Sunday, 7 July 2013

Strange Death Of Alex Raymond: Slow Progress

Originally serialised within the pages of the self-published Glamourpuss #1-26 (2008-2012), The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an as yet uncompleted work-in-progress in which Dave Sim investigates the history of photorealism in comics, specifically focusing on the work of comic-strip artist Alex Raymond and the circumstances of his death on 6 September 1956 at the wheel of fellow artist Stan Drake's Corvette. Dave Sim has recently announced plans for The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond to be serialised in a monthly comic-book published by IDW.

(from Kickstarter Update #163, 1 July 2013)
...Making slow progress on THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND No.2.  I've got the cover, inside front cover and page one done and page two half-pencilled.  It's coming out pretty good.  I'd be a little further along, but I'm also digging up more "cover stuff" for the IDW CEREBUS COVERS books.  Just today, going through the entire 40-year "81/2 by 11 and smaller" file drawers (six of them) for anything related to the covers.  And this morning, thinking to myself, "Wait a minute. What about my THAT HELLISH LAST YEAR OF CEREBUS pile?"  Which is on the top shelf in my office.  I remember thinking, "This deserves to be a book on its own: THAT HELLISH LAST YEAR OF CEREBUS."  Well, I'm over that now.  Too many hellish years since CEREBUS ended to make all the rest of them feel deprived by devoting a book to only one of them.  You know, 2007 saying "What am I? Chopped liver?" The thing is, though, it's only when I'm finally sitting down and working on an ALEX RAYMOND page that I think of these things.
Glamourpuss #17 (January 2011)
Art by Dave Sim
But I'm pretty sure I'm coming to the bottom of the CEREBUS COVERS book(s) problem(s). Actually I'm hoping I'm already there. We'll see. The next thing will be waiting for Scott Dunbier to send me the updated spread sheet of what covers we have covered and what covers we don't have, uh, covered.  And then tackle THAT problem.  Okay, how many are we missing and how difficult will it be to do recreations of them? I even thought of doing FUN things, like maybe acting out a missing cover with sock puppets or getting Matt Feazell to do one as stick figures.  Um, okay. You're right. Forget fun. What was I thinking?   And then I had to complicate it by saying to Chris Ryall (by fax), Hey, I'd rather be doing the variant covers, personally, so it's IDW's call.  What makes more sense: me doing recreations and having all the covers, uh, covered VERY slowly or me doing variants to (theoretically) juice sales on licensed books?  Especially considering I haven't done any variant covers in two months while I see if I can get by just doing THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND (Ted agreed to pay me half on completion and half on publication -- at my request, so I have an incentive to be productive and as close to a monthly schedule as I can get).

The closest I've come to doing a variant cover is experimenting here in the coffee shop with the trailer on YouTube for the X-FILES movie (which, I was told, Gillian Anderson has specified as the "look" she wants her character to have in the comics).  a) Can I do screen captures and b) are they good enough to work from? The answers are a) Yes! Yay and b) sort of. But I have to manipulate the image in Pixelmator, my cheap knock-off of Photoshop.  That was a good example of "cutting into ALEX RAYMOND time".  But, at least theoretically, I'm going to be doing more variant covers so it had to be addressed at some point.  So why not now?  So I've got this really good X-FILES cover in four screen capture pieces on my pile of IDW faxes (all in chronological order).  No idea when I'll get to it, but it's ready when I am. And, of course, I have no idea HOW I manipulated the image so I'm going to have to beat around the Pixelmator bush for another couple of hours until I discover it again...

1 comment:

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I am a huge fan of The Raymond story (and the photo-realistic background to it) and it was the only reason I bought Glamourpuss.