A couple Tuesdays ago, I got a free beer. I was out at one of the trendy bars in Little Rock’s River Market with a couple of pals, and of the four pints I put away, only three appeared on the tab. The other fellas earned a freebie as well (this isn’t even to mention all the attention we drew from females around the bar). And all we did was draw the waitress. And all this from a group of nerds.
There we are at left, from John Deering’s illustration of the first ever meeting of the Little Rock Drink and Draw Social Club chapter (we ripped the idea off from these blokes). It’s pretty simple, really. You gather some guys interested in art and/or comics and you draw stuff. Oh, and drink. So far, our group consists of four artists and myself (we all work at the newspaper here). Though I drew growing up, I represent the “no talent” side of the equation.
Even so, our first night was a ridiculous amount of fun. I’d forgotten how enjoyable it is to take a pencil and some blank pages and just goof around with whatever crazy notions crop up. Deering (who’s painting a graphic novel written by yours truly) did some predictably weird stuff beyond the group portrait, including a new take on the notion of a “nuclear” family. Other sketches included recreations of the bargoers around us or attempts at a crest for our group.
For a stumblebum, I earned a bit of praise for the sketch at right. But, more than anything, it was nice to just shake off the rust and start drawing again. I really wanted to illustrate comics when I was growing up, but instead I started into writing. I don’t regret that, but as Rocketo-creator Frank Espinosa told me last year, there’s no reason not to do both. For many reasons, now is a great time to jump into comic books. And, for hacks like me, you’ve got to start somewhere.
I don’t know that there’s really a “point” to this. More than anything, I just really like the concept of getting together and drawing in a crowded bar, if only because I now know it’s an easy way to get a free beer. For those artistically minded souls out there who want something a little more frequent than 24 Hour Comics, you should form your own chapter. Plus, a Tuesday night of drawing is a perfect segue into a Wednesday at the comics shop.