Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A birthday card for Reed Waller

Today is the birthday of Omaha the Cat Dancer creator Reed Waller.
I've occasionally written here about working with Reed. To say Omaha was an inspiration for Tranny Towers is a bit of an understatement, though I like to think I put my own spin on the whole funny animal soap opera thing.
I have no idea how Reed is doing these days. I've not talked to him or corresponded, aside from reading the occasional post on the Yahoo Omaha boards, for more than six years now. To the best of my knowledge, he's well and his job is treating him decently.
We hope for the best.
New work on Omaha proceeds apace, appearing in the otherwise unappealing Sizzle magazine. Actually, the last issue of Sizzle I read, issue 50, had gone from painful to tedious (aside from the Omaha stuff, of course), so I guess that's an improvement. The next Omaha installment is currently scheduled for issue 51, due out in September.
While reading Bryan Talbot's superb funny-animal Sherlock Holmes Steampunk pastiche Grandville, I noticed a guest appearance by Omaha!

Here is the image in context on the page proper.

 Here's a short video trailer for Grandville.

I suspect that Reed would be honored to have one his pieces included in a Bryan Talbot book, and next to a Mucha at that!
I can't tell if Talbot redrew these or pasted them in. His Photoshop chops are evident throughout the book, but he certainly has the skill to do it either way.
I've been tinkering with posting this for a while now, and the occasion of Reed's birthday seems an appropriate time to do so.
The rest of you: check out Grandville. Either volume. They stand alone, but there is a continuity, so you're probably better off reading them in publication order.
Steampunk funny animal noir. No reason it should work, but it does. It's smart, exciting work. But then, what else would you expect from Bryan Talbot?
There are currently two books in the series, Grandville and Grandville Mon Amour, with a third, Grandville Bete Noir in the works. The publisher is Dark Horse.
Here's looking at you, Reed D. Waller! Happy birthday!
May the next year be kind to you!
(image at left: portrait of the protagonist from Grandville, Detective Inspector LeBrock).

Original Art Sundays (Wednesday) No. 97: Tranny Towers, Chapter 18

This post was delayed by a writing deadline that ate two days more than I expected, and the extra sleep required thereafter.
Here is Chapter 18! As always, click on the image for a larger version.

A couple things about this page:
First, it's necessary for plot development. The lead up to the big event, as it were.
Second, doing a dialogue heavy page and keeping it visually interesting is always a challenge.
And I didn't have a copy of Wally Wood's classic 22 Panels That Always Work on hand to swipe from!

Third, the strip is quite dated. While some households still have land lines, few of them have cords, which is what makes the gag work here.
All that said, there are things about this strip that work well for me. The dialogue taking up the center of the page while still having a panel flow and taking place in two distinct locations is a nice touch.
Next week: Surrealist Cowgirls, It Does This, page 8!