Friday, 16 March 2007

FROM HELL 1/1

The Blogger problem persists and I still can't upload pictures, so I looked in my drafts folder (where there are always around twenty posts under development) and found one with piccies already up. (Update-it seems to be fixed, but the die is cast.)
This is page 1 of chapter 1 of Alan Moore's FROM HELL scripts, with the page of art that I made from it (in this case shown in two 'states'). It wasn't the first page drawn, as there was already the 8 page prologue completed, but it was the first with a title panel. The prologue had required a heading in the style of the infamous ripper 'From Hell' letter and was thus separate from the standard chapter headings. Nevertheless, you can see here that Alan was still thinking of these cinematically, with large blocked lettering superimposed on the opening scene (or 'shot'). I thought it would be more in keeping with the ambience of the work to do it in the style of a bookplate or something of that nature, and had my pal Des Roden work out a hand-calligraphed series of chapter-headings for the original Taboo/Tundra/ Kitchen appearances. When I collected the work together in 1999 Mick Evans replaced those with a typeset version, but in a more funereal white-on-black.
I see myself on this page earnestly trying to get all the information in. I zoomed in on the details for the first panel. Those pasted on xeroxes of authentic sweets/candies labels went a long way to establishing the place and period feeling, giving me enough credit in the bank so I could concentrate on the people for the rest of the page. Still, in '99 I was unhappy with the representations of Eddy's face and you can see them all slightly altered in the second version, with the whole figure in the final panel being replaced. This is a standard problem with the first appearances of characters. Later the artist gets comfortable and knows exactly how they look and move and feel.

CHAPTER 1: THE AFFECTIONS OF YOUNG MR. S.
PAGE 1 (1767 words)
PANEL 1.
THERE ARE SEVEN PANELS ON THIS FIRST PAGE, PROBABLY WITH A BIG WIDE ONE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE HERE, SPANNING ITS FULL WIDTH. THE DATE, AS WE SHALL SEE, IS JULY, 1884, AND THE PLACE IS CLEVELAND STREET, LONDON, ONE OF THE MORE FASHIONABLE AND UPMARKET AREAS OF THAT PERIOD, AS FAR AS THE METROPOLIS WENT. WE ARE INSIDE A CONFECTIONERS-CUM-TABACCONIST SITUATED AT NO. 22 CLEVELAND STREET, AND IN THIS FIRST PANEL WE ARE LOOKING AT A LONG SHELF THAT NEATLY FILLS THE SPACE ALLOWED BY THIS FIRST WIDE, HORIZONTAL PANEL, STRETCHING FROM ONE SIDE OF THE PAGE TO THE OTHER. UPON THE SHELF THERE ARE OLD-FASHIONED SWEET JARS CONTAINING OLD-FASHIONED SWEETS: ANISEED BALLS, WINTER MIXTURE, MINT IMPERIALS, SUGARED ALMONDS, ACID DROPS, BON BONS AND SO FORTH… ALONG WITH SOME EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE SHOP IS ALSO A TOBACCONIST’S… PERHAPS A BOX OF CIGARS, OR PARTITIONED TRAY OF DIFFERENT TOBACCOS. MAYBE WE CAN SEE A HINT OF THE TOPS OF THE JARS ON THE SHELF BELOW THIS ONE HERE, BUT ONLY IF THERE’S ROOM. OVER ON THE RIGHT OF THE WIDE PANEL, WE CAN SEE THE ARMS OF A TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLD SHOPGIRL NAMED ANNIE CROOK, A STURDILY BUILT AND TIDILY DRESSED YOUNG WOMAN, AS SHE REACHS UP FROM OFF PANEL BELOW TO TAKE A FEW MORE PIECES OF BARLEY SUGAR FROM A JAR ON THE TOP SHELF. ONE OF HER HANDS MANAGES TO HOLD THE JAR’S LID AND ALSO TO TILT THE OPEN JAR OVER TOWARDS HER. HER OTHER HAND DIPS IN TO RETRIEVE A COUPLE OF SINGLE PIECES OF DEEP ORANGE BARLEY SUGAR. WE CANNOT SEE ANY MORE OF HER THAN HER ARMS, ENTERING THE PICTURE FROM BELOW. THE REST OF THE PANEL IS JUST TOBACCO AND DIFFERENT SORTS OF SWEETS: I WANT THIS TO BE A PANEL THAT YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. THE TITLE LETTERING IS SUPERIMPOSED OVER THE LEFT OF THE PANEL SOMEWHERE, DOWN TOWARDS THE BOTTOM.

