Saturday, 26 November 2016

SDOAR - Dave's Mock-Ups: Part 1

Happy to report that my photographs and basic story structure were to Dave's liking. As far as I can tell he has been inspired by the batch of two-hundred-fifty'ish images I sent him. Sandeep sent over Dave's versions of ten pages already. Check them out.

Hi Carson!

Here are my "tweaked" versions of your layouts. You can post them to AMOC: just make sure you delete all of the Joe Kubert text! [I figured Dave's 'script' notes would be of interest to everyone as well as the images. I have edited out any comments that seemed spoilery. Carson.]



panel 1 - Decided to exaggerate the BANG a la CEREBUS MINDS. The way I've done it is to do a 2D version and then print out a copy and shoot a photo of the printed out copy at an oblique angle and then print out that photo and trace (saved as DSC00930) from it.

I tried doing it on computer -- EDIT/TRANSFORMATIONS -- which basically plays with the vanishing point but the result just looks "computer-y" when you turn them into a drawing. So, I'd recommend doing the same thing any time there's a 3D distortion effect needed: print the 2D image out, photograph it at an angle, print that image out and trace from that.

It allows you to do more subtle effects because you really have to move the camera and 2D panel around a lot to get exactly the 3D angle you're looking for. Working on computer you don't get that because there's no contextual reality (i.e. no ACTUAL horizon and no ACTUAL vanishing point).


panel 3 - I think this works better with the "work outfit" so no need to bother Jack for another outfit.

The way I'm picturing this one, the nude figure and the tiny figure are the most realistic elements. The large figure on the left and my "toreador girl" should be blended: the way you've got "toreador girl" -- as a kind of superimposed ghost image on the bedsheets -- but both of them rendered that way: the two of them looking as if they're two fused images in the same "hands on hips" position. Which I've tried to convey by putting white blouse lines through a photocopy of your photo.

The intermediary figure, should be the "cosmic" silhouette effect from the last panel on page 76


panel 1 - I think this needs to look just as if there are six Jacks walking around inside Local Heroes. (Which was my intention, so I was happy to hear Dave reiterate it. Carson)


panel 5 - I took your photo of Jack holding the the #2 cover ("Carson-92.jpg.") and did a "mash-up" with the "Carson-241.jpg". It seems to be exactly the facial expression I was looking for.

24 November 6

Hi Carson!

Okay. 6-page bridge between 2 and 3: designated Carson 5 through Carson 10.

Decided not to go with Jack modelling the various Schools-as-motif (although it would definitely have allowed for Higher Sales Cheesecake shots). For one thing it would eat up four pages minimum and it's just too "little girl" a thing for a woman Jack's age to be doing.

Instead I decided to go with the more likely scenario: as a comic-BOOK store manager Jack would probably have read or flipped through the COLLECTED FLASH GORDON but probably would never hear of RIP KIRBY. And, as a modern tattooed woman (make sure you keep those tats visible!) all she would have taken away from FLASH GORDON is "Kick-Ass Princesses".

To the actual pages:

Carson 5 - I stuck with your layout.

Something you might want to consider playing with a bit is the subscription files behind her. It's got a sort of science-fiction space ship quality to it (I was happy Dave saw this too. It was one of my favorite things about the photographs!Carson)-- computer backdrops ca. 2001 and STAR TREK the TV show -- just in the way that the shelves are spaced differently (depending on how big a file the person has), but the Avery label with the person's name roughly lines up, as do the stacks of comics. Which means you can really play with the vertical and horizontal perspectives for dramatic emphasis while still being photorealistic and not really "telegraphing" that that's what you're doing.

Carson 6-7 - The two-page Princesses sequence. I'd suggest starting out with a normal starfield on 6 and then "streak" it near the right side of 7. Possibility: the Princess at the bottom of page 6 having her hand between Jack's legs. A little unconscious Sapphic quality? That's what it looked like to me on your smallpage 11, so I foregrounded the arm on mine. (This was initially just a, possibly Freudian, accident of me slapping some Raymond drawings into a layout so I could ask Jack, hey, do you have some photos of yourself in poses kind of like this, or can you take some? I wasn't going to worry too much about composition until I saw what photos I was working with. Now that we are sticking with actual Raymond drawings, and Dave has spotted my subconscious at work, I love the insinuation and plan to keep it. Carson.) You'll probably want to do this on one large piece of illustration paper so I'd suggest a) adding quite a bit of extra background to make sure it bleeds properly b) keeping important information out of the spine/gutter area. The scans Sandeep sends you is the best I have available, so you're really going to need to develop your "FG Raymond chops" here.

page 7 inset panel should be the streaky cosmic overlay thing

Carson 8 - panel 1 is the streaky cosmic overlay thing. She shouldn't be holding the comic book, but this is, to me, the right posture. So, use this photo but delete the right arm and comic book.

