Back again

I seem not to have much use for this site anymore but to post very occasional HB sketches. If I really were a great Mignola fan, that might be alright, but I don’t think I am. I’m a middling Mignola fan at best, and I have plenty of other stuff to keep my mind occupied. Still, something I feel I ought to be able to do here — though I won’t take time for it now or probably anytime soon — is talk about the appeal this character has for me in spite of Mignola’s apparently shallow conception (as interviews with him generally seem, to my mind anyway, to attest) of him and his little story world.

What I will say is that the character keeps me coming back. Not to the stories, so much, but to drawing. Or rather, when I feel like drawing, if I don’t squelch the impulse but let myself start a little bit, HB is the kind of thing that seems full enough in itself to fuel the impulse no matter how dull to the mere exercise I am — dull as I am, these days, very much.

This started as a doodle without thought, certainly without commitment, and it turned sour, a few circley strokes indeterminately toward a head, immediately disappointing. Not sure why I kept picking up the pad and poking at it.

Anyway, I kept it rough and it worked out surprisingly. The figure’s kind of in an odd position; clearly I didn’t know where I was going with it. (What exactly is going on with his right leg, for one thing? How did we lose the left hand?) On the other hand, it suggests a half-shuffle, half-stride, at once slouching and stiff, that I suppose really is how I imagine the character moving, upright. And in other ways I see that my feeling for Mignola’s peculiar merger of everyguy and minotaur has matured a good deal. Evidently he’s simmering slowly in back of my mind in the long intervals between sketches. I expect he’ll go on keeping me coming back for a while yet.

3 Replies to “Back again”

  1. Nobody is going to accuse Mignola of over-thinking his own subject-matter, that’s for sure. Then again, it’s not uncommon for artists — especially visual artists — to produce work that is “beyond their ken.” Awaiting your further analysis of the appeal this character holds for you.

  2. Yes, exactly. A question I’d love to be able to pursue. With some creative work the matter, the juice, the life, comes in a big way externally to the ‘work’ itself. The comics are especially notable for this, maybe — for calling forth more in all levels of imaginative conversation & imitation, in everything from the way one’s engaged as reader to the ways new ideas are inspired & spun off, than you might say the ‘substance’ would lead us to expect. But it isn’t necessarily the best of the medium that have this effect. On a little reflection it’s clear it isn’t particularly about the medium, anyway.

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