African Hunting Comic Book

Discussion in 'Hunting TV Shows, Books & Video Discussions' started by lazzyfair, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    Death In The Afternoon


    I recently self-published a comic book based on an account by Peter Hathaway. My version of the story takes place in the early 1920s, and my main character (Francis Anderson Archer) is more of an analog of a younger Hemingway. I spent a great deal of time researching the story, which included numerous visits to the Gun Library at the Cabela's here in Boise, Idaho.

    I'm not really interested in telling contemporary stories. I'm more a fan of heroic figures of epic proportions smoking cigarettes, drinking bourbon and shooting guns (obviously not all at the same time) i.e. characters that authors such as Jack London, or Ernest Hemingway might have written. I'm also not interested in making comics for other comic book fans. I'm not a skinny sad little boy, there fore I care little for appeasing their tastes.

    So I'm curious if my story, written about hunting, for hunters and people such as myself, find it entertaining. Feel free to point out any technical inaccuracies, as I'd like to correct them since I intend to continue to write more adventures with this guy. You can check the whole story out here.
  2. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    Ok I'll bite.
    I certainly think you have talent drawing, that is something I was never able to do well. I have read everything I could find that Capstick has written. I enjoyed all his books, he is a great writer. I also know that his books are stories and are mostly fiction or greatly exaggerated. I have come to understand most of his stories started on a bar stool. I am fine with that, I take his books for what they are, entertainment. I have also seen his videos. Believe me his books are much better, as a video shows reality, and his words in his books are just that, words.

    I don't particularly care for your depiction of a PH. I think your drawing makes him look like a block head unshaven villain. I certainly could have done without the vulgar language, butt hanging from his mouth, and the light bulb as if to say he didn't know what was going on.

    I have been on many safaris and have walked side by side with many PH's. I have to say they have all been very professional and I put a lot of faith in them when we are following up dangerous game. I know some that may smoke, but have never seen one smoke while following up dangerous game. I know things can happen, but the PH in your cartoon looks unprepared, unintelligent, and very short on words other than vulgar. In all my years hunting I have found the exact opposite to be true.

    Maybe I am wrong as I am not a PH and some will offer you a different viewpoint. I think you have talent and like you said you have never been to Africa or been on a big game hunt. Maybe you should consider doing a cartoon or satire on a subject you have actually taken part in. This is just my honest observation and I do not intend to offend, but if I was a PH I would not like to be shown in this way.
  3. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    Hey, I really appreciate you taking the time to read the story and offer your feedback Bushbuck.

    I should have probably emphasized that this guy is more a Hemingway, than a Capstick and to some degree, he is to be disliked. He's rough around the edges and actually in terms of how the character is in other stories I have written (yet to draw) he's a bit of an outsider amongst PH's. Like I said, he's more the Hemingway, someone who is a capable hunter, but probably isn't going to be guiding someone else. I can also assure you that he isn't actually smoking in this story, I intended what's in his mouth to come across more as a toothpick or dried grass.

    The lightbulb was simply to mark that he figured out what to do in the middle of a strange situation he had never encountered, not to imply he was unprepared, even though, truly, he was. In Capstick's account (whether we acknowledge its a 100% true or not) there was a moment after the lion had leapt at him and knocked him down, knocking his gun out of his hands, that he was disoriented and confused before Silent threw the spear (and missed in the PHC's version) If I remember the story correctly, PHC was actually slower on the draw to act than this version. It wasn't that he was unprepared, it was just that PHC had never seen someone try to choke a lion out with his hand inside the lion's mouth.

    In terms of the vular language, because I have yet to meet a professional hunter from Africa, I might have made a mistake in basing his language off the hunters I know in Idaho who do speak like that. I suppose I hoped that the story would come across as what Capstick did, which you mentioned above. Create a mostly fictional and exaggerated account of something with a good deal of truth, that most people outside of professional hunting would never see or experience, find a way to make it entertaining, and perhaps introduce non-hunters to something they would normally discount at face value.

    Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and offer your thoughts. You've given me a lot to consdier. Thank you.
  4. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    Oh, and as a note, I'm actually quite happy that the first critique wasn't about a poor portrayal of tactics, nor did it mention that the main character was holding his cartridges in the wrong hand on the first page.
  5. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    My thoughts:

    1. I've never seen a PH wear a scarf or a shirt with bullet loops and military-style epaulets. A baseball cap, yes. Short pants, yes. T-shirts with "I Love NY," yes.

    2. To be accurately depicted, the tracker needs to be wearing brown coveralls and a balaclava.

    3. You are correct. The cartridges need to be in that obnoxious jerk's other hand.

    4. Your cartoon places an activity I cherish in peril by showing participants in the worst light possible.

    Bill Quimby
  6. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    OK the clothes may be 1920's but there is no way you would see a white man walk around outside without a proper hat !

    Then I might be wrong but radio communication between a ph and the game warden in 1920's ????

