I usually export the comic to a .PNG file which I then resize and save as a .JPEG, but ironically this comic, being hand drawn and scanned, never saw its gentle detail-preserving touch. Also, there might be hand drawn comics for a few weeks. We’ll see how things pan out.
Cleverer people than me have already written about the PNG “solution”, so I’m not going to go into a lengthy diatribe about it here. I did go into a lengthy diatribe about it while Robert and I were writing, though; so that’s something to look forward to this friday. If you’re reading this in the future, I guess that last sentence sounds a bit weird now.
I will say this, though. Nobody’s denying that it’s a stroke of political genius in terms of pulling the rug out from underneath Tony Abbott’s “stop the boats” rhetoric. And while I’m sure it’s completely unintentional, I can actually see the scraps of a good idea lodged in the PNG solution. If we’re too frightened and bigoted to take refugees, sending them to a country where they could actually do a lot of good doesn’t sound like such a bad second choice. But of course the problem is, as it always is, reality. Papua New Guinea’s society is less likely to be changed for the better by the addition of people who have grown up outside of it as it is likely to turn on them with the same (or less) empathy we extend, as a nation, to those seeking asylum. That sentence is a bit hard to navigate, so I’ll also phrase it this way: their shit’s gonna get fucked up.
It’s like I said about the Xbox One debacle: any nugget of a good idea has since been shoved to the bottom and thoroughly beaten out. The difference here is that I don’t think the good idea was originally even supposed to be a part of the finished product. The other difference is that here we’re not talking about video games; we’re unfortunately talking about real people’s entire lives. I wish we could get the same level of infuriation about the latter as we did the former.
I wrote the script for the Ghost Detective comics by myself, with no intervention from Robert. Our comic-making process usually involves me sitting back and talking, and let him do the actual writing. Writing solo is not a new experience to me, though: the majority of my writing consists of screen and stageplays, song lyrics, spoken word poetry and yes, like a Starbucks patron, a novel. Through the comic and Ephemeris, you guys get one oddly specific window into my life, and it paints me exclusively as the art monkey (Robert’s phrase) as opposed to a word monkey (my witty retort). Zunfa is the domain of creative projects that I’ve collaborated on with Robert; I compared him letting me write my own comic without him in the main archive of the site to a parent letting their progeny borrow the family car with a strict warning to bring it back by eleven with a full tank.
Anyway, astute readers who are also astute viewers will notice Hamilton’s unique ability to touch ghosts – the ability which forces him to be a Ghost Detective – has apparently run into some kind of problem on this case. Is this his honest reason for resurrecting Clara’s ghost? Or has he got… motives of an ulterior nature!?? (of course he does.)
I’m also just realising now, I could have milked these two pages for way more than I have. That first page? Could have been split into two and it would have totally worked. This page? I could have eked three out of it! I lazily used the front cover as an entire update, so I figure it’s a clean wash.
I deliberately tried not to base the cartoons of Hamilton and Clara on their actors, but taking that into consideration Hamilton came out pretty close. Clara I could make significantly more ghostly in comic form than on screen, though. I even tried to make her hair look kind of ghost-shaped.