PANEL 2
NOW WE ARE BEHIND THE COUNTER OF THE SHOP, WITH THE SHOPGIRL, LOOKING OUT OVER IT. ON THE SHOP’S COUNTER THERE IS AN OLD FASHIONED WEIGHING SCALE OR BALANCE, INTO ONE OF THE PANS OF WHICH WE SEE ANNIE CROOK DROPPING THE COUPLE OF PIECES OF BARLEY SUGAR THAT SHE’S JUST TAKEN FROM THE JAR, AS IF TO MAKE UP THE WEIGHT. WE CAN STILL SEE NO MORE OF HER THAN HER HANDS AND CUFFS, ENTERING FROM THE LEFT OF THE FOREGROUND HERE. LOOKING OUT ACROSS THE COUNTER AND INTO THE SHADOWY REMAINDER OF THE SHOP WE SEE TWO YOUNG MEN STANDING WAITING FOR THE WOMAN TO FINSIH DELIVERING THE SWEETS THAT THEY ARE PURCHASING. ONE OF THESE, DRESSED IN A MUSTARD COLOUR CHECK SUIT OF SOMEWHAT QUESTIONABLE TASTE AND LOUDNESS, IS YOUNG WALTER SICKERT, AGED 24 YEARS OLD. THE OTHER YOUNG MAN IS MUCH MORE SOMBERLY AND ELEGANTLY DRESSED IN A GENTLEMAN’S BLACK COAT, AND ALTHOUGH HE WILL BE INTRODUCED TO US AS SICKERT’S YOUNG BROTHER ALBERT, HE IS IN FACT THE YOUNG DUKE OF CLARENCE, PRINCE ALBERT VICTOR CHRISTIAN EDWARD… OR PRINCE EDDY FOR SHORT. AT THE TIME OF THIS FIRST SCENE, IN 1884, HE IS ONLY TWENTY YEARS OLD. HE’S QUITE GOOD LOOKING, BUT THERE’S SOMETHING RATHER BOVINE ABOUT HIS EXPRESSION. HE ISN’T TERRIBLY BRIGHT, KNOWS IT, AND FEEELS WRETCHEDLY SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT IT. HE’S NAÏVE TO THE POINT OF BEING INFANTILE, AND HAVING LED A RELATIVELY LOVELESS EXISTENCE IS INCLINED TO FALL PASSIONATELY IN LOVE WITH ANYONE HE MEETS. COUPLED WITH THIS, HIS INFANTILE NEEDS FOR GRATIFICATION MANIFEST THEMSELVES IN HIS SEX LIFE TO MAKE HIM FAIRLY PROMISCUOUS… ALTHOUGH THAT’S SOMEWHAT TOO KNOWING A TERM TO CONVEY THE CHILDISHNESS, ALMOST INNOCENCE, OF HIS EMOTIONAL AND SEXUAL EXPERIENCE. HE HAS HAD SYPHILIS SINCE THE AGE OF SIXTEEN, ALTHOUGH THIS WILL NOT MANIFEST ITS WORSE EFFECTS UNTIL LATE IN EDDY’S LIFE. AS HE STANDS WITH SICKERT HERE HE HOLDS A TOP HAT NERVOUSLY AND AWKWARDLY BENEATH HIS ARM, AND IS STARING ALMOST SLACK JAWED AT THE OFF PANEL WOMAN BEHIND THE COUNTER, FAR TOO GAUCHE TO CONCEAL HIS WIDE-EYED INTEREST, OR EVEN TO BE AWARE THAT HE IS SHOWING IT. SICKERT, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS COMPARATIVELY EASY AND RELAXED, A CONFIDENT YOUNG BOHEMIAN ABOUT TOWN. HE HAS A SMART DERBY HAT TUCKED JAUNTILY UNDER HIS ARM, OR IS HOLDING IT IN ONE HAND. HIS GAZE IS DIRECTED AT THE LAST PIECES OF BARLEY SUGAR BEING DROPPED INTO THE SCALE, RATHER THAN AT THE YOUNG WOMAN DOING THE DROPPING, AS IS THE CASE WITH HIS COMPANION. HE SMILES FAINTLY, RELAXEDLY, UTTERLY AT EASE. THE SHOP HAS A LARGE FRONT WINDOW, AND THE BRIGHT SUNSHINE FALLS IN FROM OUTSIDE IN SHAFTS, A SOLID EDGED RHOMBOID OF WHITE GOLD LIGHT AGAINST THE MUSTY UMBER DARKNESS OF THE SWEETHSOP, WITH ITS JARS AND TRAYS AND SELECTIONS OF BRIAR PIPES. FALLEN FROM THE OFF PANEL WOMAN’S FINGERS, THE LAST PIECE OF BARLEY SUGAR HANGS SUSPENDED AND MAGICALLY IN MID AIR, CAUGHT FROZEN BETWEEN HAND AND WEIGHING SCALE. THE CAPTION CAN BE AT THE TOP OR BOTTOM. UP TO YOU.
CAP: LONDON, JULY 1884.

