We once again join the young Clementes in a display of the avenues that boredom, and a lack of friendship and freedom can lead a lad. The below creations were hammered out during one fever soaked summer night in the living room under strict supervision, and probably while ice skating was on the TV. This is what we came up with...
Ian: So I was certainly obsessed with being a beatnik around the age of 11 or 12, as those of you in school with Young Ian at the time might remember his John Lennon sunglasses, his constant use of the word psychadelic, and his hastily composed fake book report on On The Road. Yeah, he existed and was a terminable, uptight bore with no real conception of the laziness, depravity and insincerity of the beatnik movement, they themselves an offshoot of the Beat culture fostered by well-to-do restless whites obsessed with Harlem's contemporaneous jazz and jive culture. And he was just as wack as they were. But he assumed that they spent their free time actually being creative and not just reveling in the notion that they comprised a substrata (just wanted to use the word "strata"). So here we have who I assume was the lead beatnik and a somewhat ironic image of a bright sunny country day right before a vicious car crash. The picture in the painting was definitely intended to be that morbid supposition and I believe was my original intent (drawing the road first, before anything else) and then deciding the picture was about bad enough to pass of as another fictional character's work... That's a good excuse. If you'll look closely, you can see that the paper's littered with eraser marks. And you'll also notice that the hand is holding the brush in a particularly stabby position.
Paul: Ian's beatnik phase was done as a solo project. It wasn't until this ragged old orange folder with all of these treasures was exhumed that I saw this.
Ian: I'm not sure where my preconception of beatniks originated, but I would certainly assume that this played a large part. Obvious, yes? It's also a safe assumption that the above quartet is playing this selfsame song. What they're playing is not important, but here's what is. When Young Ian completed this drawing, he took it over to his father for some half-hearted approval. Instead, after a momentary astute glance, I was told that the upright was drawn improperly--originally, it looked more like this. He then edited it (I think the thin, graceful pencil lines show quite clearly what Young Ian did not put on the page), much to Young Ian's chagrin, dismay and irritation. Yet more evidence of the lack of emotional development occurring at this stage, as it is indicative more of, say, a 4 year old than a preteen to give their parents a drawing... Anyway, Young Ian plopped poutily back on the floor and proceeded with his next great work. Thankfully, no one pointed out that the flautist's hands are twisted or questioned if the guy with the mallets (being generous here) is playing a conga drum (with mallets) or an oddly shaped timpani... or why they're playing to an empty house... either way, he's just overjoyed to be banging away at the skins there...
Paul: I would personally love to see a band that has only a flute, upright bass, congas, and bongos.
Paul: This penguin was not on drugs, in fact, I was vehemently straight edge until late into my junior year. This actually was a representation of something,unlike al of the other pictures you will see below. Besides penguins being one of my favorite animals, the eyes were extreme fatigue, and the gunshot wound was damage in general.
To explain further without being boring, in high school I somehow fell into a schedule of swimming 6 days a week for about 3 hours or so a day, split between high school, and the local YMCA team. Take that schedule, a full school day, a paper route, a full time girl friend, a bus that would refuse to drop me off close to my house because of a hill, and an emotionally damaging household; I was a tired kid.
I did a lot of sketches with the apathetic bullet wound motif, telling myself I'm tired, I'm broken, I'm dying, and I don't care. I know it's a bit dramatic but, that's what being 15/16 is all about.
Ian: So while I was struggling with muted representations of anachronistic subculture, Paul was on a slightly more surrealist bent and as my ex post facto title describes, I assumed this animal was under the strong influence of hard drugs. I believe my impression was that the penguin was too drugged to feel being shot. My impression now is that the entry wound is fairly clean for a hole that cuts clean through to the other side...
Paul: This guy was not stoned at all, it was just a doodle that I was lucky enough to have saved over time. From the no nipples, or poorly drawn abs, I can tell my intention that he was in a body suit. His head shape might have been the result of a hair concept gone bad.
Ian: I'm not sure why I again so insistently labelled these characters with such defamatory adjectives, but this particular guy seems genuinely to have taken flight, noting the slight grin on his face. I'm assuming this guy is the amazing No-Nippled Mentalist, which is odd given Paul's penchant for constant and excessive nipple focus. The date on Paul's signature now clearly dates this collection in the summer of 95. Do the math.
Paul: Lol, this guy was not high again. I think my inspiration stems from the Smash TV, whic is strange because we never owned the game ...
