BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.36

Job done! Production of the third issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics was completed and the book launched in June at Comic-Salon Erlangen in Germany to which I had been invited by design colleagues, Professors Markus Fischmann and Michael Mahlstedt of Visuelle Kommunikation, Design und Medien Department of Hochschule Hannover University of Applied Arts and Sciences where I did a visiting academic gig back in 2007. Comic-Salon is the largest comics convention in Germany with 25,000+ attendees. Oh joy!

COMIC SALON, Erlangen. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

16th INTERNATIONAL COMIC-SALON, Erlangen, Germany. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the trading floor at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the trading floor at COMIC-SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Launching Blotting Paper #3 at COMIC SALON. (Photo-© 2014 Hoschule Staff).

Launching Blotting Paper #3 at COMIC-SALON (L to R: Louise Graber, Prof. Michael Mahlstedt, Dr. Michael Hill, Prof. Markus Fischmann, Krisi). (Photo-© 2014 Hoschule Faculty staff).

On display at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Pages on display at COMIC-SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

For Sale at €15 per copy (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

All 3 issues of the comic for sale at €15 per copy (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the trading floor at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the trading floor at COMIC-SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Donald Duck comics appeared to be very popular at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Donald Duck comics appeared to be very popular at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Cosplay at COMIC SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Cosplay at COMIC-SALON (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

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

See my other posts about comics in Germany:  DRAWING WAR: Arrayed in Erlangen    TRACKING COMICS AND GRAFIKS IN BERLIN

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.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: COMICS WORKSHOPS

The Bio-Hazard comics workshop poster. (Poster design by Xander Black)

Back in the 1990s a small number of design students enrolled at Sydney’s University of Technology were fortunate to attend two comics workshops taught by local creators Jason Paulos, Bodine Amerikah, Stuart Hale, Ant Larcombe, Sam Young and Xander Black. The events were organised by the students. Working in the Visual Communication Design program at the time, the course from which one of the creators, Ant Larcombe, was a graduate, I was happy to act as go-between and coordinator of this student initiative. The first workshop was Basick Inkstinct in 1996. This was followed up and developed the following year with the same tutors under the title Bio-Hazard. Both workshops enabled students to have contact with industry practitioners, creators and publishers of titles such as Hairbutt the Hippo, Cyberswine and Zero Assassin. This type of contact can make a valuable contribution to student training. It permitted students to see comics production as a valid form of visual communication within the graphic design field, a course that the majority of those who attended were enrolled.

The Basick Inkstinct comics workshop flyer. (Flyer design by Neil Heymann)

Both workshops were informally structured with the creators sitting at tables with the students demonstrating their skills on paper and engaging in studio banter with each other as they drew. Stuart Hale and Xander Black gave brief talks about comics making and the relative merits of local creators before the comics artists went through a practical session of scripting, thumbnails, page layout, rough and refined pencils, lettering and inking. The visiting creators were very generous with their time and the students appreciated this. These workshops preceded a more formal and official event that I subsequently organised, namely the Mind Rot Australian Comics Seminar & Workshop that I have blogged about previously in this series. That more formal workshop and accompanying symposium represented a further step in the process of formally recognising comics design within the academic curriculum as I was eventually able to offer comics based projects in the subjects Word and Image and Graphic Visualisation in that course and in the Master of Animation course that followed some years later.

This is the eleventh 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. 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.14

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production process and progress of the second issue of my artist’s book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. In this blog the new series of reports continues on from the those posted during the construction and launch of the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator (see linked blogged posts #1-14 below). The new chapter, A Blot on His Escutcheon, goes deeper into the establishment of the character of Doctor Comics, the environment in which he lives and some reflected moments from his life in comics. I am making progress with this and hope to have self-published it sometime next year.

