Sunday, July 1, 2018

Original Art Sundays: Sharp Invitations: Curt, p. 16

Finally back.
I won't waste time saying why it took me so long to get this page done. It's unprofessional to kvetch, and nobody wants to hear it (and I don't blame them). Suffice to say it's been a tough couple months, with some days of bliss in the mix. I've been spending creative energy on music and writing, plus a whole slew of sketchbook stuff. I'll post some of that soon. For now, it feels so good to get back to The Work, my graphic memoir, Sharp Invitations.
As always, please keep clicking the "older posts" button at  the bottom of the page for more work, or just hit the "Sharp Invitations" label if you want to check out more of The Work.
When we left our heroine (moi), she was in bed with Curt, who had begun choking her as part of their lovemaking. This came directly on the heels of her meeting a trans lesbian, Sara, with whom she developed an immediate fascination. So much to sort out, and being a meat and potatoes guy, Curt's response was...
Read on.
The usual notes, personal and craft.
Personal: Curt had no clue I was afraid after his hands found my throat. He also had no idea about Sara. For my part, I was running blind, still desperately afraid of my own truth, even after surgery, for reasons I'll spell out in greater detail towards the end of this chapter (anticipated in another 7 pages, but it could run a bit longer in a 4th rewrite).
Craft notes: Minor scanning issues per usual. I will rescan everything upon completion of the book and those issues will be resolved.
Let's speak to timing. The part that hung me up was the first panel of the last tier. I toyed with going all silhouette on its ass, but I don't want to overuse that trick. There are some pages in this book that are nothing but silhouette. My mantra from The Wizard of Oz applies. These things must be done delicately or you hurt the spell.
I'm constantly torn between doing something innovative and ornate and just nuts and bolts layouts. I love ornate layouts, but I'm reminded of a favorite comic book history student who loathed J.H. Williams' work on Batwoman. He said it was so decorated that he couldn't see the story. He had a point. I think this page is a good balance between the two, and advances the story reasonably well. I kept the figures lighter and concentrated the blacks and grays in backgrounds and textures. The linear background on the second tier is a trick I picked from Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise. I was re-watching Terry's DVD last night, trying to garner some fresh insight, or rekindle old insights. My "big takeaway": just keep doing the work.
Well, duh.
For spotting blacks on the bottom tier, I'm rekindling my fascination with dry brush, something American comic artists have underused historically. I do love the way it shows up in British work, especially from the late 80s. The challenge in dry brush is to get all the texture you want before your meager ink supply dries up.
Tools and supplies on this page:
Canson Recycled Bristol Board, rough finish side used.
Lead holder with #4B lead
#4B solid lead pencil
Miscellaneous straightedges, templates and triangles
Crow Quill and nib
#4 Richeson Snapi round synthetic brush
Tight Spot angled brush for corrections
Dr. Martin's Black Star Walnut Ink
FW Acrylic White
Magic Rub eraser
pretty much the stuff I usually use.
I have a HUGE bottle of Yasumoto Sumi Ink. Perhaps I'll give that a go on a page soon, but I do so love the Walnut Ink.
Next: sketchbook pages, then more memoir.