Thursday, 22 August 2013

Breaking Free Of Barry Smith

Cerebus #7 Page 7 (December 1978)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Swords Of Cerebus Vol 2, 1981)
...this issue was my first radical departure from my intention to be a major Barry Smith sequel - the cross-hatching on the splash page. I was trying to find a Barry Smith-style texture that would allow me to render the webbing in two different shades. I broke down and did tight weave cross-hatching even though Smith had never used it.

Suddenly I was free.

Why -- I bet I could do anything I wanted!

I mulled that over while I opened the story on a snowy expanse of flatland. I mulled it over for three panels of priests lighting candles.

And then page seven.


A pseudo-art nouveau background design, cross-hatch shadows, warped bricks drawn with short parallel strokes, two wall decorations of differing sizes, a stuffed polar bear, two bird's eye view panels, one of which has a genuine checker-board bird in it.

I could do anything I wanted.

Reverse lettering, borderless panels, high contrast partial silhouettes.

Hey, this is neat-o!


Anonymous said...

No offense but dave was taking LSD at the time... ;-)

Tony Dunlop said...

So were the Beatles during their most creative period. Your point?

Jeff Seiler said...

Hey, if that LSD (or the subsequent bad-trip-flashback) led him to say to himself, "I can do anything I want!", well, then, that epiphany led to some of the most creative art ever done in the field of graphic arts, let alone comics.

So, who are we to kvetch?

I mean, without that kind of forward thinking, would we ever have had Rick's Story with all of the King James-type text and lettering? Or the teeny-tiny, itty-bitty font of the Cerebexegesis? Or, "The Last Day", for that matter?