PANEL 3.
NOW A SIDE ON SHOT, LOOKING DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE COUNTER TOWARDS THE SHOP’S FRONT WINDOW, SO THAT WE CAN SEE ALL THE THREE PARTICIPANTS CLEARLY. ANNIE STANDS, FULLY VISIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME, BEHIND THE COUNTER, OVER TO THE LEFT OF PANEL HERE. SHE’S POURING THE BARLEY SUGAR FROM THE PAN OF THE SCALES INTO A LITTLE TRIANGULAR BAG MADE OF WHITE PAPER. THE BARLEY SUGAR LUMPS ARE SOMEWHAT MELTED AND STUCK TOGETHER, ON ACCOUNT OF THE FEROCIOUS AND SWELTERING JULY HEAT. ANNIE IS A LARGE AND STURDILY BUILT WOMAN WITH BROAD FEATURES. SHE ISN’T FAT, YOU UNDERSTAND, JUST BIG; ONLY A LITTLE SHORTER THAN PRINCE EDDY. SHE ISN’T IMMEDIATELY PRETTY OR BEAUTIFUL, BUT HER CHARACTER AND WARMTH ARE EVIDENT, AND DO MUCH TO COMPENSATE FOR THIS BY LENDING HER OWN UNIQUE AIR OF ANIMATION AND CHARM. SHE SMILES QUIETLY AS SHE POURS THE BARLEY SUGAR INTO THE WHITE PAPER BAG, EYES TWINKLY WITH FRIENDLY AMUSEMENT AS SHE SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO SICKERT. PRINCE EDDY, IN THE BACKGROUND, HOLDS HIS TOP HAT WRETCHEDLY IN BOTH HANDS AND STARES AT THE WOMAN BEHIND THE COUNTER WITH A MOONSTRUCK EXPRESSION THAT BORDERS UPON THE IMBECILIC. SICKERT GRINS AT ANNIE AS HE SPEAKS TO HER. SHE’S MODELLED FOR HIM IN THE PAST AND THE TWO ARE QUITE FRINEDLY AND RELAZED AROUND EACH OTHER. ANNIE COMES FROM SCOTLAND ORIGINALLY, BY THE WAY.
ANNIE: There. Two pennorth on the nail. I’d not want to jew you now, would I?
ANNIE: I’m sorry they’re all of a lump. It’s this weather.
SICKERT: Nonsense, Annie. They look mouth-watering.

PANEL 4.
SAME SHOT EXACTLY. ALL OF THE SWEETS ARE NOW IN THE BAG AND ANNIE IS PLACING THE BAG (WITH A TWIST AT THE TOP CORNERS) ONTO THE COUNTER. SICKERT IS IN THE ACT OF TAKING A COUPLE OF COPPER PENNIES FROM HIS COAT POCKET. BOTH ANNIE AND SICKERT SORT OF PAUSE IN MID MOVEMENT AND TURN THEIR HEADS TO LOOK SLIGHTLY AWAY FROM US TOWARDS EDDY, WHO STAND FACING US IN THE IMMEDIATE BACKGROUND HERE, IN MORE OR LESS THE SAME POSITION AS LAST PANEL. HE LOOKS DEADFULLY EMBARASSED, AND, AS IS USUAL AT SUCH TIMES, STARTS TO EVIDENCE A FAINT STAMMER, A MERE ECHO OF HIS FATHER’S FAR MORE SERIOUS SPEECH DIFFICULTY. HE GAZES AT ANNIE WITH CHILDISH, AWESTRUCK ADORATION. YOU CAN SEE HOW PEOPLE MIGHT BE TOUCHED BY THE NAKED SINCERITY OF A YOUNG MAN OF EDDY’S YEARS AND STATION. SICKERT AND ANNIE LOOK SURPRISED.
EDDY: A-as do you…i-if I may say so.
EDDY: That is, ah…

