BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.34

GOING DEEPER INTO PRODUCTION MODE! In this fifth progress report on the third issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn (subtitled The Cats’ Revenge as it starts heading in the direction of a funny animal comic) I am approaching the mid-way point in completion of the artwork, averaging one page per day.

Title page for Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Chapter title page–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Serial production, wherein things are developed over a period of time, offers the opportunity of revisiting the work at some future date and the temptation to make changes. With the benefit of hindsight, the opportunity to rework things and even to add new material seems both attractive and viable and, one hopes, would improve the material. But this won’t happen till after I have published a first edition.

Sorting out page numbers and doodling–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Sorting out page numbers and doodling–© 2014 Michael Hill.

About half of this issue is being hand-printed and painted and that is the section that I have spent most of the time working on. The remaining half will be digitally printed. Most of the page numbers are being stamped, some directly onto the page, others scanned then printed.

Sample of hand-printed pages–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Sample of hand-printed and painted pages–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Further developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog later this month. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, you can see all of 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.33

NOW DEEP IN PRODUCTION MODE! In this fourth report documenting the production process and progress of the new issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn or The Cats’ Revenge I am approaching the 30% mark in terms of completion of the artwork. On the other hand I am slightly more advanced in terms of scripting and page layout but I am keeping things more open in terms of resolution of the story.

A spread of artwork on the studio floor.

A spread of artwork on the studio floor.

I find the creation of the images, the entire image-making process, and the resultant generation of the artwork the most pleasurable part of the production process. Culling, selecting and editing the artwork is a tougher task.

A more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

A more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Printmaking has been employed to make more of the image-making this time around, more than photography but about the same proportion as drawing and,in terms of style, abstraction is making an impression.

Another more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Another more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Further developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog next month but for a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, you can see all of 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.32

STARTING TO GET A MOVE ON! In this third report documenting the production process and progress of the new issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge I can say that things are starting to move on the design front and scheduling of the creation of the planned pages is beginning to fall into place.

The production schedule is up!

The production schedule for Issue #3 is up on the wall!

The intended dates for completion of the five 8-page signatures have been approximated and with a good run could be ready for binding as early as June.

The art table has been established.

The art table has been established…

Ink more so than paint appears to be the dominant graphic ingredient in the production with dip pens, drawing pens and brush calligraphy involved although some of the inking will be made onto painted paper.

...and particular tools selected.

…and particular tools selected.

There are some pencils in there too, as well as the pens, with drawing and handwriting components plus my regular use of printmaking.

Ink tests are underway...

Ink tests are underway…

The mess of ink tests and mark making has begun.

...and drying on display.

…and on display whilst drying.

Further developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog next month. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.

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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.31

This is the second report documenting the production process and progress of the third issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge. I am currently sorting out the script, refining ideas, and developing others. There has been some unscripted image-making and printmaking activity with the intention of using this as a loose but parallel means of creating vaguely conceived and experimental visual content. Examples produced through this printmaking strategy are featured below.

Red face print #1–© 2013 Michael Hill

Visage of first red shade–© 2013 Michael Hill

In the present chapter the cats deliberate over what to do following the sudden departure of Doctor Comics. Meanwhile the latter character continues his travels in the chthonian world confronting various vaporous forms and ghostly figures including a trio of red shades that roam there (see the three red shade illustrations). The raw state of these printmade images will most likely be subject to further graphic manipulation.

Red face print #2–© 2013 Michael Hill

Visage of second red shade–© 2013 Michael Hill

Red face print #3–© 2013 Michael Hill

Visage of third red shade–© 2013 Michael Hill

More visual developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog around the end of the month. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.

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

Q: A PROJECT FOR THE PRESERVATION OF COMICS

I have been involved with this project as an advisor for the past three years. It’s formal title is Q-COLLECTION COMIC BOOK PRESERVATION PROJECT and is an initiative to preserve a collection of comics. I like to refer to it as Q, the “Q” standing for the city of Quincy, Massachusetts. The city’s shield was presented to the project’s founder Dr. John Offerman Sindall for use on the project. Sindall, a member of Mensa, has collected around 200 key American comic books from the period 1930s-1960s. The list of comics in the collection is here. This was an era of printing comics on low grade paper that will eventually crumble into powder at a mere page turn. The Q project is a strategy to prevent this by cutting up the comics, coating them with Mylar and mounting them in wooden binders that will provide an estimated life of 10,000 years. Hearing this part of the process, that the comics will have to be destroyed in order to be saved, is disturbing for some collectors but librarians understand. It means the comics can be read. This collection is not about unopened first issues in sealed plastic bags.

