This is the third and most likely final post in a series of reports documenting the production progress of The Cat Cooking Comics In Kappabashi, the sequel to my graphic novel/artist book Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics that was completed in 2016. Somewhat similar in vein to its predecessor in its graphic narrative approach it differs by being both less autobiographical and less of a graphic memoir and markedly more fictive and humorous. There are strong links between the two publications, however, and I am having second thoughts about keeping them as separate entities. There is even a remote possibility that I will somehow link them together…merge them in the same publication as they feature several of the same characters from Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. So we will see! In the meantime, owing to the absence of the Doctor Comics character in this new comic, it contains hardly any of his anecdotes and even fewer human characters as it drifts more in the direction of the funny animal comics genre. The principal character, Cohl the cat from the Blotting Paper graphic novel, has some adventures in the Asakusa area of Tokyo to which he has travelled in search of his missing friend and flatmate, the other cat, Busch.
In the Asakusa area of Tokyo where Cohl goes to look for Busch (page from the Blotting Paper graphic novel).
Doctor Comics researching the bookshop area of Tokyo. (Photo by Louise Graber.)
In addition to the restaurant supplies district some scenes take place in Kanda, the bookshop area of Tokyo. Cohl initially explores the manga shops but then extends his search to sources of traditional woodblock printing books as well as books about yokai and other spirits.
This is the second in a series of reports documenting the production progress of The Cat Cooking Comics In Kappabashi, the sequel, or possibly even continuation of my graphic memoir/artist book Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics that was completed in 2016. Essentially similar in vein to its predecessor in graphic approach it will be different through being less autobiographical, less of a graphic memoir and more fictive. It will contain fewer anecdotes, fewer human characters and is much more of a funny animal comic. The principal character is the cat Cohl from the Blotting Paper graphic novel and his adventures in Tokyo to which he has travelled in search of his friend Busch.
At the end of the Blotting Paper graphic novel (page 286 above and page 287 below) Cohl is content to remain in Berlin but is attempting to contact his friend Busch who had left Germany for Japan with his new mate Barks.
A second and a third draft of the new comic have been written but the design and artwork are still at the preliminary stage. As in the Blotting Paper graphic novel printmaking is being employed along with other forms of image-making including drawing, typography, handwriting, calligraphy, collage and photography. As with the earlier publication the intention is to make a comic in an artist’s book/graphic novel type of format.
This is the first in what I intend will be a regular series of reports documenting the production progress of the sequel to my comic/artist book Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics that was completed in 2016. The current draft title of the new book is The Cat Cooking Comics In Kappabashi.It is in a similar vein to Blotting Paper in its graphic approach but different in that this comic will be less autobiographical and less of a graphic memoir and much more fictive…however, several strong links remain between the two titles. It will contain fewer anecdotes of Doctor Comics and much more about his cat Cohl’s adventures. Nevertheless, strong links between Doc and the cats may persist to the extent that, initially, I thought it could fit as an extension to Blotting Paper, even as a further chapter within that title. We’ll see. A first draft of the comic has been written but the design and the artwork have yet to be commenced. As in the earlier comic printmaking will be employed along with other forms of image-making including drawing, typography, handwriting and photography. As with the earlier publication the intention is to make a comic in an artist’s book type of format.
The story begins in Berlin where Cohl, having heard no word from his friend Busch for almost two years, decides to follow him to Tokyo and try to find him. Cohl has been very comfortable in the German city and consequently reluctant to move but his curiosity has awakened him from his cultural slumber.
It’s been a long time between bowls of milk and plates of fish in this series of mini-profiles of cat characters I have created or enjoyed in comics! And as a departure in this post I focus on a feline character of my own creation, Cohl, from the comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. Cohl is a cat of French origin who loves to read comics and to draw, especially with pen and ink on quality art paper. Although he favours bande dessinée, the Euro-Comics, and more Marcinelle than Bruxelle School, he has been prepared to read some manga and is beginning to find it quite appealing. Mon Dieu!
I am happy to announce completion of production and commencement of publishing stage of the fifth and final issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. The pages are being printed, collated, trimmed, bound and covered and copies will soon be mailed to my personal readers. Each copy will have an original postcard size print on the cover.
