Meta Blotting


On this page I shall draw on the series of reports documenting the production progress of my debut solo comic/artist book Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics that have been previously published on my blog. I shall also add further material to these over time in order to build a meaty meta profile of the making of the work to accompany the digital copy of the completed comic currently being built on another page.

Partly autobiographical and partly fictive Blotting Paper draws on selected comics related incidents and reflections from my academic career including attempts to carry the comics flag within art and design education in both teaching and research. It also contains anecdotes relating to my Doctor Comics’s alias’s adventures and to my own longstanding interest in comics studies. Following several false starts the first chapter has been written, the design roughed out and the artwork under construction. Printmaking is employed including wood and linocut, Japanese sosaku hanga, rubber stamps and seals. Drawing, typography and handwriting will also be incorporated as image-making techniques. The intention is to make a comic in an artist’s book type of format.

Work clothes hung out to dry-photo © 2015 Michael Hill


BLOTTING PAPER TYPOGRAPHY   To begin with, rubber type was used to make the title. The letters were found objects purchased at an antique market. They consisted of a mostly random font with a few variations, all in upper case form. The type was glued, individually letter by letter, onto a plywood block of roughly postcard proportions. If a letter fell from the block after the pressure of the printmaking process it was simply glued back into position.

Blotting Paper030

Getting closer.

A bit too much blur.


Early experiments.

Early experiments.


Another experiment.


Title page for first issue of comic (Design by Michael Hill a.k.a. Doctor Comics)



Background texture-© 2011 Michael Hill.



Colour overlay on background-© 2011 Michael Hill.



Typographic design of title on overlay and background-© 2011 Michael Hill.



The printed labels drying and awaiting attachment to the covers. (Photo-© 2013 Michael Hill)


Cover of Issue #1-© 2012 Michael Hill


Cover of Issue #2-© 2013 Michael Hill


Cover of Issue #3-© 2014 Michael Hill


Cover of Issue #4-© 2015 Michael Hill


Cover of Issue #5-© 2016 Michael Hill


A few variations of the Issue #2 cover. NOTE: whereas the covers of each issue had variations this was more pronounced with the Issue #2 covers.

Variant cover of Issue #2-© 2013 Michael Hill


Variant cover of Issue #2-© 2013 Michael Hill


Variant cover of Issue #2-© 2013 Michael Hill


Variant cover of Issue #2-© 2013 Michael Hill



My very limited typographic box of tricks. (Photo by Louise Graber)



Working with rubber type (Photo-© 2013 Michael Hill)


Testing out some type.

Testing out some type.


BLOTTING PAPER TOOLS  Various image-making tools have been employed in the creation of the comic across a range of media that includes drawing, painting, printmaking including etching, woodcut, linocut, mono printing and experimental methods, photography, found objects, collage, calligraphy, handwriting and typography.


A bowl of sumi ink and a brush



Bench hook and roller on studio bench.



Water, cloths, sink and block.



Printmaking attire.



Paper supplies (Photo-© 2013 Michael Hill)



The brush collection (Photo-© 2013 Michael Hill)



Bamboo baren, seals, string, brushes and finished card.



…and particular tools selected.



Ink tests underway…



Dip pen with nibs by Gillot and Muller with bottle of ink from Lamy.


Art Tools R

Linocut, type, roller, calligraphy brush and ink dish after a card and comic print session. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).



…and drying on display.


Art travel kit R

Packing my art bag for a location sketching session. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).



The art table has been established.



Early experiments.


script book

Developing a first draft script design-© 2015 Michael Hill



The main note book used on the project wherein details of the character, setting and story were developed.


Two of the smaller note books in which design ideas and thumbnails were developed. These are moleskines.



Thumbnails for a story sequence.



Notes and sketches for one of the memory sequences.



Model sheet for character design ideas.


BLOTTING PAPER DESIGN  The dominant design aspects in the creation of the comic were the characters, settings and page layouts…

Designs for Doctor Comics (pencil and ink drawings-© 2013 Michael Hill)

Designs for Doctor Comics (pencil and ink drawings-© 2013 Michael Hill)