Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Another Campbellian motif

S an Diego Convention coming up. One week from today I shall be on my way. Look for me there. I should be standing in the usual place in the Top Shelf set-up. Pick up a copy of The Black Diamond Detective Agency or have a look at some of the original art, or just come around and say hello and get me started on some yarn or whinge. If there's a tall handsome kid standiing where I should be, that'll be my son.
Meanwhile, I found three pages of of Black Diamond pencil roughs that survived my working methods, so here are some more notes on working methods and on mucking about with the script.
Normally I made a rough layout in pencil same size as the finished page was to be drawn. The purpose was to pencil the lettering which I would then trace onto an overlay. Occasionally, but not normally, it would be necessary to deal with some aspects of the drawing at this stage. These layouts were very rough and I would then go on to use the page for colour testing and for leaning the heel of my hand on. They didn't usually survive even until I'd finished the art for the page. Occasionally there would be one or two where the layout almost amounted to a sketch that could be interpreted by somebody other than myself. I'd throw those aside for keeping, but there really were only a handful of them. Here's a finished page and its preparatory rough. I wanted to keep that white background clean, so I worked this one out more thoroughly than usual, though many looking at it would not, I'm sure, regard that as a finished pencil drawing.

I've just noticed the lettering in the rough is in upper case. That's odd. While this is the first page in the book, I drew it in the middle of the whole job, not at the beginning. I went back and inserted this page (in fact the opening three page sequence) to try to solve some psychological difficulties in the script. I had plunged into te thing just presuming he was wearing glasses because his sight was not 100%. After meeting with the Hollywood guys I realized this was wrong and in fact this was a whole logical issue not addressed anywhere in the text. For narrative reasons he needed to be wearing tinted glasses later in order to pass himself off in disguise, so I had to construct a whole psychological reason for it. Hopefully I turned their character into a neurotic in the process; when he clobbers the detective on page 24 in order to escape, he steals the poor guy's glasses, which also wasn't in the original. And of course, the stolen pair of glasses is just one more thing that doesn't work, and he has to chuck them away. Just another nutty Campbellian motif. It will be interesting to see how that works out in the movie.
Couple of links from Nathalie in comments yesterday:
US Publisher Turns away from Cartoon Nudity. Children's book author Rotraut Susanne Berner refuses to remove the willy, so book will not now be published in the USA. --America! The world is laughing at you!
Internet connects reclusive Nobel laureate to readers — and the world. International herald trib. on Elfriede Jelinek.
Jelinek, 60, has been posting chapters of the new book, "Neid" (German for "Envy"), as she writes them. The first two chapters of the work she describes as a "mixture of blog and prose"

A couple of Harry Potter links via comicmix:
Harry Potter and the man who conjured up Rowling's millions. her agent Christopher Little, profiled in The Guardian.
Potter Publisher Predicted Literary Magic- profile of US editor Arthur A. Levine of Scholastic.

old link (2005) rediscovered (via Dylan Meconis)-Terry Gilliam bitter about Potter:
"I was the perfect guy to do Harry Potter. I remember leaving the meeting, getting in my car, and driving for about two hours along Mulholland Drive just so angry. I mean, Chris Columbus' versions are terrible. Just dull. Pedestrian." On his contemporaries in film directing, Gilliam also said, "I saw 'War of the Worlds' and I thought, Steven Spielberg is a man who makes brilliant scenes but can't make a movie anymore."

The Apu travesty Guardian- 16 july-
A promotion for The Simpsons movie exploits a crude racist stereotype that insults South Asians living in the United States. (thanks to mick Evans)



Blogger spacedlaw said...

That second picture is just beautiful. Reminds me of the lithographies of a guy called Claude Weissbuch I used to see a lot of as a kid (I managed to find a sample here).

17 July 2007 at 00:48:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

I have to admit that I'm having trouble getting though Black Diamond, due to the fact that I keep getting stuck examining the art. I've had to start again twice now... might also be due to the fact that my little baby girl won't give me any piece, but I do love her. Looking forward to seeing you in San Diego. We'll have to have that talk about horror, and why goths are the way they are, which in fact has more to do with humor then anything else, these days.

17 July 2007 at 01:26:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it another year of me and Susan slapping your hand and saying SHIT HOWDY? Jeez. We have a Clive Owen film playing (premiering really) Thurs night at the Con and you and a guest are welcome.

Jessus remember those years in the nineties I would come by and say "Hey I am trying ?"

17 July 2007 at 01:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger mrjslack said...

That would be "Shoot Em Up", which looks fantastic. You and wee Cal should definitely go and check it out.
The trailer is here-

Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti... wish I could check it out myself.

Looks very reminiscent of John Woo's "Hard Boiled", and I mean that in a good way.

17 July 2007 at 01:49:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

That Guardian article about the Apu/Kiwk-E-Mart promotion, is a bit muddled. While the promotion itself is terrible (in the way that asks it's mainly minority staff to wear badges with Apu on them and say "Thank you, come again"), the writer also complains about the portrayal of Apu within the show itself.

Maybe he was needing a few extras words to pad out his article, but, while the *idea* of Apu within the Simpsons is a racial stereotype, his portrayal is anything but. In fact, he's probably the most well-rounded, kind, caring, thoughtful, hard-working and just plain "likeable" character in the whole of Springfield.

So while the parts of the promotion in America which include Apu sound atrocious, hurtful and offensive, I wish he hadn't diluted his message with an poorly aimed shot at the show.

17 July 2007 at 05:05:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Simpsons movie overload, English pagans are threatening to rain on Homer's underwear:


Delicate American sensibilities might care to avert their gaze from the penis picture.

17 July 2007 at 06:04:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished Black Diamond the other day. The artwork in it was incredible. The explosion was a complete shock to my senses. I had no idea that was going to happen until I turned the page. I read From Hell a long time ago, so I knew what you were capable of, but you really outdid yourself in Black Diamond.

17 July 2007 at 07:38:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

"America! The world is laughing at you!"

DUH! (As if having a mentally retarded puppet of a President wasn't bad enough.)

"...mucking about..." I love that word. I use it often, and sometimes seem to be the only one around who does. (One of my dad's favorite pulp novels was an ER Burroughs book called THE MUCKER, which I've never read.)

17 July 2007 at 16:13:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Shawn said...

Hi Eddie, I always find it a pity that there are no conventions of note here in Australia. It's a good chance to meet and chat with writers/artists/creators. I'm also trying to pick up some sketches/commissions/original art from various artists (yourself included). Do you sell any art at all? Apologies if this question comes across as crass but I couldn't find any information about your art for sale online.

17 July 2007 at 19:42:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

there's nothng happening online. I usually take art to conventions wih me, but I prefr to avoid te hassle of dealing with that at home, so you have to be there. I used to run art sales by mail back in the day, and that was one of Anne's jobs. But nowadays I'm having a hard enough time getting my quota of work done.

17 July 2007 at 19:48:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Shawn said...

Thanks Eddie. Looks like I have to get a ticket from Melbourne to San Diego or somewhere in the US to pick up your art. : ) I'll keep my eyes peeled for any local Aussie cons (won't keep my fingers crossed as they may never get uncrossed).

18 July 2007 at 03:03:00 GMT-5  

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