Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Famous The Caricaturist

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings all!

No, this is not my (ahem) long-awaited process post on "how-to-prepress-lineart." This is my "oh man this is a crazy week" post.

I'm knee-deep in Going Home restoration, working on the layout while waiting for the last batch of scans, and simultaneously debriefing with the printer on Reads to make sure we're all on the same page for the next volume/printing. Squeezing in some time to send George updated files for (sorry George!) and layout for Cerebus Volume One so that can go to him as well. It's, well, really busy over here.

While working on Going Home, however, I've been thinking a lot about reproduction, and how the reading experience is affected by the sharper visual. Although this isn't a narrative change per se, I thought the following was a pretty interesting little example. Did you ever notice the caricature of a certain cartoonist and company on page 169 of Going Home? 

Working as I am from mostly original artwork for this book, it's also bracing how much visual and textural variety there is in the book as a whole. The variety of locations is part of it, but there seem to be thematic reasons underpinning those choices. The first book is represented by a tug between "designed" repeating patterns and visual motifs versus brief flirtations with wild organic textures. The second half of the book, "Fall and the River," is visually dominated by the sleek modern ship, cleanly rendered by mostly mechanical tones, sailing through and largely above the natural world around it. Meanwhile, the acting of the figures is a whole other level, attitude and thought communicated by the smallest figure or the most extreme close-up on the page.

Here are a few great single panels from early in the book. Pull out your Going Home (pg 87 and 88) for comparison.

More next week!


Tony Dunlop said...

Yes, I did notice the Crumbs the first time through! It's hard to miss the Bunch! Do I get a cookie?

Jack said...

Dave drew the chubby version of her, which is how she usually draws herself, but this is her on her 63rd birthday:

Ibis said...

This stuff is so good.

Tony again said...

Yes, Going Home is for me a second high water mark - not quite as high as Jaka's Story/Melmoth, but then that's reeeeally high. The sloooooow panning in which we see just what's left of Iest.....masterful.

Tony again said...

Holy crap - Sophie is in her MID-THIRTIES. I still think of her as the little kid from the Weirdo strips!

Dave Kopperman said...

This one I will have to rebuy the instant it becomes available. "Fall and the River" is Gerhard's masterwork - I wonder if it's because he finally got to draw lots of water scenes?

Travis Pelkie said...

Yeah, that's actually caricatures of THREE cartoonists there, buddy!

But yeah, Going Home is where I essentially came on board to stay. I got the first few issues of Rick's Story before ... stuff came up, but with Going Home, I made sure to start getting the book regularly. But I will be getting this volume once it's out!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I recall Dave pointing out R., The Bunch, and The Soph in the endnotes (I think), but my printed copy is too muddy to make them out well. This restoration work is bringing out elements of the work that I could not appreciate before! Yay Sean (and Dr. Mara, and George and Sandeep and of course Dave 'n' Ger)!

-- Damian

iestyn said...

I disagree with Sean where he says that this work is not altering the reading experience - I think it completely alters some pieces, by revealing much great nuance and depth than was originally on display.

I sort of feel like I've moved from the Reader's Digest abridged version to the full on CLASSIC novels

Kit said...

I did notice all three the first time through (have never re-read the last 80-odd issues), and was coming here to likewise note that that's three cartoonists.