Years ago, when I first started drinking gin and keeping this blog, two things that aren’t related except insofar as they pertain to this particular post, I made a list of topics that I might write about, and taped the post-it to the dining room wall. I crossed off some of them long ago, and others I started but never got round to. The list is as follows:
1. The story of Dalek Tom Tom (last week)
2. Book Meme (done and done!)
3. Christmas in Pics (yawn)
1. Viola’s camera (this is a camera I gave her when she was 4, and the pictures she took are surreal, but as she is 8 now, this is hardly interesting)
2. What I know about Merlin summed up in Post It Notes (I have done several of these about other shows, but Merlin was a request, and I just never got round to it. What I know about Merlin and can be summed up as “It’s very gay. Maybe. I dunno. My friends seem to think so.”)
3. Drunk Star Wars Art.
Let me explain. My mother buys used books from the library for me all the time. Library book sales are pretty great places, and if you need to get a bunch of books you have never heard of and will probably never read for at least 25 cents apiece, the local library is your best bet.
What my mother gave me years ago was this:
I am the world’s worst artist. I try to fight it, but I suck at this kind of stuff. All my friends are of varying degrees of good. For years, I went to the art store with them and bought expensive paper, and charcoal, and pencils, and those erasers that look like balls of gum, and vials of virgin unicorn blood. But the fact remains that my ability to draw is down there with my ability to hold my breath underwater: sure I might be able to get minutely better, but I’d have to work very hard, and at the end of the day anyone looking at my carefully rendered portrait of a turkey would just squint and say, “Is that James Caan?”
So, when I get books like this I am filled with two emotions:
1. Gratitude for the person who bought it for me.
No wait, that’s three emotions. Lemme start over.
So, when I get books like this I am filled with three emotions:
1. Gratitude: thanks mom, person who birthed and raised me!
2. Excitement: Imma draw me some fucking tie fighters!
3. Anger: Who are you kidding? You couldn’t draw a Sarlacc pit from the inside. (I realize that’s not a very good comparison, as it’s dark inside the Sarlacc pit, but just believe me when I couldn’t find a good Star Wars permutation of what I was trying to say. Just go with it and get off my back.)
I thought about actually trying to draw Star Wars characters, but that seemed like a pretty boring idea. Plus, there was no way this was going to end well.
There was only one way to do this.
So two years ago, my mother took my kid overnight, and I sat down with a boatload of alcohol, paper, pencils, erasers that look like chewed up gum, and set about schooling myself in the ways of the drunken force. There was no try. There was only get shitfaced and see what falls out of the tree when I slam my x-Wing into it.
That night was apparently magical. Took a lot of pictures of certain pages that I seemed to think were very funny:
Yes, I need several.
And I think I might have set up some mood music.
I was so hard core.
And so on and so on. Who knows if I regretted anything in the morning. I am particularly resistive to hangovers these days, so I am sure that any post-Death Star malaise was probably the fault of those pizza rolls.
But I never wrote it up, because as we all know, I am a lazy sod. So when I restarted this blog and was thinking about entries, I thought about this one. But it was so long ago! I don’t even KNOW what I was thinking when I drew Jar Jar! HOW TO RECAPTURE THE MAGIC.
There was only one way: get drunk and write the blog post, WHILE WATCHING STAR WARS.
So, one night when my kid was asleep, I poured my first gin and tonic of 2015, queued A New Hope, and pre-coded this entry so that I couldn’t mess up the HTML. I am sure I did anyway. What follows is uncorrected and non-spellchecked, to properly preserve the pickled flavor of my brain as I watched a movie and tried to remember the time when I and Eddie Murphy were in ancient Egypt and being harassed by Michael Jackson. Drawing Star Wars.
Again, this section was recorded in real time drinking Star Wars Viewing action. It was very hard to drink and type, because I just wanted to watch the movie.
A LONG TIME AGO, IN A LIVING ROOM FAR FAR AWAY…
We used to have this drinking game, that we would take a shot whenever you could reasonably tack, “and then I cut off his arms and legs and set him on fire” to any of Alec Guinness’ dialogue from the first movie. (And you know it’s the first one, so shut up).
Obi-wan: Come here little one, don’t be afraid.
ME: UNTIL I CUT OFF YOUR ARMS AND LEGS AND SET YOU ON FIRE.
Obi-wan: (at luke) Oh him? He’ll be all right.
ME: UNTIL I CUT OFF HIS ARMS AND LEGS AND SET HIM ON FIRE.
Oh no, 3po, don’t wave at the Jawa transport.
On the other hand, this is the time to confess my great love of Mark Hamill. Like I am not even joking. I am in deep crush on Mark Hamill. I think this is my second gin and tonic. Sry.
OMG STAND IN FRONT OF THE TWIN MOONS WITH THAT MUSIC I WILL SOOTHE YOU, LUKE. I HAVE RED AHIR, LIKE MARA JADE.
So, back when I tried to draw star wars, there were lots of instructions and things that make you giggle when you’re drunk.
I got nothing.
But when you try to incorporate this move into your yoga routine,
you jyst end up killing yoursekf by accident.
Two more emotions than Padme displayed in three films. Too soon?
TK-421, WHY AREN’T YOU AT YOUR POST?
Ermagerd this is boring, look at my drawing, people. I am fucking Picasso.
LOOK AT THAT STRUCTURE.
WANNA SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TRY TO LIKE DRAW LINeS LIK THEY TEACH?
Okay, that was good. Let’s try some other things, like step by step shading.
How hard could tis be?
THIS. THIS HARD.
DRAW ME LIKE ONE OF YOUR TWI’LEK GIRLS, BOBA.
Now it’s just silly.
No, Warwick Davis, don’t lick that wire!
STOP THE PRESS. THAT IS IN SERIOUSLY POOR TASTE.
Newsflash: when you stop trying to be funny, things actually get less funny.
Omg I should look up the guy who played Boba Fett. I remember that dude. It was so disappointing seeing who played him. You want Boba to be badass, but he was like…Ron Jeremy. Boba where are you?
“We counted thirty rebel ships milord, but they’re so amll they’re evading our turbolasers.”
Well then, deploy the quad lasers!
Okay, this is a solid start.
You would think I wasn’t even trying. BUT I WAS. LOOK AT HOW HARD I WAS TRYING.
THIS IS SOME DRAMATIC SHIT UP IN HERE.
Spoilers for a movie that’s probably older than like, ugh.
Oh my god, dod they name the chubby x-wing guy Porkins? No seriously, how did I miss that?
And then I had to stop the film and go to bed, because I am old.
So, there you have it. My drunken post about me drunkenly trying to draw Star Wars characters, typed while watching the first movie (you know, the good one).
Post drunk, bright and early in the morning, sober!me notes a few follow up things.
At some point in time, apparently, I started to write an essay about Tarkin, and then about Alderaan, but ended up drawing this instead:
I am sure that this, like all high school poetry, was going to save the world when I wrote it.
By the way, this is what I am drinking out of this morning:
I think that my original hypothesis was correct: I am a horrible artist, because 1. I lack the gift, and b. I lack the interest, aside from the kind of fleeting fancy that strikes one at times of observing others’ talent, not unlike watching the Winter Games and saying, “I bet if I tried really hard I could do a triple lutz. No. No you can’t. At least drawing stick figures is safer and less spiral fracture-inducing than pretending to be Michelle Kwan. Also, drunk ice skating sounds like something that would be the first line of my obituary.
And here to take us out, the best one I did. Imma put it on the fridge, next to my kid’s drawings of how she traps all her people inside caves in Minecraft “because they run away” (that disturbing thought is a story for another day).