Wednesday, 10 October 2012

HARDtalk: The Virtual Tour #20

Was there ever any tension between Gerhard's backgrounds and the characters you drew in that they didn't quite gel together for you?  

Very early on -- maybe the first dozen pages of No.65. I had to see what he was doing first and then see what needed to be adjusted. It really came down to "what's in behind the characters". If it's a picture of Cerebus, he's 30% black so you can't really put cross-hatching behind him or he's going to disappear. Cerebus needs either white or black behind him. If it's a character with a cross-hatched jacket, same thing, you need either white or black behind him or her. If it's someone who is solid black or wearing solid black clothing you can choose either white or cross-hatching or tone. If they're white, you need black or cross-hatching. It took a little while to sink in when I first brought it up because he's primarily concerned with making a picture consistent with the narrative. If Cerebus was here and this bush was behind him and we're now looking at him 15 degrees over from there then the bush has to be somewhere else. Well, no, not necessarily. The layering takes precedence because it reinforces the composition. If the bush is black it is going to be more useful behind Cerebus or if the bush forms a pleasing shape relative to the rest of the panel -- or both -- then that's what you go for. The reader is going to register the overall effect more than the specifics.

Apart from that, there was a natural work ethic -- value for the money. It takes more time to do cross-hatching and if he's getting paid by the line then the more lines there are, the better value I'm getting. Well, no, that just makes for a very grey page. Which, if you look at No.65, that's what you see. It's very grey. No, if solid black is what's needed, what works best, then THAT's what I'm paying for. Like Jaka in her prison cell. The IDEA is really grim conditions, very dark. Don't render, just black it in. An easy page or an easy issue. There won't be that many of them, so don't sweat it. Put in your time on the little pools of light.
Okay, we're now off to MILLAR WORLD to answer a question from Dave Vai:

My first introduction to the charactor of Cerebus was in Spawn #10, I am sure I am not alone in this. Having recieved a large collecion of Spawn comics from an older cousin, which being in my early teens I loved, I became intrigued by Cerebus after reading #10 and while at the time I bought a few books and did not fully appreciate what I was reading, upon revisiting these books years later I found a whole new love for this creation and have since added to my collection of Cerebus.

There have been many arguments over Todd McFarlane and creator rights etc, it has also taken along time for #10 of Spawn to ever be reprinted. I would like to know however, what how felt working on a cross-over project like this was for yourself, did it bring more fans the way for Cerebus and was that your hope when agreeing to do an issue of Spawn?

Hit the link to MILLAR WORLD... and there'll be more HARDtalk right here at A Moment Of Cerebus tomorrow.

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