You CAN draw each panel individually. It would certainly make for an awesome piece of original artwork but -- seriously -- do you really want to draw that same picture 12 times. (I actually probably will re-draw the picture in each panel because I am dumb enough to do that to myself for the sake of the original. So dumb. Carson)

Carson 9 - I realize I've got you drawing the #3 cover a few times here. I think you can get away with doing one oversized one for panel 5 on this page and the foreground image on 10 and then adding in the computer, iPad and Comic Book Guy details for this page. But, again, there's the coolness (and art sales/commercial) factor of having an original page that actually looks like this.

Carson 10 - You should really be able to "go to town" on the subscription file perspective thing with the vanishing point down below the bottom left panel.

Good luck!


The unique back-and-forth collaborative approach that Dave is taking for these pages has made this the most fun I have ever had working on a comic with another person. One of the reasons I chose to not pursue a career in the industry was that I HATED getting and reading scripts. There was always a sinking feeling in my stomach that accompanied realizing I had to figure out how to draw all the impossible things non-artists always wind up asking for. When the writer is one of the best artists, designers, etc. in the business it sure makes things easier, although daunting.

It is an absolute thrill, and a lesson in writing and design, to see sequences I initiated taken to the next level by Dave. He takes the idea I embedded into each page/sequence and improves it ten-fold. I was careful to create resonance with the main body of SDOAR. Dave takes that to a whole other level all while making everything way funnier than I though possible. I had at least two legit LOL's in these ten pages. Maybe three.

I got a Wacom Intuous Pro Large graphics tablet today. This thing is going to speed up the tracing aspect of my process by up to three or four times. Previously I was using the smallest of the lowest end Wacom tablets, the Bamboo. It was so small that any little shake in the hand would translate into a large error on the screen. It also made my hand and shoulders crap up very badly from the exactitude needed. This new tablet lets me draw at the speed of my eyes, which is how good drawing should happen.

The only thing that is going to keep me from devoting the entire Christmas vacation month to SDOAR is a Figure Drawing class that I still have some minor preparation to do for. But, overall, this bad-boy is now legitimately on its way to completion.


Das Avant said...


Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

"One of the reasons I chose to not pursue a career in the industry was that I HATED getting and reading scripts. There was always a sinking feeling in my stomach that accompanied realizing I had to figure out how to draw all the impossible things non-artists always wind up asking for. "

Any scriptwriter worth their salt always, ALWAYS says something to the effect of "If you can think of a better way to do this, by all means do so." Even Alan Moore, for all he's blasted by Comics Fans for his novel-length scripts, says this. It's even in the famed First Page of Watchmen Script.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Michael A Battaglia said...

Watching this unfold is awesome to behold.

Jason Winter said...

I'm with you there Michael. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Dave Sim said...

Geoffrey - That was one of the reasons that I decided to do this "Marvel-style" with Carson. He had already read the first 180 pages of STRANGE DEATH and saw where I had mocked up the bridging material (which was me standing in for Pete Dixon at PARADISE COMICS). It seemed self-defeating to TELL HIM this is what it has to look like and this is what it has to say when he was the one taking the photographs. "Here's issue #1, here's issue #2 -- what's a good way to connect them?"

At the same time, he admits that he's not really a writer so he limited himself to what you see on his rough cuts: " here's the general idea". And there's a BUNCH of photographs, so it really is an embarrassment of riches for me to work with as a writer.

I'm going to be getting Eddie Khanna to post the "spread" of photos on the office floor to the Patreon site.

Dave Sim said...

Michael & Jason - We will be doing so, hopefully leading into the STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND KICKSTARTER of pages 1-20 of the graphic novel -- 4 pages by Carson and 16 pages by me.