Saturday 26 May 2007

covers- BACCHUS no.10

W hen I assembled each of my first few issues of the sixty-issue run of Bacchus, I was at least five months ahead of release date. By the end of the first year it had slipped back to two months. But the cover still had to be submitted five months ahead, and for that I would have to guess three months in advance what the story was going to be about. Issue #10 is the first one where there is a disparity between my original thought and the finished one.
When we started we were supplying nine different distributors. We'd send each of them a solicitation text, a description of the story, accompanied by a small cover reproduction. It was two inches wide. I suppose they'd just glue it onto their layout for photographing. For the bigger distributors we could send colour, so we'd make those slightly larger and just colour by hand; we were past the stage where we were advanced enough to have a fully worked out painting that early in the process. We didn't even have enough time usually to keep a copy of the colour versions, so they now only exist in copies of Diamond's Previews catalogue, or Capital's catalogue (I can't even remember what it was called now). Since we had to photocopy a bunch at a time, I usually filed a black and white if there were any left over after the day's operation. I'd give a handwritten text and a bunch of repros to Anne and she'd sort it all out, always two weeks ahead of the submission deadline to allow for mailing time since we were working so far from the market.
With Bacchus #10 I had envisioned the character of Mr Dry, my take on the old Prohibition cartoon 'wowser' (as they call the type in Australia: 'one whose overdeveloped sense of morality drives them to deprive others of their pleasures.") playing a healthy game of picnic softball against Bacchus as pugilist. By the time I got to the story I had cast him as a character more likely to wag his finger at any kind of sporting activity. This in fact was the issue in which Bacchus, in a surreal diversion from the main story, finds Mr Dry washing his socks in the gene pool. The black and white version at (1) was the original solicitation image. (2) is my xerox of the original after I coloured it. If you enlarge it you'll notice that I've given Mr Dry a more receding chin since the first version, probably in a vain attempt to save this version before acceding to the need for a new figure. (3) is the new version of the antagonist. I gave all the parts, including a boldly sketched piece of watercolour for backdrop, to Mick Evans, who digitally assembled the finished cover (4). Then I gave them all away as gifts, Christmas 1995.
in other news:
Congressman chases down pick-pocket-WASHINGTON (Reuters) -May 25.
Asked about the incident, a police spokesman confirmed that "something like that occurred tonight in Georgetown."
"I can't identify the surviving victim of any crime," he said. "But, I understand the victim has been calling the news media and telling them his story."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typically any digital assembly would occur at my then place of work on the graveyard shift. Normally I would visit Eddie in the evening who would hand over the art, be a pleasant host and offer me a beer or twelve and we would get smashed. He would go to bed, I would go to work, have a nap, do his art, rush through some jobs like airbrushing models' cellulite or making newsreaders teeth white, drink a gallon of coffe and drop off a proof at breakfast down at his house. For some reason, I was made -cough- redundant after months of this abuse of facilities. I've always felt sorry for the man who owned the chocolate machine. I'm sure he never worked out how we managed to steal some many bars every week. Amazing what you can do with a paper clip.

26 May 2007 at 03:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

Someone picking a Congressman's pocket. Now that's a twist.

26 May 2007 at 16:42:00 GMT-5  

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