Stick Figures and Torture Scenes: Blast From the Past, Part 1

Happy Saturday!!! Today begins a new series called “Blast From the Past” in which I share some of my creative work from distant (and not-so-distant) past. Part One will cover what I call “picture stories”, which I’ll explain soon, in Part Two I will talk about the development of my manga-esque skills, and in Part Three I will show you some of my old writing! So so far it’s a three-part series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up doing a fourth part. And a fifth part. . . It depends.

Right, let’s dive right in!! *rubs paws together*

One day, in second grade, I invented “picture stories”. That is, stories with no captions that are meant to be narrated allowed. As I LOVED movies and TV, it was a way to write my own little movies while compensating for my non-existent skill in animation or film-making.

Growing up, I filled up literally hundreds of spiral notebooks with these frozen movies about various characters embarking on epic and dangerous journeys, which often involved someone being kidnapped, plunging into a lake of lava, being eaten alive and whole by a cannibal, and, the most frequent fate of them all, falling down a hole.

The worst part was, I would often write basically the same story over and over again. Maybe I’d change up the characters a bit, but the plot was always the same. For example, someone is minding his own business, he falls like a hundred feet down a random hole in the ground, he survives the landing and suffers no injuries, a friend who just so happens to be carrying a rope discovers him, he is rescued and the story ends with a good ol’ fashioned jubilant round of “ring around the rosie”.

Oh, and the hole often had lava in it.

Yet somehow, despite all the torture I put my characters through, they all managed to survive in the end. Victims of kidnapping were rescued by friends, they suddenly developed a random immunity to lava, and . . . don’t ask how they escaped the stomach of a cannibal. I can’t remember, and I don’t really care to know. X’D And if all else fails and somebody does die, a spot of “red potion” would do the trick in a jiffy.

But enough talking, you probably want to see the artwork for your self, don’t you? Unfortunately, out of disgust, I threw out ninety-nine percent of my spiral notebooks in my early tweenage years (which I now regret immensely), but I still have tiny bits and pieces left over.

I will begin somewhere around second grade.

Here we have my sister and I (the one with the “V” on her head is my sister. Don’t ask why I decided to stick it there. O.o) playing “ring-around-the-rosie” after having rescued EVE (from WALL-E) and Ragdoll from a hole they just encountered. Super original.

I wonder where I got the idea for Ragdoll. She’s hilarious — just a floating face with crazy hair. . .

Moving on, I could have drawn the next three snippets anywhere between fourth and seventh grade. Not much changed in that time period as far as style.

Three guesses what this next scene is going to be. . .

. . .

Of course. A family. . . all falling down a rabbit hole. My favorite thing about this drawing is the dude in the top hat. Look at the elegant way he’s holding it on his head. He’s such a gentleman. I think his name was Alexander, actually. And I’m not sure what’s going on with that one girl’s eye. . .

Fun fact: In this particular notebook where I found this drawing, just three pages before it is another picture of another set of victims falling down a hole. *facepalm* Specifically, the Magic School Bus class. X’D

Next drawing!

Yet another very common form of torture which my stick people had to endure (I sound like a dark Alan Becker X’D) was drowning. In this case, another family got swept away in a river, plunged down a waterfall and barely escaped alive.

I’m so mean sometimes. . . o.o

Moving along. . .

This, for once, is not a torture scene. It’s a bunch of very happy kids jumping into a lake for a refreshing swim after a long day of surprises. Except they aren’t just ordinary kids, they’re all characters from various Studio Ghibli movies. I challenge all you Miyasaki fans out there to identify each character. Have fun. πŸ˜‰ (I’m having a bit of trouble myself.)

Now let’s jump forward in time a little, eighth grade:

As you can see, all the practice I was getting from drawing stick people my whole life was finally starting to pay off. They weren’t spectacular-looking, but at least they had mostly-identifiable elbows and slightly more natural-looking hair. At this point my picture stories as far as plot were slightly more realistic.

Slightly.

However, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a drama queen anymore. . .

This last one (the one with the goldfish) is among the most recent picture stories I’ve done (February 2017), and it’s just about where I’m at right now as far as art style.

Now that I have learned how to draw my characters a bit more “fleshy” (a.k.a. not sticks), I haven’t been making these picture stories very often anymore. Although sometimes I’ll get a spurt of inspiration and nostalgia. I wonder if I’ll incorporate my current art style into picture stories. First I think I should practice a bit more. I’d like to feel confident in my drawing abilities before I start doing super fancy stuff.

I think these picture stories are probably the biggest reason why I want to be an animator when I grow up. From the beginning onward, all the stories I’ve drawn have had a common atmosphere: that of a film. Moving pictures. All of the drawings I’ve shown you have life in them–emotion, drama and excitement that jumps off the page, no matter how simple, stupid or illogical the plot is. I want to animate them. I want to portray life, emotion and drama to its fullest potential. I want to be able to express the stories whirling in my head with movement, not just still images and a narration.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look into my rather melodramatic brain. Do Tell! Which picture do you like the best? Would you like to see more picture story snippets? If so, from what phase of my life? Did you write little stories when you were younger? Did they involve lava? Or holes?

Stay tuned for next Saturday as I continue this series! (I’m so tired I sound like a YouTuber. πŸ˜› ) In the meantime, have a crazyawesome week. God bless.

— Dekreel

10 thoughts on “Stick Figures and Torture Scenes: Blast From the Past, Part 1”

  1. This. was. EPIC.

    When I was little I would draw these huge battle scenes on boats or hill between stick armies. And actually there were a lot of holes in mine too. They just didn’t look as nice as yours. XD

    I can not wait until Saturday!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Hahah, thanks!

      How are your holes not as nice as mine?? Mine are just circles. XD That sounds pretty awesome.

  2. Oi, this is giving me nostalgia! Me and my sisters would draw quite violent stick figure scenes during our young childhood. I have no idea for my eldest sister, but my second eldest sister had a habit of (And by habit, I mean filled up nearly whole notebooks with!) drawing feet, with woodpeckers on them, drilling holes in them, with lots of blood. To be frank, it’s so scribble-y and old you can hardly tell the bird from the foot, but it still is exceptionally strange. Oh, me and my second eldest sister would collaborate and draw exploding volcanoes with many a dying stick figure atop them. (I don’t know why i’ve decided to speak like a normal human being, just ignore that) And when I was REALLY little I would just draw monsters and aliens. Man, could I steal this idea for my blog when I make it?

    *takes ideas and rushes off*

    Thanks! This was really funny, by the way. (I have no idea how many comics I made when I was younger, I had one ongoing one that was called ‘Mace’…. OH, The Mary Sues were endless.)

    1. Um, wow. I’m trying to visualize foot-pecking woodpeckers as a form of torture. XD
      OH MAN, I relate to the thing with the volcanoes though. X’D Because LAVA.

      Hah, sure, why not! I can’t wait to see you enter the blogosphere. You’d be fantastic.

      Sure, I’m glad you liked it! (Oyy, I’m laughing so hard. . . X’D)

  3. I remember when I filled notebooks with stick figures… I should find them sometime. Maybe even do a post about them.
    If your tropes were holes and making your characters survive everything, then mine were moss jackets and having characters live in a cave that they hollowed out. πŸ˜›

    1. I’d love that! πŸ˜€

      “Holes and making my characters survive everything”. The story of my entire creative life. X’D That sounds awfully exciting!

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