Sunday, 28 July 2013

Photorealism: "Why Would You Even Bother Doing This?"

Glamourpuss #20 (July 2011)
Art by Dave Sim
(from the 100 Hour Tour: Comics Village, 21 February 2008)
...Even as I was conceiving of glamourpuss, talking it over with Chester Brown particularly, there was a definite sense of "Why would you even bother doing this? Go with the flow. Do a cartoony Dave Sim autobio graphic novel." And I don't mean just from Chester, Joe Matt said basically the same thing about the COLLECTED LETTERS 2 cover when he was up from LA for TCAF and I showed it to him at The Beguiling. He couldn't have hated it more if it was a guy's face in one of his dubbed porno tapes. But when he saw the Kirby Monster I did as a benefit for the Doug Wright Awards? "See, you're really good at should do more stuff like this." I had talked to Chester about it on the phone ("I told Seth I'm doing a Kirby Monster and he's doing one, too") so I got off the phone and three hours later I had a full colour 11x17 Kirby Monster. Coming off all the photorealism stuff I was doing it was like leaving the NHL and playing road hockey for the night. No precision necessary. Going from a situation where a few microns difference in placement of a model's eye can be the difference between "Sweet!" and "Dude, yechh -- what's up with her left eye" to "This is roughly where the eye goes -- could be off by an eighth of an inch but, hey, it's a Kirby Monster. If it's too symmetrical, if the ink line is too clean or sharply defined, if the feathering all goes the same way it's going to look like an illustrator trying to "fix" Kirby.

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