Two of the comics in the  collection, both No.1's, Strange Adventures (1950) and MAD (1952).

Two of the comics in the collection, both No.1′s, Strange Adventures (1950) and MAD (1952).

In addition to the comics the collection contains associated artifacts such as trading cards, bubble gum wrappers, photographs, ads, membership cards etc. These too, will be subject to the preservation process.

Superman bubblegum wrapper.

Superman bubble gum wrapper.

Sindall has put together a wide-ranging international advisory committee for the project. Here is my statement of support: In a world in which comic books have been treated for far too long as consumables and ephemera the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project represents a significant plan to preserve key items of these as popular culture artifacts. This project also provides physical protection against the transitory status of comic books by means of coating, wrapping and encasement in protective materials that will ensure defense against their decay. The selection and acquisition of these rare comic books that have become classics of popular culture, their preservation treatment, deposit and safekeeping and subsequent availability for reading and research by future generations has my support and deserves backing by business benefactors, patrons of popular culture and by an appropriate public collection institution.

The collection is destined for the Library of Congress.

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.30

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production of the third issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. It continues on from those posted on the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator (see posts #1-13 below) and the second chapter/issue A Blot On His Escutcheon (see posts #14-29 below). The new chapter, The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge, deals with the cats’ reaction to the demise of Doctor Comics and that gentleman’s adventures in another dimension to which he has travelled. I hope to self-publish it before the end of the year.

Title page for Chapter 3 The Chthonian Turn–© 2013 Michael Hill

Title page for Chapter 3–© 2013 Michael Hill

As with the two previous issues printmaking is involved in the generation of images via woodblock, linocut, Japanese sosaku hanga technique, rubber stamps and wooden seals.  In addition other visual communication techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, cartooning and photography with the intention of producing a limited edition artist’s book kind of comic.

One of the spirits in the underground sky–© 2013 Michael Hill

Design of one of the spirits in the underground sky–© 2013 Michael Hill

I also intend producing more colour pages in this issue following the use of sporadic spot colour in Issue #1 and the 8 full colour pages in Issue #2. The colour will assist in the graphic representation of both the real and imaginary worlds featured in the comic.

Another of the spirits in the underground sky–© 2013 Michael Hill

Design of another of the spirits–© 2013 Michael Hill

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports.   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

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: IMAGINARY WORLDS SYMPOSIUM

This symposium continued the association between the University of Technology, Sydney and Supanova of staging comics related academic events. In this case topics were not confined to the study of comics in general nor Australian alternative comics in particular. Rather, the papers reflected  a more wide-ranging list of subjects that included connections between comics and fashion, film, animation, literature, calligraphy and computer games. There was even a presentation on the design of comics for young readers with vision impairment. This range of topics had resonance with Supanova’s own broadening interests that had spread from an initial focus on comics (it was originally known as ComicFest) to a wider pop culture spread.

Page from the SUPANOVA program listing the event.

Page from the SUPANOVA program listing the event.

The symposium researchers focused on the use of the design elements of image and space and the manipulation of these in the creation of fantasy worlds in these various media forms. Co-curated by Dr. Vicki Karaminas and I the symposium was staged at the UTS city campus in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building on 14th October 2005 and was opened by the Dean of that faculty.

This is the fifteenth in a series of posts called Archives of Australian Comics History that document moments in the recent history of Australian comics, particularly alternative comics and the Australian Small Press, however, as stated above, this post has a broader orientation. I started researching this subject in the late 1990s and it eventually led to my PhD thesis: Ph.D. Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy,  A Study Of Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 1992-2000 With Particular Reference To The Work Of Naylor, Smith, Danko And Ord, 2003. On completion of the research I donated the materials and comics I had collected to the National Library of Australia: Michael Hill Collection of Australian Comics.

Posts in Archives of Australian Comics History:   Comic-Fest   Comics  in Record Shops   Comics Workshops   Down Under Ground   Getting SMASH(ed)!   Imaginary Worlds Symposium    International Exhibition of Drawings   OZCON   Mind Rot   Savage Pencils   Sick Puppy Comix   TiNA Arena   MCA Zine Fair   2002 Sequential Art Studies Conference   2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference