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Adapting Wendel For Slideshows
Way back in 1983 I began presenting slideshows featuring my comics and career history before interested audiences in various cities. This was way before advancing technology allowed me to transition from presentations using Kodak’s clunky old carousel slide projectors to the more versatile, digitally empowered Powerpoint software I use today. (I wrote at some length three years ago about my felicitous switch from Kodak to Powerpoint in a 4-part series of blog entries called "Moving On From Ker-Chunk".)
I’m mentioning my slideshow sideline here in an effort to tell you a little bit about what’s occupying my time these days. Other, perhaps more interesting projects are also afoot, it’s true; but these are too unformed and tentative to talk about, yet my need for blog fodder is unending. Fortunately, my preparation of new slideshow images requires no veil of secrecy.
Invitations to present my slideshows have tended to be extended of late by educational institutions (Southern Connecticut State University and Ocean County College hosted me most recently, you may recall), so my slideshows have taken the form of illustrated lectures, usually featuring background info about Stuck Rubber Baby‘s creation. But in earlier times my shows were created primarily to entertain (and, of course, to hawk my books), and to that end they featured adaptations of my existing comic book stories, with me reading aloud the contents of balloons contained in a succession of individual panels.
A down side of the old Kodak mode was that (a) each image I created cost money to photograph, which ruled out the willy-nilly use of subtle variations; and (b) an obtrusive moment of blankness accompanied each change of images as the slide projector plucked one physical slide from its position in front of the lens and deposited a new one into that slot; which made any kind of smooth transition impossible.
Among the practical effects of these limitations was that, when a comic strip panel projected on the screen contained several word balloons (as in the one shown below), I had no way of preventing my audience from jumping ahead of me while I was reading. This offended my need for dramatic control.
The women gave me Clawboy’s cape to take home with me. (Understandably, I suppose, they did not give me the kitten as well.) That cape remains a valued memento that I continue to keep near at hand in my workspace.
Below: Clawboy’s cape. All it needs is a kitten.
Sidebar: A Favorite Slideshow Incident