, I talked about it as much as anyone wanted to. Being a comic book creator just wasn't that big a deal. Going to Comic-Con was though. People were often very impressed that I could get into Comic-Con because it was all but impossible for them to go. That I went was for more impressive then the fact that I was an exhibitor.

It was in the digital company of these folks for three years that I mostly interacted with as I worked on Beanworld. Twitter shut down Vine right about the time I was really digging into The Battle to Finish Book Four. It was a very sad time for Vine folks. But the truth was, most people didn't "get" Vine beyond it being a temporary novelty. Twitter shut it down because there just weren't enough people there anymore.

I took my act over to Instagram where a whole lot of people do know me. Instagram can't handle a perfect loop but it's close enough for me. In the process I taught myself the fundamentals of iMovie and settled in there.

I make little collages of pictures and sound.
I find the pictures randomly.
I open my Tumblr feed and start scrawling down.
I choose an image or bit of film and I start chopping it up and blending it in with others bits of stuff into a very fast animation that soon has a sort of life of its own.

Then I add music from my library and give it a title.
Those are the three pieces--movement, music, title--each influencing the other.
I only use music from my own digital collection--it's music I've been listening to all my life and I "just know" what song to use and what part of a song to use.

Then I post it and that's that.
It usually takes me about 10 to 30 minutes.
I generally make  'em at night and in bed.

They have absolutely nothing to do with Beanworld--not directly anyway.
It's the same brain that channels Beanworld but some different part of it.
To me the process of selecting and combining the various elements are part of an act of creation made out of "found objects" like any collage.

When I start I don't know what will be on my feed.
I don't know what things will be near each other on my feed.
It's not 100% random but it sure feels like it.

And that is the kind of thing that I like.

Here is one.
And another.
And so on.

My old stuff is in the museum that is all that remains of Vine.


Unknown said...

So excited! I have been waiting for this day since finishing book 3. Thanks so much for creating this wonderful world!

sa said...

the vine loops are wonderful.

Larry Marder said...

Thanks, Derick. And you're very welcome.
I'm really going to try to go much faster next time.

Larry Marder said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my silly little loops, sa.