BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.39

This is the third report documenting production of the fourth issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. Titled Beer, Chocolate and Comics this chapter has a European focus.

Linocut, type, roller and ink dish after a print session. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Linocut, type, roller, calligraphy brush and ink dish after a card and comic print session. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

In addition to collage there are ink and paint printed images of an abstract nature that serve as backgrounds, settings or graphic expressions of the characters’ thoughts.

Abstract print image from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Abstract landscape print image from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Abstract print image from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Abstract landscape print image from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

The art work also features several words and images made with dip pen and ink including some fast location drawings from previous visits to Hamburg and Hanover and more recently to Berlin.

Dip pen with nibs by Gillot and Muller and ink from Lamy.

Dip pen with nibs by Gillot and Muller and ink from Lamy.

Ink and watercolour  drawing of Hamburg-© 2007 Michael Hill

Ink and watercolour drawing on paper, Hamburg-© 2007 Michael Hill

Quick Ink and watercolour drawing of Hannover-© 2007 Michael Hill

Ink and watercolour drawing on paper, Hanover-© 2007 Michael Hill

For this location drawing I carry a bag of tools…

Packing my art bag for a location drawing session.  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Packing my art bag for a location drawing session. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

ADDENDUM: In response to a query in the comments below I have now added examples of how I might use the abstract landscapes as backgrounds or graphic expressions:

Using abstract landscape as background-© 2014 Michael Hill

Using abstract landscape as background-© 2014 Michael Hill

Using abstract landscape as thought balloon-© 2014 Michael Hill

Using abstract landscape as thought balloon-© 2014 Michael Hill

More visual developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog around the end of the month as I near completion of the comic. In the meantime, for a continuing visual diary record and time-line overview of this project that covers all four issues, you can read the BLOTTING PAPER production reports on the following posts:

Issue #1:  No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:  No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29   Issue #3:  No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.38

This is the second in a series of regular reports documenting the production of the fourth issue and chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. These reports are updated approximately on a monthly basis. The new chapter Beer, Chocolate and Comics deals with the cats recovering from the demise of their patron and their travels in Germany and the world of European comics.

Double page handprinted spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Double page handprinted spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Continuing the turnaround of events and forward momentum that the above image from Chapter 3 illustrates the cats begin to get on top of things, take control of their situation and consequently develop and express their characters on their travels abroad.

Beer label collage character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Beer label collage character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

I have been playing around with a beer label collaging idea, mostly from Belgian and German bottles, and have come up with this character so far but I expect there will be others. With the European theme and setting I am also considering including some bilingual content, preferably English and German and possibly even doing a combined issue #4-5.

Fish woodcut from way back-© 2002 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut from way back-© 1998 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut with pyschedelic sauce from way back-© 2003 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut with pyschedelic sauce from way back-© 2000 Michael Hill

The subject of fish and the technique of woodcut printmaking also return. And there is cooking too, of both fish and comics!

The Busch approach to managing a comics collection-now available as a postcard-© 2014 Michael Hill

The Busch approach to managing a comics collection-now available as a postcard-© 2014 Michael Hill

More visual developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog around the end of the year. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project that covers all four issues you can read the BLOTTING PAPER production reports on the following posts:

Issue #1:  No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:  No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29   Issue #3:  No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.37

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production of the fourth issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. It continues on from those posted on the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator, the second chapter/issue A Blot On His Escutcheon and the third chapter/issue The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge (see links to posts #1-36 below). The new chapter Beer, Chocolate and Comics deals with the cats’ recovery from the demise of their patron, Doctor Comics, their travels in Europe and their contact with the world of European comics. Printmaking is again involved in the design and production of this issue with woodblock, linocut and the use of rubber, bakelite and wooden stamps along with drawing and handwriting plus a bit more of a move into cartooning. The intention is to produce a comic in an artist’s book type format. I hope to have it more or less ready for self-publication in the early months of next year. Mmmh, well we’ll have to see about that!

Brush tips dipped in ink and at the ready.

Brush tips dipped in ink and at the ready.

Cartooning the cat character Cohl from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Cartooning the cat character Cohl from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

More cat cartooning for the Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

More cat cartooning for the Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

There will also be the introduction of a new character in this chapter, a dog.

