22 May 2008

Here's a squiz of a page i just did.

I free-sketch the ideas for the panels that are to go onto the page (in sketchbook or on loose paper). No format, just all over the place. It helps me free up & get creative about camera-angles and shots.

Then i scan it in at lo-res and arrange the pics at full-size, then print it out 1-1.

I print it out on my laser printer (my underlay). I then place it on my lightbox with a sheet of inking card/paper over the underlay and start to pencil the page in blue pencil.

Penciled page.

Now this is where i cheat a little, because there are 3 panels that have the same scene in it and so I'm just going to ink one, then repeat it later in post-production on the computer. (I know, I know... the purests out there are rolling their eyes.)

Inking the page.

I usually ink the 'thick' lines first, then go onto the details and filling 'blacks' in.

Final inked page.

And the final page.

Don't know about the last panel. I don't 'hate' it, but just not sure it 'reads' well as a composition when following the panels. We'll see. It might stay.

Later, people.


Melbourne's best comicbook convention is on soon!

Click on the banner!!

19 May 2008

Ok, listen up all you perverted black-&-white inkers who use a pen nib.

After a lot of making-do (and experimenting) with white ink that is 'almost what I'm after' - I decided to actually talk to my artstore (at Westart in Footscray), in a last hope - and explain what I do, what I've used before, and what I'm after.

I explained that although some of the other inks that were on the shelves were perfect for my black inking needs (like W&N & Paebo) - i couldn't find a comparable WHITE ink to go on black surfaces with the same level of consistency, thickness & continuous line.

He recommended this:

FW Acrylic Artists Ink.

This.White.Ink.Is.AMAZING!. Unlike most other white inks, it has the highest opacity/white pigment (so it doesn't dry semi-clear) compared to others - and sits on top of the paper like the black ink of W&N or Paebo. It also lasts on your pen nib for a long time without needing to dip into the bottle.

Quite simply this white ink is beautiful to work with.

NOTE: Don't get the 'Pealescent' Acrylic Ink in the same range! It's got silver/shiny granules in all the ink ranges, and isn't as opaque.

Thank you to Tim (i think?) at Westart in Foostcray!



12 May 2008

Sunday was mother's day, and after dropping by my parents place for a nice lunch, I decided to swing by the city for the Small Press & Zine Fair. I knew a few local comicbook creators were going to be at this small event, so i was looking forward to chatting to a few of them.

Just arriving at the fair's entrance.

The first familiar faces I saw were Bruce & Philip. I stayed and chatted to them for a while about their thoughts on the fair and how they were selling on the day. Funnily enough, Philip said that his best seller was the old 'Inkspots' magazine from the early 1980's!... just goes to show that you can't pick what's going to move on the day. Chatted to Bruce about comics and his latest book 'The Sacrifice'. These 2 professional fellows have been in the Melbourne comics scene forever, and are a pleasure to chat to about the medium. I picked up the latest issue of Word Balloons (featuring an interview with Nicki Greenberg) from Philip. Get your hands on it here for only $5!

David drawing his 'comic-in-a-day'.

The new captain of PulpFaction's forums.

The fair was small, but well placed I thought. Being right in the heart of the city at FED Square - (UPDATE: Ive just told me that the tables are FREE!, but a donation is appraciated. ) made it a very worthwhile place to sell your self-published wares I thought. Will definitely try to be here next year behind a table.

Most sellers that I talked to said that this year's event was a bit 'quieter' compared to last year's, but that may have been due to it being on mother's day. Not sure. Either way, i thought it was a great place for self-publishers to sell their books/wares. Cheap for the sellers and cheap for the buyers. A win-win all round.

Aside from Word Balloons, I also picked up issues #24 & #25 of 'Going Down Swinging'. The book is an anthology of short stories and poetry from Australia. Issue #25 (in particular) - features comicbook talent from a few locals creators.

So, anyway... catch you next time.


