Struck by Lightning Five Quest 1990 More Input! 1991 Johnny Art Johnny Clippings Come and Follow Me

SHORT CIRCUIT: the graphic novel

I did the weirdest things when I was kid. At age 14, in the fall of 1986, I decided to take my inspirations from comic books, such as the Marvel release of 2010 as well as my love of the funny papers, especially Berkely Breathed's Bloom County, and make my own version of Short Circuit. The germ that got this idea underway was a short version of the movie Eectric Dreams, which I had done in a black and white cartoon style. Short Circuit, however, was to be in full color and eventually would span 67 pages.

Now, when I look back on this thing, it is riotously cheesy. It was so Bloom Countyfied that the characters barely looked themselves, except for Number Five. It was definitely inspired and shamelessly mimicked Breathed's style. It took me an entire school year to complete it, but still I enjoyed the challenge. And so did my friends. One guy would find me every day at lunch to see the past day's work and to do dramatic readings from the dialogue, which is more accurate the further in I went becasue I had seen the movie more times by the spring after it had come out on video.

So, here for you to enjoy - and laugh at - are some of the better frames from my Short Circuit graphic novel. Enjoy!

Title page
Notice on the title page I even put little Dolby and Tri Star logos, as well as the credits for the movie.

gin and tonic
I thought this brief synopsis of "gin and tonic" came out pretty good.
Here in this shot of Ben and Howard you can see that Ben, though very "Bloom County" is vaguely recognizable. Howard, on the other hand, is younger and blond and has a lot of hair. Don't ask me why.
Ben and Howard
Stephanie Speck
Newton and Stephanie are only recognizable by their wardrobes, and I did give Newton curly hair. I also made sure I had Stephanie wearing the right outfit in each scene.

Newton Crosby
Five repairs himself
As you can see, Number Five actually looked pretty much like himself, though a little simplified in some places. Rememebr, I had to draw him like a million times in this thing, so anything to speed up the process. In fact I did a lot to avoid drawing his whole body when I could, I also didn't have a lot of room to work with on each page.
Here's a pretty good one. Don't you think Stephanie looks like a Japanese anime girl here? I guess she needs more highlights in her eyes, but that was what I thought of when I saw it.
Stephanie and Number Five dancing
Three Stooges
Take heart, Little Lady
I really had to work to sqeeze all three stooges into that one little fame. Either way it came out OK. I even thought it was funny when I saw it again after a few years. I also thought Number Five and Stephanie's hug held up after all this time.
I thought this little night scene had cool colors. Sometimes I really spent a lot of time trying to get something to look just right, and other times it seems as if I just breezed through a section just to get it done, not thinking much about how the colors came out.
Where's Number Five
And just for fun, Number Five's final tribute to John Wayne.

So there you have it, or at least hilights. I sometimes wonder why I never made one of these things for Short Circuit 2. I guess I was busy with the Johnny Five Calendar. Which also took me a good long time.

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