Man

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Launch Date May 2001

Background This one just popped into my head at work one day. Something about my job just brings out the cynic in me.

Original Sketch This was done with a dry-erase felt pen on the back of a sheet of "important" work. I sketched it more to decide what labels to include rather than figure out what the image should look like. I decided to leave out the less interesting ones (like "inspiration / lungs / meat") that really only cluttered the image.

Drawing I eventually decided that I wanted a simple style. This decision was part laziness, part intention to try to keep it simple and straightforward. One idea had three different panels: the first very dramatic, the second kind of a kid's anatomy book, and the third a clinical Gray's Anatomy look at the muscles, etc. So the lazy part of me said, "I don't want to draw all that" and the simple and straightforward part of me said, "if you make it simple, and repetitive, it will have the same impact and maybe even make the point a little better." You be the judge.

To get all three images to be the same, I used a lightbox and traced the image three times.

Inking In the inking stage, the perfect mirror-image quality between the panels was lost. They look very similar, but if you look closely, you'll see differences.

Lettering It was a little difficult to try to keep the image from becoming too cluttered. I considered typing the words rather than hand-lettering, but that often is more trouble than it is worth. Someday, I may go back and run all the text through photoshop or something, but I haven't yet been willing to do the work on computer.

I also struggled as to whether to give this piece a title. I went back and forth as to how to do it. Should it be small and simple, or should I make a big "MAN" across all three panels. In a sense, the title really pulled it all together--"this is all that Man really is"--but in another sense, it seemed extraneous. After much deliberation and no resolution, I chopped the top part of the page off, thus ending the debate.