    Reading old african hunting books it seems that ph's of the day were true gentleman so maybe you should change your character from a ph to an ex navy/soldier type of guy who just climbed off a ship in Africa not to guide but hunt himself and work as a game warden.

    That would explain the vulgar language and looks.

    I see this cartoon to fit the exact bill of what greenies think of hunters and viewed by them would only be giving them ammunition. So changing the character to work for the parks will shift their views as well.

    Sorry for harsh comments but I guide hunters for a living and reading the heading I thought I would see something comical.
  7. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    Hey thanks for reading it Bill!

    1. I must have been looking at all the wrong reference, since I never came across a PH wearing a baseball cap in 1923 when the story is set. Didn't come across too many wearing shorts, short pants, or short shorts in that era either, but hey, like I said, I'm no hunter.
    2. See above answer.
    3. Success! My fictional character was able to get a real emotional reaction out of you, if you found him "obnoxious" as you say! I've done my job then!

    Thanks for the help.There's nothing quite like getting real, honest feedback when you've asked for it, especially from a writer such as yourself. Which by the way, the next time you're publishing a book, Private Message me, I think I could definitely help you with the cover design. Cheers!
  8. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    @Frederik

    You pretty much nailed actually. I'm not sure what the proper word would be, but he definitely isn't a hunter that is guiding anyone. If anything he might have apprenticed with a PH at some point so that he knows what he's doing, but again, like you called it, he's not what a would really refer to as a PH. In fact, I'd say the character is more a gentleman of fortune which fits with your suggestion for sure.

    I did look into the radio thing a while back. In WW1 there were portable radio sets that were manufactured that were about the size of a lunchbox. The odds of a warden having a radio are slimmer for sure, but I'm chalking that one up somewhere between creative license and a maybe.

    I went back and forth about the hat actually, I almost gave him a hat like Selous often wore. I think I found one for him that I actually like though, so we'll see next time around. I'm definitely a greenie so that doesn't surprise me that much, though to a degree I am surprised since so much of it is based on a Peter Hathaway Capstick story.

    I do thank you and I don't think your comments are harsh at all. My intention was not to insult hunters, so this genuinely surprised me, though I will say I've gotten the same amount of private messages from PH's telling me they loved it as I have critiqued it. Strangely enough, non hunters love this story. When I say non hunters, I'm not just saying people who don't hunt, but people who hate hunting. If you had told me three months ago that hunters would have more of a problem with the story than those people, I wouldn't have believed it.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read it and to help me out, I really do appreciate it and that was my hope for posting it up once I came across this site.
  9. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    Didn't realize this was a "period" cartoon from the 1920s. All I saw was the first page with six panels. Are there more?

    Thanks for the offer to design a cover for my next book, but authors in the hunting genre seldom have anything to say about cover design, unless their name is Ruark, Hemingway, Capstick or, more recently, Boddington. Cover design is determined by the publisher and his art director. I saw the cover on my own book, "Sixty Years A Hunter," for the first time when Safari Press sent me an advance copy. Although I was surprised and pleased to see that they had chosen a painting of a bull elk done by my friend Paul Bosman, I was not happy with the typeface the art director chose for the cover and chapter title pages. He did choose to use my sketches of wildlife to open each chapter.

    You may be interested in knowing that although my degree was in marketing, early in my career I was an art director and creative director in advertising and public relations agencies, and did a bit of illustrating and design work. As a kid, I had delusions of becoming a cartoonist. I still do line drawings of wildlife and paint in oil and acrylics when I need to relax.

    Bill Quimby
  10. lazzyfair

    lazzyfair New Member

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    Interesting, I have a friend who's an independent film maker here in Boise, but his dream was to be a cartoonist when he was a boy as well. I get that quite a bit actually. I think the hard thing for most people with a creative bend is that they are often good at several things that they're interested in, but to be great, you tend to have to dedicate yourself to one or the other. I'd really like to do prose writing if I had my way, but my main passion is drawing, so there you go. Although the nice thing with comics is that you get a little bit of both worlds.

    Yeah, the story is actually about 9 pages, and for the most part its silent. The whole thing is here. I realized after I responded to you that there's no real way of dating the story without mentioning it directly; I was hoping that the wardrobe would help out on that one. I looked at what photos I could find (if I'd known about africahunting.com it would have been a lot easier) Even though at his oldest, this story would have missed him by five years, I looked at a lot of photos of Selous. I should have paid closer attention though and taken the ammo off the shirt, and put it on a belt instead.

    Sorry to hear that you don't get much sway on the cover. I don't envy that position. I tend to obsess over mine, since as an an independent author/artist/publisher, my book really is judged by its cover. Its a nice compromise to get your work at the open to the chapters. Do you have any examples of your illustration/sketch work online?
  11. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    No examples of my stuff on the internet, but I will email you some if you send your address in a PM.

    Incidentally, there was a time when visiting British gentlemen wore suits with vests, starched collars, neckties, and long, gold watch chains when they hunted in the American West. Don't know if that also was true in Africa, but I suppose it was. Whether or not that would have continued into the 1920s, I don't know.

    Bill Quimby

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