Four years since the appearance of the first issue that I launched at Hondarake-Full of Books in Sydney in February 2012 a total of five issues have been produced and published in serial form and I am now considering collecting these in graphic novel form. This will provide me with the opportunity to make some revisions to the story and artwork. The five issues have generated 200 pages of material and I imagine there would be an additional 20 to 30 new pages to develop aspects of the existing material. And then again, there remains the possibility of yet a further new chapter. We’ll see.
This is the third report documenting production of the fifth and concluding chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. Production of the new issue 2 Tickets to Tokyo Bayis continuing with images currently being created along with some previously made works recorded during my travels in Japan and Germany. The script has first been developed in word form and accompanied by some conceptual colour coding. This was followed by a second draft consisting of roughly sketched visuals of the script with coloured pencils and associated descriptive comments or dialogue. There are examples of both of these development stages, below.
One scene in the script is a graphical recollection of my Doctor Comics alias. It reveals the design of one of his logo stamps/seals or chops that was roughed out on a paper napkin in a Sydney restaurant with guidance from a member of the Japanese Consulate. Here is a scan of that design development along with attachments including a photo and a Japanese photo booth print sticker.
This is the second report documenting production of the fifth and concluding chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. Creation and production of the new issue 2 Tickets to Tokyo Bayhas begun and deals with the continued adventures of the cats Busch and Cohl and their canine acquaintance Barks. Set mostly in Japan but with some scenes in Germany it follows these characters in funny animal style and includes further recollections from the archives of my alias, Doctor Comics, including his visits to Japan and research into manga.
The characters Barks and Busch travel from Germany to Japan by sea, arriving in Tokyo Bay. Whilst their passage on a container ship is cheaper than flight it is not without some difficulty and discomfort.
This is the first report documenting production of the fifth and concluding chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. It continues on from those previously posted on the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator, the second chapter/issue A Blot On His Escutcheon, the third chapter/issue The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge and the fourth chapter/issueBeer, Chocolate and Comics(see links to posts #1-44 below). Creation and production of the new issue 2 Tickets to Tokyo Bayhas begun. The story deals with the continued adventures of the cats Busch and Cohl and their canine acquaintance Barks. Set in Germany and Japan it follows these characters in funny animal cartoon style and contains more recollections from the archives of my alias, Doctor Comics.
Printmaking is again involved in the design of this issue with woodblock, linocut, rubber, bakelite and wooden stamps along with drawing, collage, calligraphy and handwriting plus a continued move into cartooning. The intention is to produce the comic in an artist book type format and to have it more or less ready for self-publication around the end of the year.
Done! Completion of publishing production of the fourth issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics has been accomplished. The pages have been printed, collated, trimmed, bound and covered with title applies. Copies have been mailed to my personal readers. A possible launch is being looked at in Tokyo in October.
Now it’s on to the next and likely final new issue although reprints of previously published chapters remain a possibility. Tentatively titled 2 Tickets to Tokyo Bay Chapter 5 will be set in both Germany and Japan and follow the continued activities of Doctor Comics’ cats and their new canine companion Barks in funny animal style. It will also contain some further comics related recollections from Doctor Comics’ past in particular his dealings with manga and mangaka. Below is the ad for Chapter 5 on the back page of Issue 4.
Almost done! Completion of the art and text on all pages of the fourth issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics has nearly reached the finishing line. After that all that will remain is the publishing production process of those pages. This includes the sequential stages of the pages being printed, collated, trimmed, covered and bound. Similar to the preceding three issues the present one has a total of 40 pages plus endpapers and covers. For this issue these covers will feature a wraparound print that includes the title. And being an artist book there will be a limited number of books published, in this case 30. Each book in this first edition will be numbered and signed by the artist.
With some spot colour still to be added plus a few paragraphs of handwriting, a bit of toning touch-up here and there and a little overprinting that might get overlaid I have spread out the pages in a probable sequence on the floor of the studio to get some sense of how the story flows and whether the juxtaposition of the page-spreads works throughout the issue. So there may still be some alterations to the sequencing in the final edit. I try to see a sense of rhythm in the overall progression of pages.