XO-LP // Laura Palmer


Love Letters to a New Year.

Comic Book Dropout.

Dear 30,

I did it. I dropped out of Comic Book Drawing class. Sorry Ron. It's not you, it's me.

sketches for my first assignment. 

sketches for my first assignment. 

My illustrious teacher, Ron Wagner, proved to be a master of his craft. I mean, come on, he draws BATMAN. I was so impressed with his skill, the ease with which he drew anything. Truly anything. Ron is an expert. My classmates were comic book experts. They knew who was a DC Comic and who was a Marvel. They could draw muscly men in spandex. I drew fish. While my attendance record sucked, I did (seriously Ron, I mean this) learn a lot in my short stint as a comic book illustrator. 

my attempt at Batman. be impressed.

my attempt at Batman. be impressed.

1. DC Comics was never in DC. In fact, it's not even in New York anymore. 

2. One person writes the comic books. One person pencils the comic books. One person inks the comic books. It's a complicated process with short timelines. Oh and computers changed the whole business. 

3. Batman is a complex creature. Ron draws Batman with ease and grace. I drew Batman as a stocky, angry, hand-less, caped, bear-like man. 

4. Horizon lines and perspective make all drawings better. And I need to practice. A lot. One of the toughest moments I had in Comic Book Class stemmed from my lack of perspective. (not in life, in my drawings) I really need to draw more. And not just strawberries and paper fans for #mondaypunday. I need to challenge myself to draw Batmans and puppies and exterior views of my new apartment. I need to practice. A lot. 


5. Mance and Hazel Boaz stressed me out. Getting a script and drawing right from it-- whoa. It's intimidating. Scalped is a serious story about a falling Hazel and a bare turnip garden. (You can see there is  very little difference between my Scalped and the real Scalped. I'm actually really proud of this hand. Even though it might have some weird perspective issues.)

6. Many comic book illustrators are in bands. 

7. Comic Book drawing is a lot of tedious work. Work that takes time, creative thinking powers, rulers and attention to details. Trying to draw my homework while working on my Firehouse project (more on that to come), XO-LP biz, day job things and keeping up on the Voice didn't allow enough time for much of anything else. I have a deeper respect for real life illustrators. Dedication and effort are important, man.

My proudest moment since starting comic book class: I drew GRANT MAN during a meeting instead of drawing my usual doodles. GRANT MAN is armed with a case for support. This is only funny to non-profit employees. 

Ron is a master. My classmates, comic book lovers, were super talented artists. Thanks for letting me sit in on such a cool class and teaching me so much. You should really check out the classes the Des Moines Social Club is offering-- you might just end up drawing GRANT MAN and learning from a legend.