Thursday, 19 January 2012

You never finish being a student of life as there are always new things to learn

Is something that applies to the next completed page of Jack Kirby’s 2001:-

(which is the first page in which I have attempted to adjust the way I ink, Thanks to Ryan Cecil Smith for the feedback here)

Let’s pick up from last week, when “he who hunts alone” was tackling a Saber Tooth with the very first hand designed sharp weapon

By sheer force of will and multiple stabbings “he who hunts alone” does manage to take down a saber tooth, a very impressive feat – of which some of the emphasis is shifted away from by alluding to the fact that a saber tooth has never been afraid of a human before

Which suggests this could be one of the many things that may change as a result of “he who hunts alone” now possessing such a deadly weapon

“He who hunts alone” now returns back to the monolith both proud of his achievement and equally unafraid to show it in his own tribal / barbaric kind of way

So far so good right?

Possibly - Until we get to the next caption – “Does the stone spirit scoff?”…

This first thing to note is that this caption is representing “he who hunts alones” internal thought processes at this moment in time

So it is “he who hunts alone” who is attributing what he is experiencing as being a reaction from the monolith

I guess we just have to overlook that “he who hunts alone” would not know what to scoff means and neither would his ancestors for this to be true, but I suppose that’s a minor point

But let’s focus instead on the idea of defining the monolith to any real degree or giving it motivations, if we go back to the splash page there was an open statement – that if we “read on we would behold it’s (the monoliths) awesome secrets”

On reading this initially I thought this would be at least a bit hyperbolic, as the whole point of the monolith is that it is a literal definition of the unknown - it is supposed to be undefined, its literally a shape for something that has no shape, it has no texture and is black to imply a void,  it is a nothing that means something, something clearly unknown and indescribable, it has no single purpose, but possibly infinite purposes, there is nothing to ever state it has any intelligence or motivations as such, at best it could possibly described as being a tool which has many purposes

Which is something that was much more clearly defined by the sequels (both in movie and book form) that followed 2001, but of course Jack Kirby wouldn’t have known this at the time

Still I have to wonder if the idea of making the monolith “a character” is part of the reasoning here, the monolith is the central point to this issue and most of those which follow it and I suppose making a comic book around “a lead character” that is undefined makes it harder for people to understand simply without having to experience the entire comic to get the idea, right?

Sounds suspiciously like that might have not necessarily been Jacks idea....

Of course the whole raison d'être of the 2001 movie was that it was something to be experienced by the viewer and defined by their own sensibilities and deliberately avoided as many specifics as was possible to achieve this

But the point is in this comic Jack could have easily just said that the monolith hung silent and motionless as that would have been impetus enough for “he who hunts alone” and would not have implied anything else other that the monolith only responds when it has achieved the goal it has set previously

The reason I am focusing on this possibly more than seems necessary is the so far still unexplained reason for why only “he who hunts alone” the loner and outcast who does not hunt in a pack being given the impetus to develop weapons by the monolith – this is now been given more possible emphasis by even implying an ascribed reaction from the monolith

Leaving that aside for now, “he who hunts alone” is off and already making the next generation of weapon, having his previous attempt rebutted, what shape and form will this new weapon take?

And what will be the consequence of this next step of development?

We will find out in 2 weeks time!

Next week join me for the halfway point through the 2001 Project and the now traditional special out of project drawing by myself and for the first time I will include a how to make article so you make your own if you wish!

January Madness
Just a reminder that - January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here...

Images Degrading Forever Weekly
This week we have issue 18 which continues the all new essay "making the creative risk" in which I examine the fear that all creative people have to deal with to some degree - as well as the ongoing run of Frank Miller Klaus Janson Daredevil "Some enchanted evening" in which Foggy Nelson and Heather Glenn have a Romantic evening - or do they?

As ever this is completely free digital publication, just email me at and I will email you back the issue, it couldn't be any easier!

That's it for this week!

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