Tuesday, 3 July 2007

About drawing paper. (part 2)


ore on the eternal mystery of what paper to use for drawing comic books. Campbell's theories on this important subject are guaranteed to baffle you. For the big double page (8/9) explosion in The Black Diamond Detective Agency I had this notion I could save time, since I wanted the finished thing to be very red, by painting it on red paper. The problem was that when I needed to fix mistakes I had to try to mix a red to match the colour of the paper. So, in the end, the red paper didn't save me much time. You can see other tints showing up in this detail:

The effect I wanted however was pure black on pure red and nothing in-between, so Danica at First Second tweaked the spread in photoshop.

The effect i was after, and nobody appears to have noticed this yet, was exactly that obtained by Wally Wood in the Kurtzman story Atom Bomb in Two-Fisted Tales #33 of May 1953. And to get this effect it would have been much easier to have done the art in black 'line' and add the red later at the production stage;

However, that effect of the black on red may have only happened on the back cover of a Comics Journal, a 1981 issue whose featured interview was either with Kurtzman or Wood, as the Russ Cochran EC reprint shows a completely different coloring:

Question: was I influenced by a Comics Journal re-colouring job when all these years I thought it was in the original?

Bernard Black responds to a rejection letter
"Thank you for returning my manuscript, and your enclosed niminy piminy little note. I am afraid YOUR letter is unsuitable for ME as I have just spent the entire weekend wriing the novel that you have smmarily rejected. I can only assume that it is company policy to reject all manuscripts not submitted in ten foot high braille. And yes, I am aware that it is bad form to respond to any kind of criticism or rejection, but in this as with all else I am an innovator, therefore I may freely address you as… pissmidget. Still, there’s time for you to change your views and I think you will when we meet and meet we most assuredly will, when I suck out your eyes and use them as stoppers for my ears to muffle the screams that you make as I head-butt you into a fine paste. I do hope you will not be disheartened by your sudden, violent death.
Yours faithfully,
Bernard Black."

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Blogger spacedlaw said...

It does not really matter if you were influenced or not Eddie. The scene simply works better that way. I got my copy only last week (it took its time to get here too) and loved every single bit of it, in particular because of the colours and the way they were used (and I am a B&W lover).

3 July 2007 at 00:39:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie,
think it works great, I too only got my copy this weekend (also a b&W lover like chap above)but really enjoying it so far, great idea and amazed at your painting skill (esp at such a length).
lee paul
ps Bernad Black link had me chuckling like a loon in front of my colleagues

3 July 2007 at 06:12:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

I like the white-light version of the Atom Bomb illustration. Seems to me to be more telling as to the power of such a weapon.

Rejection response. Funny, but only a stupid, thin-skinned moron would respond that way to a rejection.

3 July 2007 at 06:30:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

orone of the world's finest stand-up comedians

3 July 2007 at 17:04:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Shawn said...

I think that the red version works well (in both your case and Kurtzman's too). The red isn't really alluding to the power of the weapon in question but perhaps to the destructive and deathly nature of bombs.

It's distinctive and bold. This might be overkill but perhaps an entire graphic novel done in black and red would be food for thought (though it might have been done before)?

3 July 2007 at 19:16:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't comment on which is the original but the red/black version reminds me of the cover to Love & Rockets 24 (a favourite of mine).
Someone at Fantagraphics obviously liked that combination.


4 July 2007 at 04:00:00 GMT-5  

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