Sunday, 22 July 2012

An Affinity For Airplanes

Cerebus #258 (September 2000)
Art by Gerhard
GERHARD:
(from the interview at The Comics Journal, December 2010)
...we were both sort of like, "How the hell do we get airplanes into Cerebus?" And [Dave Sim] knew my affinity for airplanes - I've always been into them ever since I was a kid. It's been airplanes and drawing for me for as long as I can remember. So he set the task for me to design an airship that could exist in Cerebus' world. I knew because of the sound effects on [pages] 468 and 469 that it would have to be steam-powered. And obviously it would be a balloon, so the steam could provide hot air for the balloon.

And I've always been interested in boating too, ever since I started sailing, so it was a matter of combining those elements. So I've got a hot-air balloon and a boat that uses a big wing-like or duck-feet-like paddles that uses those to push itself through the sky. This was another thing that I made a computer model of. On 524, the sequence where it's circling the falls, is the actual sequence of how the paddles move. They go flat and straight for the forward motion so that there's the least amount of air resistance, and they turn so they grab as much air as possible, and then they swing back and push the airship forward. And I had all that on a computer model, a very simple one, just to make sure I had the sequence right, so this thing could kind of paddle its way through the sky.

...this had to be something right out of left field, that only existed in Cerebus' world. Because I'd been such a fan of airplanes and flight, I was already really aware of the early steps of flight. So it was more like, "How would I have done it?" I don't actually have to physically do it myself, but in theory anyway, how would I approach it?
Cerebus #258 (September 2000)
Art by Gerhard
Read the full interview with Gerhard at The Comics Journal: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

No comments: