Friday 13 July 2007

Pour me a bath... and another.

I see it as part of the artist's task in an illustrated work, to catch any practical issues that the writer may have overlooked. When it's sitting in front of you in pictures it can be easier to see the obvious. In From Hell I was always pestering Alan to establish the nature of Netley's possession of a coach and horses. He obviously didn't have the means to own them, certainly not the way I was drawing the poor bastard. Therefore, was he borrowing a carriage at night that he had access to in working hours? Who did he work for? Where were the stables and the garage for the vehicle? etc. Alan's mind was on bigger matters and we never aswered any of that.
Here are two pieces of art that I was particularly pleased with from the Black Diamond Dtective Agency, both based on photo reference. In the script, Hardin (or Hardon as we call him around our house) was running around Chicago for what must have amounted to a week or more. I was starting to consider the hygeine issues. Not having to pass everything back to a scripter this time I just gave him a bath. I found out that the first public bathhouse in Chicago was built and opened in 1894 and would thus have been very new at the time. The photo of the one I used was in fact the third such establishment in the city. I found it online, though I'm damned if I can find it again. I didn't actually show him wet at this stage as later in the book I knew we'd see him in the tub at Ed's appartment, which must make him the most fastidiously clean of old-style American heroes.

Below, I was pleased with this tramcar. The trams were still running around Glasgow when I was a kid. And the trolley buses too.

Now, I didn't make this, I just stole it. Or at least, it came in a circulating email. But I think the person who made it will probably judge its success by how far it travels under its own steam. And if you know who, tell us so we can applaud (or apologise for nicking it). Apart from enjoying my blog, How's your interest in today shaping up?



Blogger spacedlaw said...

What this place needs is a little more gecko...

I had wondered about the public baths being authentic but since then had reflected on the period and the fact that this is taking place in a big city and not some back wood town.
I am not surprised to read that you went through the pain of hunting for a picture, after all you said about the making of Form Hell.

13 July 2007 at 00:43:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, the shading inside the carved letters on the bathhouse is great.

Isn't the internet amazing for source material!? I found a site that specialises in scans of old telegrams: which was very useful for Gatsby.

I should be working on office work now though, not reading your blog...

13 July 2007 at 00:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger mrjslack said...

And the trams make me wistful for Melbourne.

mister J.

13 July 2007 at 00:56:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might be less wistful if you could feel the marrow-chilling cold we've got here at the moment... and there are very few of those lovely old wooden trams left. Right now a brand new tram is slithering past my window - they look like big silver electro-slugs.

Mr J, if it is not bad manners for me to ask on Mr Campbell's blog, could you post a link to your wrestling comics? I have googled in vain.

13 July 2007 at 02:08:00 GMT-5  
Blogger mrjslack said...

Silver electro slugs... I think i saw them in an old episode of Dr Who. They were working with the Cybermen, right?
Um... here's a recent toon at the Sun,,2006120002-2007280943,00.html
Was good to meet the other day, really looking forward to Gatsby.


13 July 2007 at 02:24:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nearest image I can find is at this encyclopedia. Oh wait, you can click it, try this link. Is that the one? Looking at it, it's curious the way they have the window arches above those dirty big concrete/hewn stone lintels. Although that may be render. They have the appearance of sash windows, too, although they look to have screens in front of them, so it's hard to say. They could be metal frames, thinking about it, I can't remember when they started.

All that aside, you captured it bloody well.

13 July 2007 at 09:13:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you zoom in, it's clear it isn't render. I'm guessing it's architectural detail, I can't see any signs that it's a later addition. But I bet the brickie was a little peeved.

13 July 2007 at 09:19:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

great site for the telegraphs. There is nothing we cannot find on the internet!

yes that was the photo I used. i recall now that i turned it around in my mind's eye to a frontal view and tried to make it look new.
I also see here that it opened the year after my story finished. I obiously thought that nobody would ever find out and I could get away with it. but now I've gone a drawn attention to it.

13 July 2007 at 17:10:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That public bath picture reminds me of one we had in our old neighborhood in Amsterdam ("Municipality Bath House") dated from early 1900s, which is now a Jazz club/café.

Off topic: is it possible to have a postal address where stuff can be delivered to you?

13 July 2007 at 20:59:00 GMT-5  

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