Category: COMIX


My best friend.

My best friend.

A few months ago I asked Mark Leggett if saying he was from New Zealand was meant as a joke. His answer was ‘No.’
Then I asked him if he would mind if I draw comic strips based on the tweets from his twitter account @markleggett . He said go for it, as long as I credit it to him. Fair deal I thought. I had not gotten around to drawing one when a couple of weeks later I fell in love. The object of my affection demanded, once she got to know me and my art work, that I draw everyday. Fair deal I thought, since I should be anyway, as long as my job as an inducing servant doesn’t get in the way.
I’d been following mark for awhile before I went to his page and read his wall of past tweets and found myself in pain from laughter! Partially because I was on my back in bed looking up at an iPad. Your neck can get really saw after awhile and if you find yourself laughing a lot you can really hurt your throat.
After trawling through a large cross section of his writing, I picked out three that I really liked. (In hindsight, the three that I chose were more sentimental, then strictly funny.) Once I finally had a day off, I gathered together a note pad and pens and walked down the street to a cafe so I could feel like I was Jean Paul Sartre or Vincent Van Gogh or Hitler. I looked around for a good cafe that wasn’t too busy. That I might be able to sit at for hours and have no one notice me. I walked passed a cafe at the top end of the shopping district (old lady clothes shops) a cafe that was empty and I knew well. The cafe was under new management. It always is, every year or so. The cafe, a few owners ago, was involved in a bullying scandal. The site, the venue, the premises has never lost the stigma of this event. Until now I also had refused to eat there. But this day I looked at it and thought, no that’s just borderline superstition. I ordered some food and coffee and started to sketch out thumbnails for the three very different pieces of writings I had chosen. In front of me a few people started crowding around the road and a women rushed hurriedly out of a shop. I walked up to where they were to see what was going on. A very old lady was lying on the road half convulsing with five or so people crowded around her looking like they had no idea what to do. A lady with a pram moved out onto the road to block the oncoming traffic and direct them to go around (using her pram) while another man was on a phone calling an ambulance. Eventually an ambulance would turn up and so would the police. When I saw the police taking a mans statement, it became clear that he had reversed, while parked, back into her. I’m not superstitious so I read nothing into this at all and don’t feel any guilt for eating somewhere I said I never would to myself.
After four coffees and a meatball platter later I had one of the strips almost finished. ‘While I’m away at work, my cat listens to the mix tape I made for her.’ I drew a very simple cartoon cat, wearing headphones and looking a bit perplexed. I was thinking of drawing a real cat but this simple drawing seemed to fit the writing.
The idea of drawing comic strip panels based on someone’s tweets seems to work for me. Twitter is a hot bed of language design and to give a small piece of writing a visual aesthetic will stamp it with its own territory. So many people hate twitter but really they just have no idea what it is.

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