In Dreams and Comic Life

In the coming days and months you might see some computer generated images of my late father popping up on my wall. Do not be alarmed or confused. Yes, that is indeed a rendering of the likeness of Wiliam Bowers you see before you. In these images he will be cast in a myriad of heroic roles because, well, I can and it’s a metaphor for how I relate to his memory. It comforts me right now to include him in my art as he was truly my hero. So, right off the bat, I know that some will find this whole concept a bit silly. That’s O.K., just recognize that an artist it is part of my grieving process.

I’d like to give a shout out to Sixus 1 media for designing this Genesis 3 male character morph and texture set for me. Sixus 1, aka Les Garner does always deliver on time, but he does always deliver. I think this actually looks as spot on as I could image after working with it for a few days. Very, very nice work. AS dad once told, if you need something done, don’t go the guy who has plenty of time. Go to the busiest man in the county. Les stays busy so…advice heeded.

Texture Reference Image of Dad
Texture Reference Image of Dad

Believe it or not, I talked my dad into going to a photography studio over past Matthews to take these photos at RuthAnn Kirby’s business. I had the foresight that someday, I’d probably really like to have a digital version of my dad for 3D comics I hope to make. Normally he found my computer activities pointless for a very long time and was not all that into art. I grant you that the early stages of building such a character look pretty bizarre. Then there is the whole emotional aspect of this. I’m still grieving here but I have stories about Dad I want to share through my art before the memories are lost.13161424_10206785798825139_1709625106_o 13161610_10206785796625084_230748022_o 13161626_10206785797585108_2115089860_o

I was one of the few lucky enough to have a father figure and supporter for most of his life. I want to make the best artistic record of those days as I possibly can. Tomorrow never knows and one day I’ll be gone. I don’t want the memory of such an amazing person to end with my own departure from this earth. It’s an odd drive I admit. Nonetheless, it is how I feel and I always go with my gut so to speak.

To kick things off art wise and to give you an idea of the kinds of images I hope to be producing with Dad’s likeness, here’s my first tribute image. Some of them will be a lot more relate-able like stories from when I worked with Dad in the welding shop. This one is more fantastical however. Here’s Dad as Spartacus.

Click on the image to see the full sized version at Deviant Art.
Click on the image to see the full sized version at Deviant Art.

As I wake up from a dream about my father, often times I feel the urge to write it down or it takes me back to a particular moment. I’m fortunate enough to have the tools to turn that moment into a piece of art and in some small way that makes me feel a little more like he’s not completely dead. Sentimental I know but I see no harm in it and it makes me feel a little better about the entire ordeal. I’m not exactly sure what he’d actually think about it, likely he wouldn’t care about such things one way or the other. I don’t think he would mind it necessarily and on some level I’m sure he’d be flattered. I mean who wouldn’t be flattered being rendered as Superman right?

Sometimes these ideas will really stick with me and other times they are fleeting. So, when I have the time I get a scene started and try to finished it off as quickly as I can. I do have a short comic strip in progress and a backlog of at least 3 stories from old times I want to share in strip format. We’ll see how that goes but I’m sure that it will be fun and cathartic to create.

Dad as The Last Bounty Hunter
Dad as The Last Bounty Hunter

This week has been a crazy one as I got a last minute call to perform with a band at the entrance to the NASCAR fan area today and tomorrow. I had 2 complete practices to get ready so it will be what it will be. The practices were fairly jamming so I’m looking forward to it, but if we get rained out which seems likely, I will not be broken hearted. The pay is the same either way.