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Clip art captioning

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SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#1 | Posted: 6 Jun 2007 07:41 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

I've borrowed the idea of adding TG-themed captions to clip art from the "In the Pink" series of single-panel cartoons that are at the back of all the TG story chapbooks from Sandy Thomas. It looks like roughly half of them use clip art, about 40% are probably original art, and a small percentage looks like they are recaps.

There really was a group in England called the Men's Dress Reform Party that was founded in 1929 and lasted until 1937. They wanted to replace "stiff collars, tightly knotted ties and trousers...[with]...relaxed, decorative shirts and blouses, and shorts or breeches." ("20th Century Fashion" by Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye ISBN 0-500-20321-0)

The images that I've used are from "120 Great Fashion Designs: 1900-1950, CD-ROM and Book" by Tom Tierney, Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-99504-6. The graphics on the CD-ROM can be used "free and without special permission, provided that you include no more than ten in the same publication or project."

The big problem that I had with incorporating a group of images from the CD-ROM, like I did this time, is that all of the art work is from the group of paper doll books that Tom Tierney did for Dover publications, so there are always several images that have the exact same face and pose. (The paper doll books are usually 2-8 paper dolls, and 3-16 outfits per doll.) I didn't notice until I had finished this project that the 'ladies' in the green and red dresses in the back are based on the same paper doll. Also, the ones in the yellow and blue dresses, as well as the black dress on the far left, are based on the same paper doll, but the yellow one is mirrored, so I hope that the similarities are not too obvious (notice the head pose and the feet).

[The other problem the CD-ROM collection has is that all the images look very posed, as if they were from fashion magazines or fashion shows, so that makes it harder to think of a good caption.]

I also recently purchased Dover's "140 Great Fashion Designs: 1950-2000" and "Everyday fashions of the 20th Century", so I'll have to see if I can come up with some more clip art captions.

Question: Is this okay as it is, or should there really be some sort of background added?

P.S. I hope that this is the right category for this post. I couldn't decide if it should go here or under "The Write Stuff".
The Men's Dress Reform Party
The Men's Dress Reform Party
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#2 | Posted: 6 Jun 2007 08:58 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

Just for fun, I did a quicky using a single image. I think that the caption is similar to one of the "In the Pink"s, but I'd have to look through my Sandy Thomas books to be sure.

For anyone interested, the outfit is from 1978, by Courr├Ęges.
See Dad...
See Dad...
paul
Member 

#3 | Posted: 6 Jun 2007 11:40
 

Funny! Well done. And since you asked: a background would be nice. But only if possible.
suedenim

TGCapper and Moderator 

#4 | Posted: 6 Jun 2007 16:21
 

I think they look better without backgrounds, personally. Really great-looking pictures, and funny captions!
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#5 | Posted: 7 Jun 2007 03:10
 

Thank you both for the compliments.

The first one I saved as a Paint Shop Pro file with a layer for each person, and a solid white background layer for the background. I was thinking that a banquet room or ballroom might be a good background, but I'm not that good at drawing, so it would be best if I could find some appropriate clip art.

For the Men's Dress Reform Party, I had the idea first, and then combined the images using dresses from 1912 to 1928. I wanted to match the same time period as the real Men's Dress Reform Party, but those outfits didn't have the look that I wanted.

For the second one ("See Dad..."), I was browsing though the images and then came up with the caption.

The next two are both ones where I came up with the idea first and then went looking for images to match the idea. Like the image in "See Dad...", they are from "140 Great Fashion Designs: 1950-2000", Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-99505-4.

If anyone is interested in trying the same thing, it's probably best to buy the books online, where they will be cheaper than paying the list price at Barnes & Noble or Borders Books. For comparisons, it's $18.96 new, $13.10 used at amazon.com or on sale at $18.71 USD at Dover Publications' website vs. $24.95 list price for the 140 Great Fashions book & CD-ROM.

A question for Femur: I've been uploading images that kept the same size as the clip art collections that I'm using. Would it be better to upload smaller images?

Here's two more clip art captionings:
The Twins
The Twins
My Sister's Bet
My Sister's Bet
femur

Admin 

#6 | Posted: 7 Jun 2007 06:46
 

These are GREAT!

Love the idea of using clip-art. And I agree that the white background is fine. Gives 'em a nice, clean look. Really nice.

