Saturday, July 10, 2010

picture pages - ten

while i'm not a big fan of labels, using buzz-words to get an idea or description across comes in very handy when talking about art and ideas. if i told you that, as a cartoonist, i was looking to create "narraglyphic picto-assemblages" no one except high-minded, know-it-all hipsters would understand what i was talking about. the term simply means "comics." it's important to use terms that are easily identifiable. that's why labels come in handy. especially when describing music. if i mention that a certain band is punk or grunge or hip hop you get a pretty good idea of what to expect. so when i want to tell a story about a band but the comics medium is silent i have to use a label to describe what you would be hearing if the page had sound.

in this comic, the latest installment of caribou's adventures playing bass, a local entertainment writer describes caribou's band, julia's seizure, as "post-rock." the write up goes on to describe some key elements of the genre (instrumental, dynamic shifts, kind of moody) and mentions a key player in the genre (mogwai). as a cartoonist i chose to use a mention in a local entertainment paper to establish the band and the sound. now i can get into who these three men are and how they are going to save the world from certain doom.

about this drawing: i have been really intimidated by this page. i love music. i love the performance of music and i wanted to get the images right. my problem is the level of realism i want to put into my comics. i am not really interested in drawing photorealistic characters but i do want to draw accurate gear for my musicians. i found some photos of the incredible explosions in the sky (another band of "post-rock" instrumentalists) and aped some of the poses and instruments. i drew the last panel first and waited a week while i sketched out images of the effects pedals and guitars.

while the physical artwork took about a week to get exactly the way i wanted it, the photoshop stuff took just as long. i've stated previously here at geek style that i'm not very adept with the computer tools of illustrating. i use a wacom pad that i simply adore and a really old version of photoshop to go with my really old computer. the more i use these tools, the more practical they become to me and this page specifically has taught me considerably about what i am looking to accomplish with photoshop. i'm using photoshop to add texture and depth to my artwork through shades of gray and gray-er (if i can say that ::wink::). susen asked me why i'm just not "coloring" them with a full pallet. it's partly because i'm pretty down about my own sense of color and partly because i love reading black and white comics but mainly because i only have a monochromatic laser printer at home and don't want to pay for color ink.

the photoshop'd image came out much better than i had hoped and i really feel that i've learned quite a bit about how to get where i want to go through the process of this page.