Naked, Eyed

Way back in ’09, and early ’09 at that, I took a tangential look at nudity. The effort, with three epigrammatical quotations and two acrostics, looked like this:

This week I dug it out and had a go at revamping it. I had learned a year ago, reading Art Spiegelman’s awe-inspiring MegaMaus, that his Pulitzer-Prize-winning Maus was thirteen years in the making, and that he’d painstakingly done draft after draft of comic-book pages, panel studies, and layouts. Now I would see what reflection and rework would do for one of my own.


This study includes the epigrams but not the acrostics. I added a quotation, concentrated more on the calligraphy, experimented with more angled text presentations, and drew a different imagined nude cat lady. (I felt the original looked too YOUNG-old.) Then I did a text study of my acrostics:


Note the lines “Magistrate or Auntie Em/A Joy, a Challenge, a Dilemma.” The scansion sort of jumps the rails to maintain acrostic integrity; were there no acrostic, the break would yield “Magistrate or Auntie Em a/Joy, a Challenge, a Dilemma.” I especially liked the flat-breaking plane of the NAKED NAKED NAKED triple acrostic. Now I was ready to integrate the studies into yet another study.


This result took about three hours, and could have taken another three to unmuddy and finesse the image, had I the time. I do not, so I will save the FINAL final image for another time. But there’s a valuable creative-process lesson in reworking an original. I will be doing a lot more reworking, of this and many others, in 2013 and beyond.

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