The book is based on my memories of a career in education in Sydney at an art college and design school, working within the disciplines of art and design in the specific areas of film, video, animation and visual communication. Comics came up quite a bit, as a method of teaching storyboarding, as a word and image project and as a medium in its own right that included the study and research of it, presentation of lectures and conference papers, the staging of conferences, symposiums and exhibitions and the writing of a thesis. It has fictive passages as well as the auto-biographical elements. Printmaking is being employed again as an image-making medium including the Japanese sosaku hanga method, along with pen and ink drawing, collage and found materials.

Proposed title page for issue #2(Pen and ink drawing and collage-© 2012 Michael Hill)

I’m currently learning to draw bones by reading the osteology chapters in anatomy books and studying the illustrations really carefully, but more of that in the next report.

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

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: MIND ROT

Trawling through material from my back pages for content that will form part of my semi-autobiographical comic (Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics) I came across this poster for an event that I conceived and organised at the University of Technology, Sydney back in 1998. I was a lecturer in Visual Communication in the Design Faculty at the time and endeavouring to incorporate comics based projects into the curriculum. Comics is a perfect medium in which to practice techniques of visual communication reliant as it is on the combination of words and images. First year undergraduate students undertaking Word and Image projects were generally enthusiatic about comics based applications. To increase the students’ understanding of the professional practice of making comics I decided to involve some practitioners.

Poster for the event designed by Neil Heymann.

With additional funding from the student group Stop Motion Sickness I invited Mandy Ord up from Canberra, Dillon Naylor from Melbourne and Glenn Smith from Sydney to show their work to visual communication design students and discuss how they went about making it. Mindful of the possibility of regional differences from the research I was doing into the Australian small press scene at the time it seemed interesting to have a speaker from three different cities. Each comics creator made a 45-60 minute presentation of their work followed by a Q&A session. Naylor profiled his comic about share-household shenanigans Pop Culture & 2 Minute Noodles, Ord her intensely inky, autobiographical tales of life in Canberra, Wilnot, and Smith his painstakingly linear drawn, slice-of-life The Sydney Morning Hell. Each guest also led a practical, sequential graphic workshop with a small group of students. Gerard Ashworth, also from Sydney, who attended the seminar helped out. The event was a small but significant moment in Australian comics history, especially in terms of the study of the medium within the ‘academy’.

The title? Attempted irony, perhaps? I think I was put in a defensive position by some of my colleagues about claiming comics as a valid medium of visual communication back in those days, thirteen years ago. Photography was the then popular medium followed by graphic design and illustration whilst comics, animation and video were off to one side. The poster was a good piece of visual communication by the then student Neil Heymann, now a New York based advertising designer. Teaching comics as practice was the hurdle then. A steeper jump followed with the notion of comics being considered as a medium of scholarly study and research.

This is the fourth 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. 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.2

Title page for first issue using rubber type stamps and linocut-© 2011 Michael Hill

Here is an impression of the typographic design shown in Production Report No.1. I have experimented with moving the block during the printmaking instead of keeping it still to ensure careful registration. I am interested in experimental image-making. The registration is askew and some of the fonts are mixed but it’s more important what it says. The comic is based on memories I have of a career in education that involved teaching, research, design and consultation at an art college and then a design school across the disciplines of film, video, animation and visual communication. The subject of comics came up a lot, first as a method of teaching storyboarding and then as a medium in its own right. I also became involved in printmaking and that has stayed with me in my artistic practice over the years. It was not only used to generate the title but also many panels on several pages.

A little too much blur perhaps?-© 2011 Michael Hill

The visual communication aspect of the work has to be a consideration in comics making, modifying the degree of experimentation.

Experimental typography-© 2011 Michael Hill

The ‘graphical impressions’ are drawings or prints of memories generated in ink from rubber, wood and lino surfaces(the title and subtitle from rubber, my name from lino). This page looks a bit too typographic so I think I shall probably consider adding an illustration. In addition to utilising printmaking as a method of image-making I am also doing some drawing with various tools ranging from traditional metal dip pens and pencils to felt-tipped pens and brushes and a selection of inks.

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