I've been attending an evening manga course, not because I necessarily want to draw that style but because I'm keen to learn everything about this whole new universe of comics I've fallen in to.
Last night was about horror manga, which - to be honest - I wasn't looking forward to. I don't watch scary films, I'm frightened of ghost stories, I shy away from gross scenes of violence. But it was fascinating to learn how, like all the manga we've looked at so far, the genre is divided into numerous categories and sub-categories: demons from ancient times, horrendous gory stuff, subtle psychological scariness, modern surreal situations and much more.
Then it was time for the drawing part. First we all had to list three things we were most scared of; our tutor wrote 1) darkness 2) solitude 3) dolls and told us about her doll phobia as well as some even more amusing phobias from her friends including tubes and moss! She drew a quick four-panel strip about how dolls scare her.
My worst was too horrible to write down on paper, but I made myself do it: eyes being stabbed. It's hard to even type that. My second one, noises in the dark, is as nothing by comparison. For the drawing, we could just use the tutor's examples if we wanted, so I tried to think of a four panel sequence about anything scary or awful.
But I couldn't. The other seven students were scribbling furiously away while I stared at my blank page. All I could imagine was the eye business, and I certainly did NOT want to draw that! But still nothing else would come to mind.
So I had to draw the dreadful thing I imagine every time I see umbrellas near faces. And I survived. (My son told me later "I didn't think you would be able to draw that.") My hope is that this will have taken away some of its power. But I still don't feel like inking it in, so this is just the rough pencil sketch.
What are you most afraid of? What would you not like to draw?
Click to see: What am I doing right NOW?
Note: Two Shillings per Day graphic novel-related posts now appear over here on their own page.