Monday, 4 August 2014

The Language of the Birds

Portrayed today is a face that I hope is recognisable to you all as our current pontiff, Pope Francis, in all his chintacular glory (actually, I'm feeling like I've underdone the chin this time, but the fact remains that the man's facial features are a godsend to cartoonists). If you're new to the Leaflocker I guess this is my chance to let you know that despite a complete lack of artistic and technical ability I'm an aspiring cartoonist. This is a bit of a problem, as all my characters look the same and I can't convey emotion or draw scenery or much of anything else, but it's an interesting mental diversion, if nothing else.

Since Francis became pope I haven't talked all that much about the papacy. Partly, this is because I'm a bit of a hipster at heart and all these people talking about the pope was killing my vibe, and partly because I don't see the need to talk about it so much because the new pope is good at staying in the limelight. Francis' twitter account, @Pontifex, is one of the biggest out there, a level of popularity that poor old Benedict XVI could only dream of, and his PR people (though presumably he does his own stunts), apart from the occasional incidents with feral birdlife, do an excellent job getting his message out there.

This is a little comic riffing on that and quoting an under-appreciated Aussie poet. I didn't really have anything to say, it just seemed apt. As one of presumably not that many twitter people (am I a twitter person now?) capable of quoting Creeve Roe from memory, I figured I might as well Juxtapose the two ideas and see if it works for other people like it works for me.

Francis is a problem for my comic. I like the man, I like him far too much to leave him out of Habemus Papas, if I ever get around to writing it, and I think he makes a good counter to Benedict XVI (not since John XXIII and Paul VI has there ever been such a prime example of the old adage, after a fat pope, a thin pope), plus of course he's fun to draw; but he messes with my balance. 

Before Francis, my main cast consisted of Benedict and his counterpoint an predecessor John Paul II as the protagonists, JPI as the Green Ranger, and John and Paul as the odd couple comic relief characters. With Francis in he mix, the Benedict/Francis interplay is too good to pass up, and this relegates JP II to a more minor role, and in turn reduces the importance of JPI, and I love JPI. I mean, the guy wrote letters to fictional characters. It also removes my need to have 'Beautiful' Georg Ganswein as a major character, and I can't decide if I like that or not. Because even though he's not a pope he's still fun to play with.

Still, I've re-written the first eight pages (the sum total of the actual comic I've ever written) with Francis and Benedict instead of Benedict and Msgr. Ganswein, and I like it better this way. All I need to do now is learn to draw and then summon up the courage to actually post the thing before another pope dies or retires and I have to rewrite it all over again.

Then comes actually telling a real story instead of just introducing 'all' the characters, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...and let's not leave a post in which we mention St. Francis without linking to the always excellent Kate Beaton.

1 comment:

Michael5000 said...

I think you should start your comic further back in history. Begin with the adventures of Pope Telesphorus, and work your way forward.