Funny animal character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Funny animal character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

This issue has a marked European flavour with much careful research into Belgian and German chocolates, comics and beer having been undertaken by the artist and author.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project that includes development of all three issues you can read the BLOTTING PAPER production reports on the following posts:

Issue #1:  No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2:  No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29   Issue #3:  No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

INKING IN OCTOBER: InkTober

I have decided to participate in this InkTober event in which artists submit a drawing each day of the month of October. I shall, however, only do it on every other day. Consequently I plan to produce an inked image on the odd numbered dates-1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc. That amounts to a potential 16 inkings over the period, if I manage to stay with it. These will be progressively posted here on my blog and dated. I shall also endeavour to add an image of the drawing implement(s) employed. I see this exercise as an opportunity to ‘warm up’ for issue 4 of my Blotting Paper artist book/comic that I am about to commence work on and also as an experimental image-making outlet. And I expect it shall be fun.

Ink drawing#1 with unipin 0.8 Fine Line for october 1st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#1: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line, for October 1st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#2: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 3rd (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#2: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 3rd (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#3: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 3rd (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#3: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 5th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#4: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 7th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#4: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line for October 7th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

unipin 0.8 Fine Line Black

uni pin 0.8 Fine Line Black

Switching back to abstraction but with the addition of some ghosting colour line.

Ink drawing#5: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 9th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#5: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 9th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#6: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 11th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#6: Abstract landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 11th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Returning to the objective whilst retaining an element of abstraction and some acrylic colouring.

Ink drawing#7: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 13th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#7: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint marker 2mm Shock Yellow for October 13th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#8: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint markers 2mm Shock Yellow and Shock Green Light for October 15th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#8: Object landscape, with uni pin 0.8 Fine Line plus Montana acrylic paint markers 2mm Shock Yellow and Shock Green Light for October 15th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Montana acrylic paint marker series.

Montana acrylic paint marker series.

Midway through the month I have managed to maintain my planned participation of posting an ink image every other day and am now moving in the direction of making blind contour drawings of moving subjects.

Ink drawing#9: Contours of moving objects-football in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 17th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#9: Contours of moving subjects-football in the park, with Artline 1.0 Ballpoint Pen for October 17th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#10: Contours of moving subjects-cycling in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 19th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#10: Contours of moving subjects-cycling in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 19th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#11: Contours of moving subjects-anthropomorphic animal cosplay in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 21st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#11: Contours of moving subjects-anthropomorphic animal cosplay in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 21st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#12: Contours of moving subjects-community gardening in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 23rd (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing#12: Contours of moving subjects-community gardening in the park, with Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen for October 23rd (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Artline 1.0 ballpoint pen

Artline 1.0 Ballpoint Pen, Medium, Black

Returning to abstraction for the final four images and last week of the month I am switching to printmaking, exchanging the pen for a brush and using sumi ink to make monoprints.

Ink drawing(monoprint) #13: Abstract shape- with brush and sumi ink for October 25th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #13: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 25th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #14: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 27th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #14: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 27th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #15: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 29th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #15: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 29th (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #16: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 31st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Ink drawing(monoprint) #16: Abstract shape, with brush and sumi ink for October 31st (© 2014 Michael Hill)

Brush and Sumi ink.

Japanese hake brush and Sumi ink.

ART AND TERROR WALKING TOUR-BERLIN

On a recent walking tour of Mitte in Berlin with friend, former student, animator, illustrator and printmaker Michelle Park, other walking tours crossed our path. Starting out in Bezirk Kreuzburg we passed the Deutsches Currywurst Museum in Schützenstraße, Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Friedrichstraße, then walked along Niederkirchnerstraße to the old Gestapo and SS Headquarters site.

Michael Hill and Michelle Park walking in Berlin. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Michael Hill and Michelle Park out walking in Berlin. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

The Headquarters had taken a direct hit from English bombing during World War II and were demolished after the war. It is now an open-air museum Topography Des Terrors (Topography of Terror) with some remaining rubble, a section of the Berlin Wall(without the barbed wire) plus information placards and a new building with displayed information. The exhibition on show was called Errfast, Verfolgt, Vernichtet (Registered, Persecuted, Annihilated). It was both grim and candid about the horror that had taken place there.