PANEL 5
REVERSE ANGLE NOW, SO THAT EDDY FACES SLIGHTLY AWAY FROM US, HEAD AND HSOULDERS IN THE FOREGROUND AS HE GAZES TOWARDS SICKERT AND ANNIE IN THE CENTRE OF THE IMMEDIATE BACKGROUND, STANDING TO EITHER SIDE OF THE SHOP’S COUNTER. EDDY LOOKS WRETCHEDLY AGITATED AND ANXIOUS AND WORRIED IN THE WAKE OF HIS OUTBURST, FEARFUL THAT ANNIE HAS TAKEN OFFENCE. ANNIE, STANIDNG BEHIND THE COUNTER, TURNS AND GAZES AT EDDY WHILE SHE SPEAKS TO SICKERT. HER EYES ARE WIDE WITH SURPRISE AND SHE HAS A FAINT SMILE THAT IS SLIGHTLY MOCKING, BUT KINDLY. SICKERT, LAYING HIS TWO PENNIES DOWN ON THE COUNTER TOP, TURNS ALSO TO LOOK AT EDDY, GRINNING BROADLY WITH AMUSEMENT AT THE YOUNG CHAP’S OBVIOUS DISCOMFORT. WITH HIS OTHER HAND HE IS PICKING UP THE SMALL WHITE BAG OF BARLEY SUGAR.
ANNIE: Why, Mr. S. You do entertain the most IMPERTINENT companions.
EDDY: I…please, I apologize. I only meant…

PANEL 6
NOW BACK TO AN ANGLE SIMILAR TO THAT EMPLOYED IN THE PANELS THREE AND FOUR, WITH THE COUNTER RUNNING AWAY FROM US, ANNIE ON ONE SIDE AND THE TWO GENTLEMEN ON THE OTHER. TOWARDS THE FOREGROUND, ANNIE IS PLACING THE MONEY IN THE DRAWER OF AN OLD FASHIONED VICTORIAN TILL. IN THE NEAR BACKGROUND, AGAINST THE LIGHT OF THE SHOP WINDOW, SICKERT HAS TAKEN A STEP ACROSS SO THAT HE’S BEHIND EDDY WITH HIS HANDS CLASPED FATHERLY UPON EACH OF EDDY’S SHOULDERS FROM BEHIND AS HE STEERS THE RELUCTANT AND LOVESTRUCK YOUNG MAN TOWARDS THE COUNTER, IN ORDER TO PROPERLY INTRODUCE HIM TO ANNIE. ANNIE LOOKS AT THE FRIGHTENED AND UNCOMFORTABLE-LOOKING EDDY WITH AMUSEMENT IN HER EYES. SHE THINKS HE'S CUTE. EDDY SHUFFLES FORWARD UNDER SICKERT'S GENTLE PRESSURE FROM BEHIND, HIS TOP HAT IN HIS HANDS.
SICKERT: Oh, come on, old chap. She's just having you on.
SICKERT: Annie, this... this is my younger brother, ALBERT.
SICKERT: Uh, Albert, this is Miss Annie Crook.

PANEL 7.
SIMILAR SHOT NOW. IN THE FOREGROUND, ANNIE SMILES AND REACHES ONE HAND ACROSS THE COUNTER TOP TOWARDS EDDY, AS IF TO SHAKE HANDS. EDDY STARES DOWN STUPIDLY AT THE HAND AS IF NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH IT, HIS OWN HAND RISING ONLY HESITANTLY TO MEET IT. IN THE NEAR BACKGROUND, SICKERT HAS TAKEN A STEP AWAY AND IS IN THE ACT OF SETTING HIS DERBY ATOP HIS HEAD IN PREPARATION FOR GOING OUTSIDE. PERHAPS HE'S CHECKING HIS REFLECTION IN A GLASS FRONTED CABINET OR SOMETHING WHILE HE DOES SO... IN ANY EVENT, HE IS NO LONGER LOOKING TOWARDS US, OR TOWARDS EDDY AND ANNIE. ANNIE ALMOST LOOKS AS IF SHE'S GOING TO LAUGH AT THE AWKWARDNESS OF THE HANDSOME YOUNG EDDY AS HE GAWPS AT HER OFFERED HAND.
ANNIE: Oh, a YOUNG Mr. S, eh? I didn't KNOW there was a young Mr. S.
ANNIE: Well...
ANNIE: Pleased to make your acquiantance, I'm sure.

(note . I no longer have the script for this chapter and this was copied from the From Hell scripts book by my daughter Erin. A proper name looked out of place and made no sense. Checked the book- wrong there too. I changed it. Apologies for any other typos; I've been over it twice.)

