Friday, August 31, 2007

Flat Manola

Self-portrait inspired by geek blogger dinner featuring Hugh Macleod et. al. at a pizza joint in Miami. Just in case you were wondering if my compulsion to draw was spurious, here is an actual specimen that has been crinkled up in my purse for nearly four weeks. I'm not guaranteeing that this will be the last cartoon I'll ever draw on a greasy paper tablecloth.

Hell, I'll draw on the truffle-oil stained embroidered napkin handed to me by the sommelier, thank you.

I'll even draw on your ass if it's firm enough!

I've always labeled myself as an artisan of words AND images. It's a strange feeling to want to capture the moment both verbally and visually. I suppose the art of cartooning satisfies, but it relies heavily on le mot juste and the punctum. Brevity is key. A light bulb lit. A flash of something -- then all is gone.

OK, screw the big fucking words. It either works or it doesn't. And when you can laugh at yourself, you know it does.

Manola was born from a time in my life that wasn't particularly pretty or funny. Actually, it was depressing, inconsolable and ugly. All those laughs we've shared? They sometimes came to me because there was nowhere else to turn.

And so it is. A blessing, blessedly in disguise. Being funny isn't easy, but never laughing is so much harder.

Two years ago, I hadn't even hit rock bottom yet. Yet Manola knocked hard against the eggshell and I nurtured her fledgling existence. The support was mutual; she also nurtured me. Sometimes I don't know if I would've survived without Manola's obnoxious sense of humor. In some ways, the character I created saved me.

I've carried this woman with me for nearly two years (come October). It's just dawning upon me, the weight and responsibility of keeping Manola alive.

And you know what? It aint so bad, my friends. I'll be celebrating my fortieth birthday in November. I've never looked forward to a milestone in my life such as this -- proud, happy, hopefully healthier and above all, truly funny because it's coming from a place where both Manola and I can thrive.

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3 comments:

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Dear Ms. Blablabanik (or is it Maria de Los Angeles),

In the immortal words of Steve Martin, "Comedy is not pretty." That's all you need to know. That's all anyone needs to know. No explanations are necessary for your craft.

By the way, happy November birthday. Hitting 40 with a sense of humor is something to celebrate.

James Burnett said...

Kudos for your writing prowess. Seriously, I've enjoyed everything I've read on this blog over the past couple of years.

And happy 40th-in-advance.

Yvette said...

Looking forward to celebrating the Big 4.0, Miss M. Can we start now?