BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.13

Composed from elements of drawing, handwriting, collage, photography, typography and printmaking Issue #1 of my artist book/comic  Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics involved a range of graphic tools. These were displayed at the launch with a description of my work methodology.

Searching for inspiration with sketching and sake. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The first stage of the process is finding inspiration. This may involve reading and research, travel, visits to galleries to look at art and objects and make sketches. One sketch book in the photo below shows a collaged image of a fictitious Japanese monster Shitake Man. Some sake also proved useful at this preliminary stage.

Sketch book collage and sake cup. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Concepts and images come to mind in the second stage, design. Sketching determines the shapes that will be obtained through image-making techniques.

Printmaking tools: chisel, carved blocks, rubber type and sharpening stone. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Bamboo baren, seals, string, sumi ink, brushes and printed postcard. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Where printmaking is involved the third stage brings out brushes, ink and paper for the printing part of the project. A baren which is piece of dried bamboo that has been stretched over a board is used to ensure that the paper makes good contact with the inked block. The pressure applied can be varied to produce the degree of intensity of the ink. The autumn postcard print in the photo above has been constructed from 5 layers of print.

Bench hook, brushes, bamboo jar. (Photo by Michael Hill)

On completion of the work the sake may re-appear to accompany a session of reflection on the creative outcome.

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

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About Doctor Comics

Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Comic Art, 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 Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, 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 and creating his own comic Blotting Paper.

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