Saturday, 3 September 2016

10:40 AM $27,447 PLEDGED! MANY, MANY THANKS!!

LAST DAY OF CAN5! PLEASE CONSIDER A PLEDGE OF ANY SIZE! EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! LINK THROUGH THE "JAKA'S STORY" BUTTON AT RIGHT! THANKS!

Artists, notoriously, are poor as church mice, so the problem of getting an artist together with his biggest influence's original artwork is always going to be problematic.

Although I went to Syracuse University to look at Stan Drake's papers in the Bird Library more as a researcher (for glamourpuss) than as an artist, obviously the artist part of me "tagged along".  I could comfortably afford to stay in a hotel near the campus for two or three days. Hotel rooms are not cheap.  The Library has a good seven or eight years' worth of HEART OF JULIET JONES originals, dailies and Sunday pages. What I needed to do was to find the best examples of different aspects of Stan Drake's work in the shortest period of time and get them photocopied by the university up to a maximum of 100.

So there I was with piles of HOJJ dailies in a highly polished communal research room and having to look at them and assess them at an unnaturally fast pace.  UNDERSTANDING STAN DRAKE in a very compressed time-frame.  There was a lot more to understand in the original artwork than I could EVER have gotten from the reprint collections.

"I bet this isn't going to 'fly'" I remember thinking as I did the most obvious and sensible thing with a pile of daily strips.  Tilted them to a 45 degree angle, balancing them between my abdomen and the edge of the research table.  You need to look at comic art at an angle so you're looking at it "square on" to best understand it.  Sure enough, that was against the rules.  The artwork must be flat on the table. I've been handling artwork all my life, no danger.  But...rules is rules.

It does illustrate a major problem, however:  how to make comic art accessible to another artist in its most useful form: at an angle.

You also really need to be ALONE with the artwork and your own thoughts and observations -- and that's always going to be problematic as well.  I wouldn't describe the Heritage Auctions showroom at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in NYC as noisy and distracting per se (that was the only place where I've actually seen and held and observed closely two Alex Raymond RIP KIRBY originals back in 2013), but relative to what your "artist self" needs to actually LEARN from original artwork, as opposed to what your pure "fan self" can derive in the "Oh, COOL!" scheme of things, it was definitely not ideal.  The University research room was closer to idea but only somewhat closer.

Somewhat closer -- when you're the guy who has to set up where and how your artwork can be viewed in perpetuity -- just isn't going to cut it.

THANKS TO ALL OF OUR PLEDGE PARTNERS! CAN WE HIT THE NEXT THRESHOLD OF $30K FOR EVERYONE TO GET FREE DIGITAL REWARDS? STAY TUNED! 

6 comments:

Mikhail Voronoy said...

Congratulations on the success with CAN 5! This is some real interesting stuff you're posting Mr.Sim. I didn't pledge anything as I'm never up to speed with any kickstarters so I didn't pledge but hopefully my 1 dollar donation contributes a little bit to your legacy, hahahah. Like the least important brick within a titanic megastructure.

Sean R said...

Hey Dave,

When I was lucky enough to visit the Lovre works on paper collection in 2013, as part of my and Rachel's 1.5 year busking odyssey, I was thrilled to check out the rules (read in my rudimentary Italian and aided from a few years of grade school Latin) and realize I could actually visit with their Dore originals! One finished watercolor, one watercolor sketch, a stunning pen and ink "sketch" for an illustration, and several private letters charmingly illustrated by quick crude humorous sketches. To my shock and surprise, they brought these precious items out to me, and placed them in an elevated viewing stand that enabled me to view them as long as I wanted in a flat-on orientation. Just indescribable joy and a bit of panic realizing I could only reasonably ask Rachel to sit with me for, what, forty-five minutes? An hour? while I viewed and studied these artifacts.

Really, something else. Other than the linguistic difficulty, for which I have no one but myself to blame, it was the perfect experience. Prove you exist with some documents, let us check you for pens or knives or jars of blood, then come into this library-like quiet setting while we find the art you're looking for in our vast, unseen stores. And out it comes, in some kind of protective mylar (?) but otherwise completely accessible to you, while we watch you discretely from another room.

Sean R said...

The protective covering was mostly non-reflective in the lighting of the place, by the way. I still felt like I could study the paper closely without being distracted by glare or anything.

Sean R said...

"Elevated viewing stand" = Tilted stand on the table in front of me.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Sean! Now, combine that with: what if you -- that is artist AA BB or AABB -- could have that under non-reflective UV glass with an inset tablet that you could put all your drawing materials on and you could just -- side-by-side with Gustave Dore -- go "Okay. How DO I make a line like that?" And then ZONE OUT and do it?

I'm coming to that.

Dave Sim said...

Mikhail! Many thanks to you. If a million people each donated what you did, we'd have a million dollars and we could get all of this happening more quickly. I appreciate your donation and your taking the time to post here on the Holiday Weekend. Many thanks, again.