Saturday, 30 December 2006

FROM HELL: 10/12

When I dropped the huge bundle of FROM HELL scripts the other day, this page, chapter 10 page 12, was on the top facing me. I took a notion to do a little series of posts on my favorite pages of script.
This one was completely unpredicted. In the appendix Alan relates an incident in which our pal, and first From Hell publisher, Steve Bissette recounted having 'watched a film of an autopsy, and noted that his initial understandable revulsion gave way to a fascinated awe at the magnificence of our inner workings'. and Alan reflected upon 'the view of life that doctors have, that they alone have been elected to that priesthood that may look upon the mysteries inside us.... I hoped to create within the reader's mind... a brief glimpse through the alien eyes of something that's emotional response to mutilation might be very, very different from our own.'

I don't remember exactly how I went about doing this page. I suspect I pasted on xeroxes of photos from a book on the human heart and then inked over it all to bring them into From Hell stylistic territory. I'm sure the original printing showed more of the half-tones of the source materials, but in a way the simplification to rigid black/white division, caused by the current image being at least twice removed from the source, helps the material to bond with the rest of the book. I also suspect that I would have planned it and then given it to Pete Mullins to do since it doesn't involve any character likenesses.

Another thing that I just remembered is that somewhere in the long process that was From Hell, I asked Alan to indicate at the beginning of each page what the panel layout would be. This enabled Anne to line up the pages without me having to mark up the script first, cutting out an unnecessary stage and saving us a lot of time.



(CHAPTER 10 )
PAGE 12.
PANEL 1
ANOTHER SEVEN PANEL PAGE, THIS TIME WITH THE BIG PANEL AT THE BOTTOM TIER AND THREE PANELS ON EACH OF THE TIERS ABOVE THAT. IN THIS FIRST PANEL WE HAVE CLOSED IN STILL FURTHER, ONTO THE VERY TIP OF THE BLADE AS IT ENTERS THE TISSUE. THE BLADE IS A GIANT WALL OF METAL DESCENDING INTO THE PICTURE FROM OFF, THE BODY CAVITY AROUND IT BECOMING A LANDSCAPE OF FLESH AS WE DESCEND FURTHER AND FURTHER.
NO dialogue

PANEL 2
CLOSE IN FURTHER, SO THAT WE ARE RIGHT DOWN AT THE POINT WHERE THE GIANT EDGE OF THE METAL IS CUTTING THROUGH HUMAN MEAT. WE SEE THE LIPS OF THE WOUND PEEL BACK AWAY FROM THE SHARP BLADE AS IT SLICES THOOUGH THE TISSUE. THE INSIDE OF THE CUT FLESH IS HONEYCOMBED WITH TINY CAPILLARY VEINS, HARDLY VISIBLE HERE, EVEN AT THIS MAGNIFICATION.
No dialogue.

PANEL 3
CLOSE IN FURTHER ONTO THE CUT SURFACE OF THE FLESH. THE PATTERNING OF SEVERED VEINS IS NOW MUCH MORE PROMINENT, SO THAT THEY LOOK LIKE A SYSTEM OF TUNNELS SEEN FROM A DISTANCE.
No dialogue

PANEL 4
CLOSE IN FURTHER, SO THAT WE ARE ZOOMING IN ON THE MOUTH OF ONE OF THE CAPILLARY VEIN TUNNELS. IT GAPES BEFORE US, HUGE AND DARK. A TRICKLE OF BLOOD RUNS SLUGGISHLY ALONG THE BOTTOM OF THIS HUGE WATER-PIPE
No dialogue

PANEL 5
WE ARE NOW MOVING DOWN THE TUNNEL OF THE VEIN, ITS RIBBED WALLS RISING AROUND US AND THE SPLASHING TRICKLE OF BLOOD SLAPPING ARPOUND BENEATH US. IN THE BOTTOM OF THE VEIN WE MOVE ON, INTO IT
No dialogue

PANEL 6
WE CONTINUE ALONG THE VEIN AS IF WE WERE WHITE WATER RAFTING… OR RED PLASMA RAFTING IN THIS INSTANCE. WE CAN SEE THE PLATELETS AND THE WHITE CORPUSCLES IN THE SANGUINARY SOUP ALL AROUND US. UP AHEAD, DOWN THE TILTING BORE OF THE TUNNEL WE CAN SEE A COMPLEX JUNCTION APPROACHING, WHERE THE TUNNEL SEEMS TO WIDEN OUT INTO AN AS-YET UNGLIMPSED CHAMBER. WE SURGE FORWARD, THE WORLD ABOUT US GETTING BIGGER ALL THE TIME.
No dialogue

PANEL 7
NOW THE BIG WIDE PANEL. ON A STREAM OF BLOOD WE POUR INTO THE GIANT CATHEDRAL-LIKE CHAMBERS OF THE DEAD HEART. THE INNER STRUCTURE OF THE HEART RISES UP ALL AROUND US, A BIZARRE AND GIGER-ESQUE LANDSCAPE. AWESOME AND WEIRD AND ODDLY BEAUTIFUL. WE SWIRL THROUGH IT ON THE BLOOD CUURENT, RAFTING THROUGH INCREDIBLE SUBTERRANEAN CAVERNS OF TRANSLUCENT FLESH AND TISSUE. THIS PANEL SHOULD LOOK REALLY STUNNING, ALMOST APOCALYPTIC IN ITS DEPICTION OF THE LANDSCAPES OF THE INNER BODY.
No dialogue

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be wrong, but I believe the film Mr Bissette was referring to was Stan Brakhage's "The Act Of Seeing With One's Own Eyes", possibly the longest thirty two minutes of film I've ever seen.


B, Smith

30 December 2006 2:30:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Aaron said...

"THIS PANEL SHOULD LOOK REALLY STUNNING..."

Jeez.

No pressure. None at all.

30 December 2006 2:34:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

B.Smith
yes, that was the book. Alan mentions it in the appendix.

aaron
yup. the script pages that stick in my mind are the ones that verged on impossible to illustrate.

30 December 2006 5:23:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew said...

Someone mentioned seeing places where you deviated from the script earlier. Made me think: How much input did you have on what was going on in these scenes anyway?

I mean, were you able to say "Hey, here's another bizarre Ripper connection you didn't think of" or "This fascinating historical figure was in London at this time, why not throw him in there?"

Or did you stick to interpreting near inpenetrable descriptions and correcting historical inaccuracies by sending Gull into the Thames?

30 December 2006 5:31:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger HemlockMan said...

These script pages look much more sparse than the ones I saw from the SWAMP THING comic. In the instance of ST, Moore seemed to be instructing the artists in great detail. In the example here, Moore is giving you far more freedom as far as interpreting the scene. Had he just changed his method of scripting, or did he trust you far more than he did Bissette and Totleben?

30 December 2006 6:03:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And did he eventually realise where the caps lock was on the keyboard?

30 December 2006 6:21:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

hemlock, yeah that was a lightweight page, but hey, there were no characters and no dialogue, ...

andrew, there wasn't a lot of deviation, but you've made me recall a little incident... i'll see if i can find it for next time...

1 January 2007 2:54:00 am GMT-5  

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