Archive for surly kid

sketchbook: how i keep track

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , , on March 8, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I’ve never done this before but for the latest run of comic strips, I’ve been keeping track of characters in my sketchbook. Is this something actual artists do?

I knew I wanted to take the opportunity of focusing on one class to create a couple of memorably designed student characters. In that way, when the same students pop up again and again… it’s easier to notice. Before this year, I always drew whole classrooms of random students, many who ended up looked exactly like one another.

Oh once and awhile I tried to shorehorn in a couple of characters (like Cassie and Winston), but by and large, I stuck with the “large random assemblage” idea. I wanted to try and convey to my readers the feel of how huge being a teacher is these days. I don’t mean the importance of the job… I mean the sheer size. You teach like 150-160 kids a day. Sometimes it seems like one big crowd of kids.

Doing the journalism comics offered me the opportunity to zero in and focus these strips. As you can see, I’ve introduced about twelve recurring students. I find myself often referring to this page to “take attendance” of which characters I’ve used in what capacity and where. I still have the problem of creating similar looking designs for my characters (see the entire right hand column if you don’t believe me) but having something like this page living in my sketchbook has been quite helpful!

I’m afraid I haven’t given them very sharp personalities beyond surface stuff (Devin is sort of negative all the time, Tami is a go-getter/apple polisher) but perhaps that’ll come with time.

2010-2011 school year: day one hundred

Posted in surly kid, Uncategorized with tags on May 5, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

…and with that, the 100th comic, I’m going to call it a day with regular comic updates for the 2010-2011 school year. I never liked how the strip just sort of petered out last year, so this seems like as good a place as any to call it a year. I only have 13 more teaching days ’til summer vacation (believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself).

Given that fact, I’m going to shift focus here a bit. Updates will continue more or less regularly over the summer months, but I’m going to try to vary it up a little bit. I’ve really enjoyed some of the longer format comics I’ve done the past year (the three-strip run on merit pay and my take on the It Gets Better campaign) and I think I’m going to spend at least part of the summer trying to write a couple of longer narrative comics like that, concerning teaching.

I’ve also been mulling a brief run of true journal comics. I did personal journal comics featuring my family and friends for a few years before this enterprise and while you could argue that they were pretty lousy (fact: they were), I enjoyed creating them and it might be fun to do a couple, capturing my kids’ at this age.

…so yes, I’m not going away or anything but hooray for Comic #100!

2010-2011 school year: day seventy

Posted in surly kid with tags , , , on February 21, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Winston, a.k.a. “The Surly Kid” has appeared a time or two before in this comic.

Also, I feel compelled to point out to longtime readers (and I’m talking to the people who have been reading my scribbles for YEARS) that I drew the poster for Me and You and Everyone We Know a whole lot better in this comic from almost five years ago. I had just bought one of those nifty Nerf guns that shoots foam projectiles with crazy accuracy.

If you’ve never seen it, Me and You and Everyone We Know is one of my favorite movies. Although I don’t anticipate it playing in my neck of the woods, I’m looking forward to Miranda July’s sophomore effort,  The Future.

2010-2011 school year: day thirty four

Posted in surly kid with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I’m going to start putting the comics with students who make regular appearances into categories so they’re easier to find, but for now: if you’re interested, this kid last appeared in this comic back in September.

2010-2011 school year: day nine

Posted in comics, surly kid with tags on September 27, 2010 by Christopher Pearce