(Posted originally on June 19th, 2006)
This is the one I mentioned in ”Varnish, Wine, Metallica...” being the comic I should have been working on, but which wasn’t very inspiring. For some reason, drawing this restaurant review was like pulling teeth. Maybe it’s that nagging feeling about how I draw too many comics where I play the leading role myself. After all, I am supposed to create more characters like The Licorice Hunter and Ingela of “Cream” series, keeping myself as a guest star only. Not happening anytime soon, vain as I am... Also, my memory didn’t serve me quite well enough, which is why I needed photos of the Istedgade/Halmtorvet area, the restaurant and the portion number 30. So we went there week ago, on Sunday for photo shoot and dinner. The actual story originates from a few weeks earlier, when we went there before going to Tivoli, on a beautiful spring day. Now I’m going to remember to take the camera with me every time we go out to eat.
This one has probably been the most work-intensive comic yet. It is three pages, 25 panels long and required a second visit to the restaurant and some photos to complete. I’ve drawn it over quite a long time, three weeks or so. Sunday last week, before we went there for our photo dinner, we rode our bicycles to the brand new Amager Strandpark, a very large and nice beach park close to our home. While we lay on our blanket on the grass (we don’t like to camp on sand), Joanna read a book and I sketched out the last ten panels for the comic. Every once and awhile I took a break to enjoy the view: shining happy people roller skating, walking, bicycling past us, sailboats, cargo ships, cruisers, landing planes, the Öresund bridge over the glittering sea, the Kingdom of Sweden on the other side of the strait and, of course, all the topless grandmas who were surrounding us (the topless pretty girls were further up north, on sand. I got a good look at them on our way home). And I couldn’t help wondering our good fortune and well-being. It was a gorgeous day, there was this magnificent man-made beach just a five minutes bike tour from us, and we were in no hurry to go anywhere and in a short while we would go to Paradis’ ice cream van for the best ice cream in town. The billionaires of this world could have all the yachts and parties with supermodels that they wanted, but I couldn’t imagine experiencing a more pleasant moment than what we had then. And entirely free-of-charge. Except the ice-cream, of course.
That’s getting pretty far off the point, now. ”Thai Esan One” is the first restaurant review on MAF and I’m planning on drawing plenty of them – as long as I can figure some twist to them. Drawing food portions is hell. Not as bad as hands, but trying to make a lump of rice and the sauce with all its ingredients to look believable and appealing isn’t fun. Also, trying to copy an actual scene from somewhere feels like working under constraints. I get all worked up, when a drawing should be somewhat realistic. That’s why I chose not to draw a panorama picture of Halmtorvet and made the picture from Istedgade more cartoon-y. Yes, it’s cheating, but that way I get my comics done!
I also wanted to add the Cosby Show title song to the last page, but didn’t dare because of copyright issues and because I didn’t think anybody would give me the permission to use it at such a short notice. So you’ll have to hum it yourself.