Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Drawing



Killing innocence

The holes through time.

From my drawing desk across the street.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Picture Novel Part 2

Two weeks ago I was reading artist/author Craig Thompson's blog and he made an interesting statement about the projects we undertake. More or less he said that it's not the projects that we start, but the one's we finish that are truly substantial. When I read that it made me chuckle  for two reasons. The first is because my first unpublished and unfinished graphic novel (or more accurately novella) was inspired by his narrative style. One day I hope to go back and re-write the whole damn thing...just not today.  The second is because a year and a half ago I had someone make a nasty comment about me - not knowing I was in the room - saying "I don't think he has the professionalism to see this project through to completion."

I say all this because it's all true, every last word and yet despite the unpleasant truth that we as artists will leave our creations unfinished at times, the things we truly value will brought to fruition.

As I would go from script to thumbnail to illustration, there was always only one rule: be true to the story.  

There were moments when my original thumbnail sketches and even the initial illustration strayed from that narrative and into vain creative surrealism. While surrealism is a wonderful tool to use in showing emotional depth, I didn't need to straddle it so religiously. In the above picture you see simplistic illustration that was originally much more simple, but the added waves of the night sky give a peaceful movement that wouldn't have existed if I would've stayed true to the original. The illustration bellow is one where I just let loose to show how the memories of Alabaster continue to haunt him even as he tries to salvage what's left of his faded innocence.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Picture Novel pt 1

Last Thursday, beneath the noise of neighbors shouting at one another from their porch/rooftops and rush hour traffic speeding past my apartment I completed the novel I've been working on for the last 9 months: The Final Transformation of Alabaster Johns. Clocking in at over 230 pages (half illustrations, half text) completing the project was exhausting but wonderful.

This post is the first in a two part post about the process of going from script to illustration especially when there is no literal description of the image.

After going through several drafts of the script to the point where I feel (and others who have read it) that it represents not only the narrative flow, but also the emotional tone of the story I begin to draw out thumbnail ideas. I do this on the script for two reasons: 1. it allows me to see the flow of images with text side by side 2. if a line does not work with the image or a line of text strays from the narrative tone then I can cut it right there and re write.

Writing and illustrating a picture novel is like making a movie in a way being that it follows one importoant principal: show them first, tell them if you must. For a story that is very emotion driven - almost like illustrated poetry or lyrics - this is even more important.

Next post I'll conclude this will showing some final images and write about being ok with cutting a chunk out of the story.