About drawing paper. (part 7- final)
A note about the translucent ivory board I mentioned before. Looking in my archive I see that I started using it almost eactly at the time I found myself without a day job. I recall the old chap in the art shop having a word with us (Dave Harood and me) and suggesting that this other card might suit our purposes just as well as the expensive bristol board we were buying. It suited me fine. In contrast to the bristol it's whiter, almost blue white, and I've photographed two for comparison above, being pages from Alec: The King Canute Crowd, from 1981 and 1986. I adjusted the image in curves for the purpose of showing up the contrast. Later when I lived in Brisbane and found a supply of it, I used to order it in big slabs and have it delivered onto my verandah by the manufacturer, and I say this in case I gave the impression that I just steal whatever the kids bring home from school for their projects. I started a fad of sorts and Evans and Mullins used to come around for armfuls of the stuff at intervals. Having an ultra smooth finish it was right for all the penwork I was doing during this period, so long as I didn't gouge, so that From Hell and After the Snooter and all of Bacchus were drawn on it. Either the translucent smooth or on special occasions the textured as illustrated earlier. On the other hand, it's not suited to conventional comic book brush inking with 'feathering', having no tooth or grip, though Pete could ususally pull it off well enough if we needed that kind of effect. I started buying directly from the manufacturer after there was a dip in quality in the stuff I was buying at the art store, with ink lines tending to bleed slightly, and I fretted for weeks over the problem. In fact, I seem to recall it was Mick Evans who found the solution of buying direct for me. Paper quality is not a matter to be taken lightly. I'd get four A3s out of each big sheet. It was one of Anne's jobs to cut it and rule it up to order using the different templates I had cut for each job type, i.e. 9-panel grid, or 'comic book' format or special other (which is why it was no good to me to have stuff printed with blue-lines, though in retrospect, From Hell went on long enough that it might have been a good idea for that template at least.)
Another thing about these old pages, and these are the original and only, is that I once read that I had redrawn almost 60% of the art. There are some touches of white on the page on the left, mostly some fine tuning of jaw and hair lines, but none at all on the page on the right, which is more typical of the whole book. The correction white always showed up bluish on the bristol and yellowish on the ivory.
p.s. Shawn in comments for july 6 queried my view on preservation. I'm certainly not cavalier about the issue, and you can see that the pages above are looking healthy after 25 years. Curiously though, there is a problem with the more expensive card, the bristol, because one of my publishers used a gum to put backing sheets on all the pages (many have abandoned attempts on them which may have confused the printer) which has reacted chemically with the card causing the beginnings of brown stains which caused slight problems when Preney photographed the pages in 2000. The cheaper paper, oddly, was not affected at all. On the page on the left above you can just about see the brown coming through from the back at the outer corners of the inked area. If your work is in any way successful so many people are going handle it over time and You have to allow that you can't control everything. I once got a cover original back that had been accidentally torn in half. The publisher was most apologetic and made good, which i thought was grand as they gave me more than I would have charged for the same original in good condition.
Just received one of those circulating emails, The Kid from Eromanga. This was so well constructed (and very funny) I immediately thought to myself, what's the origin of it? Eric Shackle has already tracked its lineage, but I note this was a couple of years back. I may be the last person in the world to read it. Its variations as it travelled and its origin in Hillbilly Zeb from Texas are intriguing.
Well, I have now got to the end of The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (I think I'll go with the French form). There are a couple of pages spare so I've gone back and inserted some new business between pages ten and eleven. I now have a month to get through it page by page and fix all kinds of problems, including continuity, logic, feeling lazy some days, etc.