BP #26: UT. NO "FEELIES" - The Amazing Locke & Key
(from IDW Covers Commentary, 15 July 2013)
It was "T" in Texas, my doctor patron, who turned me onto LOCKE & KEY when I was down there for a week over American Thanksgiving last November. He also turned me onto CHEW and MORNING GLORIES. I like a good Stephen King OO! SOME SCARY STUFF, HUH, KIDS? narrative as much as the next guy, but what I end up getting attracted by is the human moments in the build-up of the story. I liked this moment when the kids are down in the condemned underground facility and the scaffolding collapses and it looks as if they're trapped and they're going to drown. And the boy asks the girl if he can kiss her so he doesn't die without having kissed someone. I remember reading that part at "T's" and thinking, "If Chris Ryall ever asks me for a pin-up, that's what I'm going to do." And then, just a few weeks after I got back, he asked me for a variant cover! Well, by that time, my unconscious mind had evidently been working on it overtime already -- "an above the water/below the water" shot. My first thought was the BATMAN "Two-Way Death Trap" cover (#166? #177?). And then I thought: "No, no! Ditko's SPIDER-MAN 29 cover! 'Never Step On A Scorpion" Another chance to do the classic SPIDER-MAN logo (I never get tired of doing that). And it also had a CEREBUS resonance: the spider and the scorpion.
There were a few levels at work. Is a teenaged boy going to be content with JUST a kiss? Especially when no one can see what's going on under the water? Probably not. But is a teenaged girl going to let him, you know, cop a feel, even though they're both going to die? I mean, does it matter? Well, yes, it does, I think. To the teenaged girl. Not wanting to die without kissing someone is very different from not wanting to die without copping a feel. She's not going to want one of HER last acts to be having her body turned into a piece of meat for someone else's gratification.
And, as I considered it, I thought: it would be entirely unconscious. If she was letting him move in for a kiss, her torso would be in HYPER-AWARENESS mode. It's not as if teenaged girls don't KNOW what's going on in the minds of teenaged boys. Her hand would come up for the block, JUST IN CASE. That's why I had the thought balloons coming from their hands. It doesn't detract from the "above the water" kiss, but it's definitely a "below the water" line drawn in the sand.
I sent Joe Hill the original tracing paper drawing c/o Chris Ryall and a letter explaining all this. Even the part that the girl (in the context of the story) has had her fear removed. It's not a FEAR thing. She's not AFRAID of him copping a feel. It's natural female modesty. I never heard back from him.
He probably thinks I'm nuts, same as everyone else.
He probably thinks I'm nuts, same as everyone else.
Anyway, it was nice to work in a pure cartoon style after labouring in the photorealism salt mines. The cover practically draws itself.
BP #27: Old Cerebus Dreams
(from Weekly Update #56, 7 November 2014)
...I am thinking differently lately since we started doing the Bonus Prints. A good example is that I intended to send Tim F. a SIX DEADLY SINS PORTFOLIO and to do an ink drawing on it, which I started this morning (astonishingly, I was absolutely caught up on all the mail and faxes! NEVER happens!). It was one of those things where I've looked at the portfolio folder for over 30 years and thought a number of times, "That would be an interesting paper to draw on". It's really like a watercolour paper. But -- as I figured -- it wasn't as if I wanted to do ALL of the DEADLY SINS portfolios in the Cerebus Archive (six or seven). Just one for the experience.
If you have a copy you know it has Frank Cirocco's SCHANES & SCHANES logo/illustration in white on a sky blue on the back with plenty of drawing space. So what I was picturing was in ink drawing and then putting in white highlights with white ink or white paint. So, that's what I'm doing and it's coming out pretty good, I think.
Up to now, it would be "Well, looks like Tim's the lucky guy who gets this since it's the only one I'm doing". But, NOW, with the Bonus Prints, I thought, "This would make a nice Bonus Print." And then IMMEDIATELY thought: POTENTIALLY. What I think makes a nice Bonus Print isn't necessarily what CEREBUS fans think would make a good Bonus Print. So, that's interesting. I'm going to get Dave Fisher to relay a scan of it for posting here and that will be the first FIRST RELEASE BONUS PRINT for CANIII.
I won't KNOW if it's any good (in a CEREBUS fan sense) until I see how it sells during the next Kickstarter. :)
I'm looking forward to that: WHAT Bonus Prints were the top picks this time and WHAT Bonus Prints are going to be #1/1 (because only one person wanted it)? :)
Previously Announced 'First Release' Bonus Prints For Cerebus Archive Number Three:
About The Kickstarter Bonus Prints:
The Bonus Prints are ONLY available as an "ADD-ON" to a portfolio pledge for an additional CAD $9 per bonus print. The above 'First Release' prints are now available as Kickstarter pledge rewards for Cerebus Archive Number Three. 'Second Release' bonus prints #1-21 from Cerebus Archive Number Two are also still available. Once the total pledge amount has passed the $20,000 mark, you may add 12 Bonus Prints from the First Release and/or Second Release BP lists. If total pledges exceed the total raised from the previous Kickstarter campaign (CAD $42,028) all 31 bonus prints will become available.