Site of Gestapo Headquarters. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Site of Gestapo Headquarters. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Section of Wall still standing. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Section of the Berlin Wall. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Next door at Martin Gropius Bau museum was the Hans Richter exhibition Begegnungen, Von Dada Bis Heute (Encounters: From Dada to the Present Day) that was part of the Berlin Festival, the David Bowie exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s Evidence. This building had also suffered from the bombing, not as much as the Gestapo site, and had been restored except from some scarification from shrapnel and bullets.

Decorative fascia on column at entrance to Martin Gropius Bau museum. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Decorative fascia on column at entrance to Martin Gropius Bau, with bullet holes. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

With both of us interested in animation and printmaking I wanted to show Michelle this wonderful exhibition of the artistic career of Hans Richter who had been born in Berlin in 1888 and was a key figure in 20th Century art and animation. Three sides of Martin Gropius Bau had been allocated so a lot of walking was required to cover the space filled with his woodcuts and paintings, his contributions to Dada including Dada magazine and his own zine G -Material zur elementarun Gestaltung (Material for elementary design), his experiments with painted scrolls that led him to the discovery of displaying images in motion through animation, his abstract animations and live-action films including Dreams That Money Can Buy, and some home movies, plus documentation of his film teaching work in New York. Added to this were works by colleagues Max Ernst, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, Francis Picabia, Viking Eggeling, Alexander Calder and Kurt Schwitters. Richter was a well connected man.

Hans Richter exhibition pamphlet at Martin Gropius Bau.

Hans Richter exhibition pamphlet at Martin Gropius Bau.

DADA: Art And Anti-Art by Hans Richter.

DADA: art and anti-art by Hans Richter.

Hans Richter Linocut for Dada magazine.

RichterCut#2With a life’s work on display there was so much connected visual material in the exhibition that we found ourselves walking back and forth. We could have spent 4 or 5 hours watching the films, videos and documentaries alone. It was an exhibition that called for fresh legs and more than one visit. Good art, big show!

Blauer Mann, 1917, by Hans Richter

Blauer Mann, 1917, by Hans Richter

Visionary self-portrait by Hans Richter.

Visionary self-portrait by Hans Richter.

Stalingrad (Sieg im Osten) scroll painting by Hans Richter.

Stalingrad (Sieg im Osten) (Victory in the East), scroll painting by Hans Richter.

Dada-Kopf (Dada Head) by Hans Richter.

Abstract animation: (L) Diagonal Symphony by Viking Eggeling (R) Rhythmus 21 by Hans Richter. (Click this link to view the Richter film on UbuWeb).

Abstract animation: (L) Diagonal Symphony by Viking Eggeling (R) Rhythmus 21 by Hans Richter. (Click this link to view the Richter film on UbuWeb).

 

TRACKING COMICS AND GRAFIKS IN BERLIN

This post visually documents a recent walking tour of Berlin’s Staadt Mittee area with local resident and linguist Mailef as my guide. The plan was to see graffiti and traces of an artists’ commune (kunsthaus) and to visit Renate comics shop and bibliothek which has been located there since the early 1990s, and look at some of the German kunst comicbuchs(art comics) in stock.

Finding the Tacheles building. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Finding the Kunsthaus Tacheles building in the Mitte district of Berlin. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Graffiti (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Layered grafiks and graffiti “For Free” (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Looking at street grafiks. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Studying the street grafiks. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Mailef escorted me to the Kunsthaus (arthouse) Tacheles building on Oranienburger Strasse on a site that was previously part of East Berlin when the wall was up. The Tacheles (translation “let’s talk business”) building had, over a century, successively housed an elegant shopping arcade, Nazi offices then squatter artists. The building was damaged in World War 2 then repaired by the GDR, vacated in 1989 then occupied as an international artist squat in the 1990s. The artists were eventually displaced/evicted by representatives of the investors in 2012.

