Sunday 5 August 2007

Fate 1

T he Fate of the Artist was a book I was working on sporadically in my spare time before Mark Siegel of First Second called and asked if I had any ideas I wanted to pitch. I'd been interrupting it to do various paying jobs including Batman, Captain America and Escapist stories. Indeed I was starting to despair of ever getting the thing done. There were thirty pages in grey tones completed, which I scanned through their tracing paper overlays and emailed to New York. I originally envisioned it as a 48 page book in black and white which I would publish myself or through Top Shelf. First Second wanted a bigger book, and in color. I had no trouble whatsoever expanding it, and getting a proper advance of cash enabled me to get the thing wrapped up. It's interesting in retrospect to compare the monochrome versions with the way it was eventually published, though I think Mark was going far out on a limb in trusting me to know how the finished thing was going to make sense. There were bits from the beginning, the middle, and the last seven pages, the adaptation from O. Henry was complete, so at least it must have looked like there was a plan. He trusted me to do the entire Monsieur Leotard based on a one-page typed synopsis. My agent tells me this is extremely unusual.
So here are the title page and the first chapter page. the indicia came between these, with the recumbent figure of the poet Chatterton thrown on there at the very last minute. He was supposed to be exactly level with the recumbent Campbell below, in yet aanother of those multifarious cross-references that inhabit the work, but the addition of First Second's isignia upon the indicia page, unknown to me, threw things out of alignment. Apart from that and the covers, the whole package was assembled by Mick Evans and I submitted it on a disc.

Colour goache was touched in lightly over the grey gouache, the plan of having chapter headings was abandoned, and more was done in photoshop than I originally envisioned. The metal nut was scanned at 800%. The human nut is happy with the result.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fate "1" as in there are going to be entries titled Fate 2 and so on? Great, more behind-the-scenes of my favorite Campbell work!

5 August 2007 at 00:44:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You can all go to fuck"
Surprisingly I haven't heard that one before!
Mummy! I learnt a new way to swear!
Any use of the word "fuck" is perfectly fine by me.

Although I must say, I can feel sympathy for the plight of that potty-mouthed artist.
(Evident most, perhaps, in my imminent 'dropping' of English Extension 2. Major Works can all go to fuck.)

5 August 2007 at 00:49:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

In the universe next door, the B&W Fate of the Artist was almost as wonderful, I suspect...

5 August 2007 at 04:49:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie, sorry if this question has been answered a thousand times before, but I was wondering if you are selling any of your original "Alec" artwork.


Russell Willis

5 August 2007 at 05:51:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

Eddie, given you're an avid comics historian, I thought this might interest: from 1923, by George Storm, How to be a successful comic artist.

5 August 2007 at 06:11:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

I received your book in the mail! great work. I will read.

thanks for link

editor wanted to change that to F*** but i convinced him it is a real place.

THE Russell Willis? one of my readers who goes all the way back to my early things in the '80s? the one (and this may embarras you) who wrote that review of my Fate at and then removed it within hours? :) I have oft wondered whether you changed your mind about the book or did you just decide to cut me some slack?

5 August 2007 at 17:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

I have rarely sold any of those pages (one or two are missing and i can't remember what could have happened to them) , and am holding onto them, but who knows, maybe one day...

5 August 2007 at 17:35:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fuck: A small provincial town 200km south of Berlin. A primarily agricultural settlement, it is known for its delectable local sausage ("Fuckwurst") as well as its unique harvest festival "Oktoberfuck". Last year, Fuck acheieved the tremendous feat of becoming the German town to consume the largest amount of beer per annum, despite its population being only 700."

NOW Fuck is a real place.
Oh I do so love to toy with fact and history.
And yet, shockingly, Urban Dictionary DENIED my definition of "Zany", which can be viewed here:

Incredibly immature, but seemed like a good idea at the time.

5 August 2007 at 23:32:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eddie, yes, it was me. I thought better of the review and since I wasn't in the best of moods when I wrote it, I thought I'd leave the book for a while and re-read. A new review soon!

I did write the very first review of Alec on Amazon and that was a pretty favorable one... so I hope I can be forgiven!

If you do consider selling any pages, please put me in line for page 16 of "How to be an artist." That's my interview with David you're quoting from and Infinity you're reading. It would only be right, surely! :-)

I'm not sure how these comment things work. I thought I'd sent a reply before but I might have buggered it up.

31 October 2007 at 10:05:00 GMT-5  

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