BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.41

Here follows the fifth and possibly penultimate report documenting production progress of the fourth issue and chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 4: Beer, Chocolate and Comics. It could be as close as a month from completion but we’ll have to wait and see about that. In this chapter the feline character Cohl retrieves documents and items from the Doctor Comics archive and collection of comics related materials. From this he constructs a post of an autobiographical nature on the Doctor Comics blog. It contains anecdotes of a Royalty led Belgian trade mission to Sydney that included such notable Belgian products as beer, chocolate and comics. This is what provides the source of the chapter’s title. In addition to the trade event in the ballroom of a luxury hotel in Sydney there was an exhibition of Belgian comic art at a local gallery-Allianz Francais. This is not the only anecdote in this chapter nor indeed in all the chapters and these anecdotes are employed to provide detail and substance to both story and characters.

Ink stain on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

Ink stain on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

Location design sketch-© 2014 Michael Hill

Location design sketch-© 2014 Michael Hill

Dock cranes drawing, ink on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

Dock cranes drawing, ink on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

Promotional chocolate stack, Berlin, photo-© 2014 Michael Hill

Promotional chocolate stack, Berlin, photo-© 2014 Michael Hill

Sketch of Doctor Comics character, ink on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

Sketch of Doctor Comics character, ink on paper-© 2014 Michael Hill

More visual developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog in three or four weeks time as I near completion and point towards Japan as the likely setting of the next chapter. In the meantime, for a continuing visual history record and time-line overview of this project that covers all four 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   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.38

This is the second in a series of regular reports documenting the production of the fourth issue and chapter of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. These reports are updated approximately on a monthly basis. The new chapter Beer, Chocolate and Comics deals with the cats recovering from the demise of their patron and their travels in Germany and the world of European comics.

Double page handprinted spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Double page handprinted spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Continuing the turnaround of events and forward momentum that the above image from Chapter 3 illustrates the cats begin to get on top of things, take control of their situation and consequently develop and express their characters on their travels abroad.

Beer label collage character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Beer label collage character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

I have been playing around with a beer label collaging idea, mostly from Belgian and German bottles, and have come up with this character so far but I expect there will be others. With the European theme and setting I am also considering including some bilingual content, preferably English and German and possibly even doing a combined issue #4-5.

Fish woodcut from way back-© 2002 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut from way back-© 1998 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut with pyschedelic sauce from way back-© 2003 Michael Hill

Fish woodcut with pyschedelic sauce from way back-© 2000 Michael Hill

The subject of fish and the technique of woodcut printmaking also return. And there is cooking too, of both fish and comics!

The Busch approach to managing a comics collection-now available as a postcard-© 2014 Michael Hill

The Busch approach to managing a comics collection-now available as a postcard-© 2014 Michael Hill

More visual developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog around the end of the year. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project that covers all four 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   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.37

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production of the fourth issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. It continues on from those posted on the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator, the second chapter/issue A Blot On His Escutcheon and the third chapter/issue The Chthonian Turn: The Cats’ Revenge (see links to posts #1-36 below). The new chapter Beer, Chocolate and Comics deals with the cats’ recovery from the demise of their patron, Doctor Comics, their travels in Europe and their contact with the world of European comics. Printmaking is again involved in the design and production of this issue with woodblock, linocut and the use of rubber, bakelite and wooden stamps along with drawing and handwriting plus a bit more of a move into cartooning. The intention is to produce a comic in an artist’s book type format. I hope to have it more or less ready for self-publication in the early months of next year. Mmmh, well we’ll have to see about that!

Brush tips dipped in ink and at the ready.

Brush tips dipped in ink and at the ready.

Cartooning the cat character Cohl from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Cartooning the cat character Cohl from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

More cat cartooning for the Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

More cat cartooning for the Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

There will also be the introduction of a new character in this chapter, a dog.

Funny animal character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

Funny animal character from Blotting Paper comic-© 2014 Michael Hill

UPDATE: 17th SEPTEMBER 2015 (See comments below.)

Here is how this character finished up looking in Issue #4-© 2015 Michael Hill

Here is how this character finished up looking in Issue #4-© 2015 Michael Hill

This issue has a marked European flavour with much careful research into Belgian and German chocolates, comics and beer having been undertaken by the artist and author.

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   Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.36

Job done! Production of the third issue of my artist 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

Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.35

GETTING IT DONE! In this sixth progress report on the third issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics following a sustained effort over the past month I have completed the artwork and printing and the finishing stages of labeling, stapling and bookbinding. I started out stitching the sections together but found that I lacked the skills to do the job properly and so abandoned this approach and switched back to stapling. I shall endeavour to master the stitching technique in future.

Page from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Page from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

It looks interesting as a volume being half hand-printed and half digitally printed with the varying pages shuffled together at stages. In addition to adding pages of colour and print-made texture this method has facilitated a shorter period of production.

Two of the handprinted pages from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Two of the handprinted pages from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

The cat characters continue to assert themselves, altering the generic pattern from auto-bio to funny animal comics although the following scene is not so humorous.

Double page hand printed spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Double page hand printed spread from Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Notice of publication will be posted on this blog around the end of the month. It may well take place at a comics event in Germany but we’ll have to wait and see about that. In the meantime for a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, you can see all of 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.34

GOING DEEPER INTO PRODUCTION MODE! In this fifth progress report on the third issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn (subtitled The Cats’ Revenge as it starts heading in the direction of a funny animal comic) I am approaching the mid-way point in completion of the artwork, averaging one page per day.

Title page for Chapter 3–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Chapter title page–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Serial production, wherein things are developed over a period of time, offers the opportunity of revisiting the work at some future date and the temptation to make changes. With the benefit of hindsight, the opportunity to rework things and even to add new material seems both attractive and viable and, one hopes, would improve the material. But this won’t happen till after I have published a first edition.

Sorting out page numbers and doodling–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Sorting out page numbers and doodling–© 2014 Michael Hill.

About half of this issue is being hand-printed and painted and that is the section that I have spent most of the time working on. The remaining half will be digitally printed. Most of the page numbers are being stamped, some directly onto the page, others scanned then printed.

Sample of hand-printed pages–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Sample of hand-printed and painted pages–© 2014 Michael Hill.

Further developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog later this month. For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, you can see all of 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.33

NOW DEEP IN PRODUCTION MODE! In this fourth report documenting the production process and progress of the new issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 3, The Chthonian Turn or The Cats’ Revenge I am approaching the 30% mark in terms of completion of the artwork. On the other hand I am slightly more advanced in terms of scripting and page layout but I am keeping things more open in terms of resolution of the story.

A spread of artwork on the studio floor.

A spread of artwork on the studio floor.

I find the creation of the images, the entire image-making process, and the resultant generation of the artwork the most pleasurable part of the production process. Culling, selecting and editing the artwork is a tougher task.

A more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

A more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Printmaking has been employed to make more of the image-making this time around, more than photography but about the same proportion as drawing and,in terms of style, abstraction is making an impression.

Another more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Another more detailed glimpse of the spread of artwork.

Further developments and an update on progress will be posted on this blog next month but for a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, you can see all of 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