Home | Archive | Itineraries | Events | FAQ | Columns/Links
Advertise | Newsletter | About/Subscribe | Submissions | Art Walk | Books | THE2NDHAND Writers Fund

**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

Comix Revolution, Evanston

Back to Archive Index

A.D. Jameson

A.D. Jameson received his Master's in English from Illinois State University in 2004. While a student there, he cofounded the zine formerly known as l'bourgeoizine, which published work by Curtis White, Catherine Daly, Gabe Gudding, Kari Edwards, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others. His short stories have appeared in the Mississippi Review and Elimae, and he's directed music videos for the Kill Rock Stars bands Xiu Xiu and Mecca Normal.

I won't say. I'm not going to offer him any advice on how to draw The Thing. He's a superb artist and it'll be up to him how he approaches the story.

Someone recently asked if Cary -- if they need a cheaper way to draw The Thing. I suppose they could base its look on the earlier issues, y'know, before I figured out how to draw it. The old ones. But, no, there's no trick, there is no definitive consensus. With a mystical machine it's different. You can feel what they look like, and what they're supposed to do.

When I started, I didn't have a clue how to draw The Thing. Some would say that I still don't. I know some online folk love to show up with their own guide, a sketch that critiques the way I've drawn it, but -- look, you start, you get halfway through the sketch, and you realize that you don't really know how to draw The Thing. Nobody does.

Being a city slicker, I spent half of the time when I started bogged down on thoughts like: What do clouds really look like? How does smoke behave in light breeze? You can lose half the day wasting time on such things, stuff like wondering whether The Thing makes noises when it moves. After a few seconds' internal debate you sigh, throw your arms up, wave them around wildly, and then don't draw anything at all. You can end up stuck for a whole week that way, unable to draw.

Given the book's fairly nonspecific nature, I find it difficult to tell anyone how to draw The Thing. I don't want to imply that the artist is lazy, or uncomfortable, or just doesn't know how to draw The Thing. I didn't have the slightest idea how when I started. What I did was sketch out a rough guide, a quick sketch, on how to draw it, to get the essential details straight. If after a few months the new artist decides he needs a diagram, I'll try to figure out how to send him that sketch through a computer, and I will send it. But it would be foolish to assume that that will teach him the proper way to draw The Thing. The information I have may be incomplete or wrong.

More than once, somebody wrote in to prove that I didn't know how to draw The Thing. You learn to not let it affect you, to be wary of the readers. You learn how to let it roll off you, to simply shut up and smile ironically, and then smile again, to display your kittenish nature.