03 May 2008

So I turn up early, and sit at a table (in an empty pub) sipping my lemon-lime-bitters waiting for others to arrive. Last night I picked up Dan Clowes' 'Ghost World' at Borders for 25% off, so i layed it on the table and read until someone showed up. Now, I liked the 'execution' of this book (very dense and you get a lot of comicbook for the price), but geez it's monotonous and a little dull. While waiting I read the first half of the book, and page-after-page is simply 2 girls complaining about almost everything around them ( ok, a little believable, i'll admit) but a bit tiring after 50-80 pages of the same thing. There is really very little story in the first half, as it's momentum is just the banal chatter of 2 girls. Anyway, the second half of the book gets better, and the last chapter/s are pretty good because you can actually see a story. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think Clowes is one of the best creators going today, and even though this book 'looks' like one of his best - it does 'read' a little dull in the first half. Still, it's a must-have for Clowes fans. Especially for the art and visual construction. Amazing.

Jason Franks was the first to arrive at the meet. Funnily enough, he's not the biggest Clowes fan, and we discussed the book a little and came up with some of the points i just mentioned. Paul Bedford & Greg Gates were next to arrive. Greg actually mentioned that he liked 'Ghost World' compared to 'A Velvet Glove cast in Iron' (which i liked). Oh well... different tastes.

Anyway, here are some pics:

Jason, Paul & Greg were the first to join me.

Paul brought in a hefty 'secret' script for Greg to look at that he's been toiling away on. I took a quick look at it, and it looks great. (won't say too much, as it's Paul's 'thing'.)

Philip Bentley & James Andre arrived shortly later.

James Andre's zine/story & Paul Bedford's book.

Greg Gates bought along the entertainment guide in which a few local creators are featured. A nice (though Paul & I thought a little ordinary) review of Bruce Mutard's 'The Sacrifice' was in there. A positive review.

Bruce Mutard's book review in the entertainment guide.

As well, there was a very short piece on 'doodling' in which Mandy Ord was included. Her picture took up most of the spread, while she only had a few sentences. Ah well, still a nice read of a few aussie artists (including Shaun Tan).

Mandy Ord's small piece.

This month's meet wasn't a big turnout (6 of us, compared to last meet's 20!), though I know quite a few regulars had colds and were under the weather, etc - so I'm assuming next month's get-together will be better.

Well - til next time...



01 May 2008

Ok. So I haven't liked superhero comics since puberty. But, the other night I was talking to my brother and asked, "Have you seen Spiderman?", to which he replied, "I've seen the second one... Was a bag of shit." - I told him I've only watched the first one and thought the same thing as he.

Neither of us want to watch another of them.

This prompted me to ask myself why i had such a distaste for that genre now? A feeling that it was almost 'hurting' the medium that I've liked deeply for my whole life. I started to look at 'why' my brother and I dislike the spiderman movies (and parenthetically, why I probably hate the comics of the genre too.)

I said to my brother, "What do you expect when they make Peter Parker into a teenager? From memory, I think he's supposed to be a reporter for a newspaper." - and thats when i realised that 'heroes' are actually dissapearing. Adult one's that is. The mainstream media is feeding off the youth's narcisism and just putting a mirror in front of them. The only difference being a super ability.

Kids used to 'look up to' superman or batman. They'd view them differently than they do superheroes today (and dont give me the shit about it being a different world). Kids use to, in small ways, learn values, aspire & marvel at these superheroes. They were 'other worldly', at the very least, because they were adults. Just think of the limitations and shallow depth of character a superhero of 12 or 16 years old can have to be relatable to a young teenager? And just think of the problems that could arise from those same young readers thinking that they are these superheroes by virtue of being so closely reflective in their image at the age of 12. At least when one used to get to adulthood (the age of your favorite superhero) , one could (in retrospect, or not) process the information/lessons of your favorite hero more realistically. And if you did benefit from your hero, it would more than likely be positive by the time you turned 'legal'.

When I look at it, it's no surprise that I have little/no interest in today's superhero comics (ignoring the fact that they're written & drawn like TV commercials)... I mean, why the fuck would I see a teen-titan (or whatever) as my hero?

Anyway, I think it's an interesting observation.