The Further Adventures of Marek Bennett

Tue 11/22/2011

One of the key concepts I try to constantly remind my students is that you need to become an interesting person. There's that old adage, "write what you know" and the more you get out into the world to interact with people and have new experiences, the more material you'll have to draw from for your stories.

I think the best role model for this advice is Carl Barks, who didn't sit down to draw his first page of comics until he was 41 years old. Before that he had worked as a farm hand, a lumberjack, a railroad car repair man, a mule driver, a cowboy, a printer, a worker in a box factory, and probably a dozen other odd jobs, before he finally landed a gig drawing cartoons for the Calgary Eye-Opener and then an animator at the Disney studio. I firmly believe that it is because of these many life experiences that Barks was able to crank out more than 500 stories in 6,000+ pages of comics over the next 25 years. And what stories!

SIDE NOTE: Volume 1 of the new Carl Barks Library arrived and it is BEAUTIFUL. All of my apprehensions have been allayed. PLEASE buy this book! You will not regret it.

One modern-day cartoonist who embodies these ideals is my pal Marek Bennett. Not only is Marek a talented cartoonist, musician and educator, he is also quite the world traveler.

Currently, Marek is in Slovakia and he has created a blog to document his experiences there. It's fascinating to get a glimpse into another culture through Marek's eyes and to follow along with him as he learns the language and talks to various people and does research about art in churches and architecture and all kinds of other interesting stuff. Marek is great at capturing the humor in small moments and his simple, direct drawing style makes you feel like you are there while everything is happening (even though people are portrayed as bunnies!)

There's a donation page on the site, where you can preorder the book that will result from Marek's travels. If this forthcoming collection is anything like his Nicaragua Comics Travel Journal, it will be a graphic novel well worth having!

As for my own life experiences, I have nothing much to blog about right now because I am currently spending about 10 hours a day in front of my drawing table, trying to finish off Basewood (currently 94.64% done!) At the rate I'm going, I should have it done in a few weeks. I'll post all haircutting and book-ordering information on here, as it becomes available!

2 comments on this entry

41? I did not know that! There's hope for me yet!

94.96%? Awesome!

Thanks so much Alec! I am now home in USA and drawing the rest of the Further Adventures, so I will be posting to the blog for a while and will keep you updated on the progress of the book.
Good luck with the last of Basewood!

Marek Nov22

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