BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.2

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics July 10, 2011

Title page for the first issue of my comic using rubber stamps and linocut-© 2011 Michael Hill

The above image is an impression of the reversed typographic design shown in Production Report No.1. As I am interested in experimental image-making I have moved the block during the printmaking to create a bit of blur. I have also used askew registration and mixed some of the fonts. The comic is based on memories I have of a career in education that involved teaching, research, design and consultation at an art college then a design school across the disciplines of film, video, animation and visual communication. The subject of comics often arose but more as a method of teaching storyboarding than as a medium in its own right. By chance I also became involved in printmaking when I and a colleague temporarily swapped our classes- my graphics students with her printmaking students for a couple of sessions, and her students learning animation and video production with me. Later, I went along to experience the printmaking department myself.  I loved it both as a technical medium and as a form of artistic expression. The result was that since that time printmaking became part of my artistic practice. In this project it has not only been used to generate the title page but also some visual expressions on several pages.

A little too much blur perhaps? I’ll try it and see. © 2011 Michael Hill

I manipulate the visual communication aspect of the work and modify the degree of graphical experimentation. I see both elements as essential considerations in comics making.

Experimental typography-© 2011 Michael Hill

The ‘graphical impressions’ are drawings or prints of memories generated in ink from rubber, wood, lino and other 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 or two. 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.

UPDATE: For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, read all of the 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


Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Dr. Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics studies, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art, and former member of the Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship and the Advisory Committee of the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, he has delivered public lectures on Comics, Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, Animation, Design and Visual Communication. Having donated his collection of research materials on Australian alternative comics to the National Library of Australia he is now active in the artistic domain, writing, drawing and printmaking, creating art postcards and prints and his own graphic novel Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions of Doctor Comics.

Comments 6

  1. Doctor Comics says on July 11, 2011

    Good call! Some of the stuff I’m putting in this goes way back, whether images or techniques. I love playing around with photocopiers and what you guys used to do in viscom was most inspiring. So thanks for that. On a kitchen note though that may interest you, my name title was drawn on lino with a graphite pencil and popped into the microwave for a few seconds as I heard that this was a fast way to heat the lino and thus make it easy to carve. Unfortunately the graphite caught fire and burnt. It was quite dramatic with black smoke streaming out of the oven. So the letters you see there in my name were burnt rather than carved. It destroyed the microwave by the way so now I just sit on the lino for 10 minutes till it warms up that way-safer and so old school.


  2. ragingyoghurt says on July 11, 2011

    oh dear. yes, the microwave has a way of cooking things much faster and more intensely than you expect! i used to pop my lino on top of my column heater — gentler than microwave, more efficient than bum. 😉


    • Doctor Comics says on July 11, 2011

      That sounds a lot more sensible. I was always pushed for time and so went for the fast fix, this time with dangerous and dirty results. I had to clean black soot off the kitchen wall and ceiling. But I did end up with a creative nameplate. I should do a scan of that actual lino-cut sometime. How about you, do you do any lino-cutting or text stretching on the photocopier these days?


  3. Doctor Comics says on July 13, 2011

    Wow you have been busy! I love the Sugar Shanty animation. You get good expression from the piece of toast in that. Yes, post Kinkos, the photocopy offerings are rather lean. The copy corner in the Officeworks near me is poorly maintained. There are six machines but usually only one is working and so there is the queue. Whatever happened to all those comics creators whose mothers worked in offices or departments where they could run off a few copies after hours? Anyway, I’m in the process of setting up a wet studio, for printmaking, and some of the image-making and having some success with it. I’m going backwards in time in terms of the technology, somewhere in the 17th Century I think, with work done by hand and using my body weight as a press. It’s pretty good fun though. Thanks for your comments-so good. Love your blog: and hope you might consider doing a guest spot here sometime?


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