In terms of where to post, perhaps I think this is the right spot for it, but I also think I should redefine this Forum to make it clearer, since it's become a repository for caps on the forum.
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#7 | Posted: 7 Jun 2007 08:34 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

I think that the first three are probably okay without a background, but the last one ("My Sister's Bet") really should have a swanky New York Apartment in the background.

I'm uploading two more. They're both a little wordier than I'd like, but I couldn't think of shorter captions. The first is from the "140 Great Fashion Designs: 1950-2000", and the second image is from "Everyday Fashions of the 20th Century CD-ROM and Book", Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-99544-5.
Going Undercover
Going Undercover
The Wedding Dress
The Wedding Dress
femur

Admin 

#8 | Posted: 7 Jun 2007 20:49
 

I like these too. I personally don't have a problem with slightly longer captions. Sometimes I prefer them, because there's only so much you can do with a line or two. With a paragraph (or even two) you can tell a little story!

Nice job again!
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#9 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 05:01 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

Thank you.

I've been trying to treat these, as much as possible, as single-panel cartoons, rather than "story pictures".

Because I occasionally do a bit of freelance writing, and especially because I write poetry, I appreciate concise writing. With the recaps, whether they are comic book covers or cartoons from Playboy and elsewhere, you're really forced to stay brief. I'm trying to keep my clip art captionings brief as well. For example, I think the first one ("The Men's Dress Reform Party") does a good job of suggesting a much bigger story without having to go into any detail.

I think that the way I feel on this is also colored with what I think about most "story pictures". That's where there's a photo or drawing, and then there's as much text on the side as there is picture. Too many of those have sloppy writing and I think they need to be blue-penciled and copy-edited. For example, it seems like practically everyone who writes TG stories, either as story pictures or as text files on some of the TG story websites, writes "to" when they mean "too". That just drives me crazy.
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#10 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 05:11 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

Here's another group picture:

[FYI: I stole the idea of the "Pretty Mister Contest" from an old TG story published by Lee Brewster's Mardi Gras Publications (probably originally published in the 60s or 70s), which has been recently reissued by Mags Inc in their Classics Revisited series. The cover is by Vicky West, who also did a bunch of classic "Drag Magazine" covers in the 70s and 80s.]

Revised: While I was working on some more clip art captioning today, I looked at this one, and decided that it needed a better caption.
The Wombat Lodge
The Wombat Lodge
The [revised] Wombat Lodge
The [revised] Wombat Lodge
Maria Ski

Member 

#11 | Posted: 9 Jun 2007 05:10
 

These are great... !
Really fun pictures...

ttyl
Maria
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#12 | Posted: 9 Jun 2007 07:57 | Edited by: SoCalSecrets
 

Here's four more.

It's interesting that several of the models in the clip art collections I'm using, especially from the mid-80s through the 90s, have very short hair and undeveloped figures. If you want to interpret them that way, they do look pretty much like boys in dresses with makeup. I used the model with the most boyish hairstyle for the second clip art captioning ("The Designer Dress"). I'm still trying to think of a good caption for a collection of those 'boyish' models.

I'm not that happy with the caption that I came up with for the fourth image ("Something Nice"), so if anyone wants to suggest something they think is better, feel free.
The Frat Party
The Frat Party
The Designer Dress
The Designer Dress
Something to Wear
Something to Wear
Something Nice
Something Nice
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#13 | Posted: 9 Jun 2007 08:23
 

After railing against long-winded "story pictures", I've written my longest caption so far. Again, if someone wants to suggest an alternative caption, I'm open to suggestions.
Ready for the Convent?
Ready for the Convent?
femur

Admin 

#14 | Posted: 10 Jun 2007 10:39
 

More nice work. I do agree that writing concise captions is the most difficult. To get an idea across elegantly in a sentence or two is really hard! That's why some of my captioned covers got so long-winded toward the end.
SoCalSecrets
TGCapper 

#15 | Posted: 10 Jun 2007 11:28
 

I think that one of the secrets to a good short caption is when you can suggest something, instead of trying to tell everything, and then hoping that the readers can then fill in the rest of the story.

For example, for "The Frat Party", I think that I've done a good job of suggesting that this is probably not the first time that he's been in drag.
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