Graffiti (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Graffiti (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Graffiti (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Graffiti (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Recording some images. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Recording images. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Renate Comics Shop. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Renate Comics signboard. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Art comics (kunst comicbuchs) by the hundreds were available at Renate Comics, many of which were signed and marked as limited editions. These varied in size from A6 minicomics to the larger A3 format. Art postcards (kunst postkartes) have become an additional creative outlet for comics creators and there was a range of these in a rotating rack on the pavement outside the shop.

Postcard rack at Renate's.(Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Postcard rack at Renate Comics. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

Maike Leffers and poster. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill)

“Is this the way how art dies?”Mailef and poster. (Photo-© 2014 Louise Graber)

Art minicomicbuch purchase from Renate- Pure Sultana by Franziska Schaum.

Art minicomicbuch purchase from the shop- Pure Sultana by Franziska Schaum.

 

DRAWING WAR: Arrayed in Erlangen

One awesome aspect of the recent Internationaler Comic-Salon Erlangen that I attended in the old university town of Erlangen, Germany, near Nuremberg, was the staging of two contrastingly presented exhibitions of comics art on World War I by Joe Sacco and Jacques Tardi.

COMIC SALON exhibition signboard in the city  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

COMIC SALON exhibition signboard, with Tardi image, in the city (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Joe Sacco’s The Great War was displayed as an open-air exhibit in Schlossplatz, enlarged on display boards arranged in a long series of folds. Seeing it spread across the square magnified the herculean task that Sacco undertook in drawing this epic, concertina work of one day of the Battle of the Somme and fitting it all into one panel.

Open air exhibition in the city at Schlossplatz of Sacco's The Great War  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Open air exhibition at Schlossplatz of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

His wordless comic is structured around a single seemingly endless panel that has been folded into 24 segments that unfolds to form a single piece. It depicts events in a continuous, cinema-pan like take, spread across time and space with soldiers assembling, then attacking and returning to their lines. The unfolded published comic is too long for a table and has to be spread across the floor of two adjoining rooms or a long corridor. In Schlossplatz it ran right across the width of the square necessitating a reading whilst walking approach and with so much detail it required several passes to take it all in.

Fold-out art work of Sacco's The Great War  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Fold-out art work of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Closer view of fold-out art work of Sacco's The Great War  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Closer view of fold-out display of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

The panels above show the trenches and the movement of the soldiers from them into the hostilities of ‘No Man’s Land’, their exposure to artillery attacks and its associated schrapnel, plus machine gun and rifle fire.

Sacco being interviewed on site of The Great War exhibition.  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Sacco being interviewed on site of The Great War exhibition. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the other hand the war comics art by Jacques Tardi was exhibited indoors. Low level lighting created a sombre mood appropriate to the theme and also perhaps to protect the original art work that showed corrections such as the whiting-out of errant black border lines and some alignment and registration marks. This was the original art on display, not it’s cleaned up and reduced size reproduction as seen in the published comics.

Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death:  Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

The work, titled Landscape of Death, was very bleak, expressing the agony of those who fought in World War I. Many of the images were painful to view such as soldiers’ bodies being torn apart by flying pieces of shredded metal, lacerated, disfigured or rendered limbless, and with some surviving in this state.

Image from Landscape of Death:  Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death:  Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Images from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Exhibited in a darkened theatre inside the Civic Centre, the low level of the light created a reverence for the images as well as a canopy of protection for the original art work as protection from fading. The work was housed in a series of narrow wooden walled and roofed walkthroughs with some shapes cut into the walls so that one could see out to lessen the confined effect. Tardi’s use of colour was impressive with his delicate watercolour brushwork adding a poignant hue to his poppies, pools of blood and rising smoke.

Image from Landscape of Death:  Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition  (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

These two exhibitions, Sacco and Tardi respectively, with contrasting presentations: open-air/ indoor; spacious/ confined; sunlight/low level artificial illumination; expansive/confined; complete/edited, served to express and communicate aspects of the texts: open, the vulnerability of soldiers out of the trenches and restricted by the narrow confines of the trenches; and time-one day or six years of living with gas masks, flame throwers, helmets, barbed wire, dampness, misery, the stench of rotting bodies, despair and the ongoing expectation of death made a memorable imprint on me.

Pages from my Germany journal with Tardi press clippings and sticker (© 2014 Michael Hill).

Pages from my Germany journal with Tardi press clippings and sticker (© 2014 Michael Hill).