I colored in Charlie. I had a bunch of shit that I wanted to do today (the main page and individual blog posts should look better/be easier to share now) so I set a firm limit for how much coloring time he would get.
I decided that I would give him the length of "WTF with Marc Maron; episode 405 -- Jonah Hill". It was a good episode, but mostly because Jonah Hill has a likable presence. I'm not sure that the interview was as compelling as Maron's best stuff. But it was definitely good.
I got a little distracted in the middle and started dicking around, so I was surprised when I realized the episode was ending and I was still finishing a shadow on his hands. But I stuck to my rules and when they wrapped up the show, I saved Charlie and moved on to resizing stupid files, like some kind of nerd.
I first drew this guy just because I wanted to try to draw a complex emotion with fairly few lines.
Grieving is tough and it's really hard to receive feedback on your own grieving process. I imagine that when Woodstock-- cold, emotionless Woodstock-- had to tell Charlie that he'd gone on crying long enough; that he had to get back to his life and his obligations; that it isn't dignified to carry on in such a way; that he himself knew the very same pain but he had already the peace that constantly eludes Charlie-- the emotions showed.
Charlie has no poker face. His head is a big round canvas and every thought is painted across it in bold print big enough to be read by an autistic kid on the moon.
He was embarrassed. A man should be able to move on. Snoopy was a god damned dog- he could just buy a new one.
He was bitter. Woodstock didn't know what Snoopy meant to him. No one did. Who the hell is he to tell Charlie when it's time to stop crying.
He was angry. Angry with Woodstock for bringing it up. Angry with God for giving him canine diabetes. Angry with Snoopy for dying. Angry with himself for burying him in a garbage bag in the woods. He deserved better.
But when I sat down to color him, I had a totally different process. Coloring is a second-hand process, sometimes. You've already done the work of trying to recall a difficult emotion with enough clarity to translate it. Coloring is just staring at that sad face and painting on top of it.
And I started thinking about our buddy Drew, and his loss. I've thought about being in his shoes 1,000 times in moments of panic and fear, and I am positive that the experience would demolish me. He certainly seems to endure it well.
I hope that he has a good Woodstock with him. One day in the long life together that we have ahead of us, we will probably have to play that role for each other too, and I hope we do it well.