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23 Comments:

Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

Oh man, for all the typing I hope she's got a stipend from her Dad ;)

16 March 2007 12:30:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

there's a going rate.
everybody's happy.

and sometimes i have to type it myself, like the two occasions before this one. which is still mucheasier than having to write a whole essay.

that's why I stockpile two or three while she's willing.

she can do it four or five times quicker than I can.

all in all, this stuff will get preserved when it may not have otherwise.

16 March 2007 12:42:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Kelly,
I kind of worked out what to do if the uploading problem continued. I say 'kind of' because It's only theoretical.
I could have emailed an image to you (or chris moonlight, or Nathalie, one of my regular correspondents here that use blogger, who wasn't having the same problems)... you could have uploaded it to blogger...hosting it yourself and keeping it in a post in 'drafts'. then emailed me the line of html by which i could access it and show it in my own post.

later you could delete it and I could upload from here and replace in my post so that it wouldn't be using up your allowance.

yes? anybody see a fault in my logic? does that work or am i blowing bubbles?

eddie

16 March 2007 1:11:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger HemlockMan said...

I don't know how this freaking internet works. I don't even know how the ignition system on the internal combustion engine in my truck works.

16 March 2007 1:37:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

I am willing to help if you need it... It sounds a bit tortuous (is that a real English word or did I just created that from French ?)
N.

16 March 2007 1:48:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

thanks, nathalie.
it seems to be working now. but if one of us has the same problem further along, I figure that's the solution. I performed the action i described quite by accident in my sidebar when i was setting up the gallery that's there now. Instead of a link to Mr moonlight's blog I accidentally copied a whole big picture in there. I didn't publish it but made a mental note that it was do-able.
(tortuous is a good English word. do-able is hideous)
(and hideous is one of my favourite English words)

eddie

16 March 2007 1:54:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

and hemlockman
i was a blank when I started this thing too... I've been forcing myself to conquer it. mostly finding ways around the the things i can't get to work. Couldn't get a photo into the 'profile' so i cut off access to the profile and put everything in the sidebar.

what larks!

eddie

16 March 2007 1:57:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

I don't know. I kind of like the last panel on the first version. It feels a little more honest. I still can't post pics myself, by the way. I was hoping to have another post up before I hit Wizard World LA. Anyone going?

16 March 2007 1:59:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

well now's agood time to try it.
email me your picture and i'll email you back the html. and let's see if it works

eddie

16 March 2007 2:12:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

I just tryed it again. It worked. Want to try it anyway?

16 March 2007 2:14:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

yes, throw it over here and we'll try it

16 March 2007 2:17:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

okay, for the record, we tried that and it worked. Make a note. Somebody's having upload problems and somebody else isn't, you can help each other out.

eddie

16 March 2007 2:38:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

Good work. Ga-night.

16 March 2007 2:43:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger murm said...

there are ellipses in those speech balloons!

was that

because you were following someone else's script,

before you realized that ellipses were evil,

or not the kind of distasteful ellipses you were talking about?

help! i must follow rules!

16 March 2007 4:00:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

hrrmmm

put it in the singular,
are you talking about the ellipse or the ellipsis?

which are the same in the plural, ellipses.

I was taking of the former, and you will notice that i have carefully avoided those.

eddie

16 March 2007 4:38:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

the other kind are fine

Diana Schutz has a rule that if you break a sentence over two balloons, you must end the first with an ellipsis and begin the second with one.

everywhere you look. RULES!!

16 March 2007 4:50:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

and i just noticed I said taking instead of talking

16 March 2007 4:52:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

...

16 March 2007 5:20:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Aaron said...

Eddie Campbell writing HTML code? The world's gone topsy turvy!

16 March 2007 9:23:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

Ok! If you need help just let me know! I post regularly on my blog as well and go nuts if I can't post pictures (but that has only happened a couple of times and none too recently).

Hey, I think it's pretty cool that you guys can type it all out and have it archived. Not too many do. So thank you (and Erin) for doing it!

16 March 2007 10:38:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger murm said...

oh, allright, i did think you were referring to an ellipsis.

you disapprove of symmetrical perfect oval speech balloons?

i can get behind that.

16 March 2007 3:34:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous John C said...

If it's any consolation, other Blogger sites this evening have been subject to outages. Well done Google. Once again I give WordPress and its army of developers a big sloppy kiss.

16 March 2007 10:26:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

I'm sure an artist can easily get trapped in a dangerous cycle of perpetual "improvement" and never actually get anywhere, but I have to say that I definitely prefer your altered 1999 version of Eddy. It's weird how he looks so much more, I don't know, real.

18 March 2007 3:27:00 pm GMT-5  

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