Friday, February 20, 2009

Pants and Plastisol

It's been quite a week. I have a ton of stuff to get to--namely, getting a piece together for a show next week at Ronin Gallery in Echo Park, working on finalizing some pencils so I can finally start inking, and trying to get some new stickers made. All of the momentum I had though, was completely roadblocked for an entire 48hrs. as I did an rush screenpress job for a friend of mine. Spare you the details, but lets just say that because of it being so intensive, and not to mention a few things that needed correcting on my end, I ended up working in the studio 20hr. straight on it until sunrise, and then had an adverse reaction to the plastisol fumes I constantly had been burning and inhaling and ended up in bed for the entire day. Which made me come to the conclusion that: a) unless its a light job or plenty of time, I will never do something that involved again, no matter what the money is. Its not worth my sanity and b) I am seriously, seriously considering not using plastisol anymore. I might be a crybaby when it comes to toxic stuff, but man--I can still taste the oily coating on my tongue 2 days later. To be sure, this is no fault of anyone's but myself; I wanted the job, and appreciated being given work...but next time i'm going to weigh things a little better when it's "money" vs. "health" and "own stuff I need to get done". Lesson learned. I think...
The one good thing that emerged out of being bedridden, though, was that I got to catch up on "research"--namely:
The Dick Van Dyke show started in late 1961 and ended in Mid June of '66. A situational comedy, it was exceptional in a lot of ways--not only being one of the few shows around to have non lily white people on it from time to time (Star Trek and I Spy came later on, and believe me, Im going to talk about them too, eventually) but for the fact that it portrayed a "young" (Dyke was like a decade Moore's senior) married couple that actually had , well, a more realistic married life. Well, no--split beds weren't realistic, but come on man, its 1961. Yes, couples in the suburbs were already swinging and wife swapping, but not on tv.
There are two things that really get me about the show though, and why I chalk up watching them as "research". The first thing is, and this is something that is understated by people, and also something that I couldn't appreciate before I started making comics, is the physical comedy of Dick Van Dyke. He was funny not only because of the way he handled himself in different situations, but it was the way he moved. Start at about 6:50 in the video to the dream sequence and you'll see what I mean (plus, you get to see Mary Tyler Moore dressed like a playboy bunny. Please, stop frontin'--she was tight!)

Rest in peace Chris Farley, 'cause he was amazing too--but my man Dyke was ridiculous.
The second thing is how they dressed. Or more specifically, how MTM dressed on the series. The thing is, that although I try my best not to particularly "date" when any of my comics take place, the one thing that I lean on is the fashion of the 60's, which, other than the twenties, is when I thought we were best dressed. I hate the 60's hair, but everything else was perfect--from skirt length (*whistle*) to how everything actually fit on a person. Moore wasn't the first woman to wear pants on tv (I think that honor goes to Lucile Ball?) but she definitely was the one that made Capri pants as popular as they were. And although her character was a tiny bit naggy of a wife, she made the show even sweeter to watch.

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