The Curious Sofa

I love my garage.

That might be a surprise to some, considering I am not known for being handy.  This morning I changed a light bulb and I feel like Bob freakin’ Villa.  I like my garage because of all the stuff I find in it.  The other day I found an enormous box of mix tapes I made a long time ago.  What on earth am I going to do with them?  I found a bunch of photos from the last two decades.  Was I ever that thin?  Was I ever that young?  Yes.  I was.

Among the many boxes of unsold Uptown Girl books and Christmas decorations is a lot of artwork.  Sketchbooks, mini-comics and pictures.  I found an old sketchbook that has a lot of concept drawings for Tommy Chicago, the first comic Brian Bastian and I ever worked on together.  It was terrifying to see how lousy I used to draw.  I mean, I’m not Bob freakin’ Ross, but I used to be a LOT worse.  I guess some Uptown Girl characters were originally meant for Tommy Chicago?  Weird.  Some day when I start running out of stuff to complain blog about I’ll post some of that stuff.

I did stumble across a big leather portfolio containing a major project I was working on before Uptown Girl took over my life.  Artwork I haven’t seen for close to ten years.  Over 15 years ago I decided I want to create picture books for children.  So I wrote one called ‘Daisy’s Couch’.  The first version was…terrible.  But inspired by a lot of European comics, like ‘Tintin’ and ‘Asterix” I decided to redraw the whole thing comic book style.  The decision to redraw it in this style came a few months after I started Uptown Girl.  The new ‘Daisy’s Couch was bright, vibrant and big.  It was so much fun to work on for a few reasons, but one reason is that it was so different than Uptown Girl’s small, black and white world.  I loved this time of my life.  I had time to put out a monthly comic and work on other projects.  True, I had no social life to speak of, but it was creatively fulfilling.

After a year or so of working on both projects, production started on the Uptown Girl movie.  Even though it was a small, independent movie, it took up a lot of my time.  The movie was in the more than capable hands of Ben Mudek, so that was a relief.  But I still went to the casting auditions, and a few of the shoots.  Once the movie was made, the promotion began.  I did a lot of interviews and it was a very busy and fun part of my life.  Between the premier and multiple showings around the Twin Cities and then the DVD release party, I had very little time for anything that wasn’t Uptown Girl related.  I took a few months off from the Daisy book.

When it was time to work on it again, my art style had improved quite a bit and it looked the book was made by two different people.  Looking at it now, I don’t think the change was as jarring as it seemed at the time, but I didn’t think I could continue with the book with such different art styles.  So, I vowed to return to the book and start it again.  That vow remains unfilled.

I doubt I will ever redraw this.  I have a lot of projects I want to work on in addition to Uptown Girl, and I don’t think I will ever have time to go back to it.  It’s too bad, I think there’s some fun stuff here and some funny parts, and of course it’s a lot of fun to work in color but these days being a dad and husband and working a full time job take up a lot of my time and energy.  I am lucky I am able to find time to still put out a new Uptown Girl book each year, but I do wish I had time for other things

Finding old artwork can be a lot of fun nostalgia-wise but it can also be humbling.  Did I really draw that poorly?  Did I really think *that* was a good picture?  Looking at artwork that I did last week can also be a difficult experience.  I look at my artwork and I wish I could draw better.  I look at other cartoonists and I wish I could draw better.  I would love to draw like Stan Sakai, Kath Lete, Alex Robinson, James Kochalka, Amanda Conner, Kevin Cannon or Colleen Coover.  But I can’t.  I can draw like Bob freakin’ Lipski and somehow I have to okay with that.

Anyway, here’s a few poorly taken photographs of the Daisy book.  I would have scanned them, but as I said these pages are huge, they’re comic book page size, so that makes them…what?  11 x 17?

4 5 6 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Curious Sofa

  1. joe

    Finish it ! Are you going to reveal the story?? That is what will drive it. At least that’s what i have head.

  2. Pingback: Riding into Battle with Her High Heels on | uptown girl, etc

  3. Pingback: The Cave | Tiny Boxes - comics by Bob Lipski

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