Ian: Given the butt chin and mullet, there is a strong case here that this could have been a new direction Paul was looking to take his namesake character in. He is clearly not under the influence of any known narcotics, unless someone's aware of a drug that as a direct-or-side-effect, causes one's hair to melt...
Ian: Man, these beatniks are creative types...uh...man... No need to point out the wickedly disproportionate head or the seductive hourglass frame, which was done after deciding, as the poorly erased lines suggest, that the original, lumpy figure was not yet lifelike enough. The original poem went in this direction: "Life, Life, Do not take it away from me." Young Ian decided months later (while adding these titles) that it was too embarrassing and cloying, so it was changed to the more satirical and admittedly funnier line above. Maybe the intention all along was to express distaste for a lifestyle Young Ian had now outgrown, as by 13 he was taking the first baby steps into his fake angry punk phase. Who only knows where I'd be now had Young Ian read this poem in the right coffeehouse at the right hour.
Paul:This poem cracks me up still to this day. This was another pleasant surprise that only graced my head holes about a year ago.
Paul: I really liked to draw teeth, and this was a product of that love.
Ian: I am not even going to comment on the running theme implying the consumption of illicit substances. And I simply cannot comment on what I believe this thoroughly intimidating disembodied visage to be! Clearly, you're in its sights, though. Perhaps it wants to eat you!! The ornament adorning the massive forehead is reminiscent of any one of a number of sci-fi anime that Paul would have been enjoying at the time.
Paul: I remember Fight Man was no have no powers, just an undying thirst for fighting. I do remember conceiving a sidekick for him simply named Punch. He never saw the light of day, sadly, but Fight Man's only appearance was in this drawing.
Ian: Paul titled this one himself, and I'm not sure if it predates the actual debut issue of Fight Man that I can only hope still exists. Do we have that reel? No? Okay... We have some classic, Mortal Kombat styled gi beautifully rendered and a makeshift mask, maintaining the identity of this violent stranger and perpetuating Paul's passion for reactionary anti-heroes with no stakes and no regards and no qualms. One of my all-time favorites.
Paul: I just really liked White Zombie.
Ian: Pretty self-explanatory, for once.
Ian: Another plein air study, fashioned after Millet depicting the noble--just kidding. Not sure who is behind the counter, but I'm assuming that the flautist has to pay the bills somehow, and he seems to be a man of many berets... This is probably the most accurate (and I do believe comical) presentation of these lowlives. It's canonically important, because here we see Young Ian's introduction of a female subject (in all her interlocuting splendor) as well as the implementation of his amazing 13-point perspective. I know the menu is large at this establish and hard to navigate, but I can't say I've ever spent anytime out with friends admiring a menu after I've clearly ordered. If I ever went out with friends, that is.
Paul: I think this crude anime attempt was just one big ego stroke. The short hair would date it into my junior year, where the famous mullet was severed to prepare for the new millennium of Paul. I was still very angry then, and the cartoonist hairball meant that I was spicy about something that recently happened. Maybe I had to swim butterfly?
Ian: One would think this answers more questions than it raises, but... Why is Paul so angry at a swim meet. Why is he just hanging around stewing? Is he on the starting block focusing on his laps or does he merely like to angrily display his rippling physique (portrayed more or less accurately here) whilst waiting to tear up the 50M Mixed Medley? Why are his goggles so tiny?? Where did he get his tank suit? Is it the same one as the "Super Hero" above is wearing? Is he Paul from the future?! I'm exhausted.
Paul: No clue what my intentions were here. There would be many boring days in the house where we would be exiled from the family room due to a program our parents loved, and Jill playing Dr. Mario on Nintendo (even when we owned a playstation). We would mindlessly doodle, and collaborate on creative little things, and I think this was just a product of a bored child with a damaged mind.
Ian: And here we have one of my favorite oddities. I was not authorized to bill this creation as Chook-Nag-Manook's brother, and I'm sure you're all familiar with the pending lawsuit that has since been thrice repealed. For those in the know, you'll understand why I made such a simple leap of logic... Perhaps it's a Chook-Nag-Manook from the future, or the past, or...
Paul: What a friendly malfunctioning robot! I think this doodle was just a result of finding a mechanical pencil, and me wanting to take advantage of its thin radius. The name is non-sense, or if there was meaning it has long been forgotten. Sounds like a porn star Eskimo.
Ian: Here we have the infamous Chook-Nag-Manook. Is he a drunken skeleton, a malfunctioning cyborg? I don't don't don't know. I had nothing to do with this, and after giggling and asking Paul the reasoning behind the name, I was met with a chuckle, a shrug, and a half muttered response. Love it. I do.