PRINT Fish Two

This is the second post in my series of fish prints made using the woodcut printmaking method for an experimental animated film titled Toxic Fish. As the ocean fish are poisoned their bodies swell up then disintegrate. The static shape of the fish from the woodblock holds firm at first before being flooded by the toxins. The method employed was to gradually over-ink the block so that details were dampened into puddles and definition reduced.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

A woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

Here is a photo of me carving one of the blocks using a Japanese chisel. Warning! This is not the way to do it. It should be done on a fixed bench and one should carve away from, not towards, oneself. The photo is just a pose for promotional purposes.

Hand carving one of the woodblocks for the animated film Toxic Fish-Photograph © 1990 Demetra Christopher.

Hand carving one of the woodblocks for the animated film Toxic Fish-Photograph © 1990 Demetra Christopher.

If you liked this post you might like to look at others on my Blog. The Home Page is here.

 

PRINT Fish Tai

This series of posts will profile a collection of prints I have made over the years, beginning with some of my early efforts, a series of fish. Using the woodblock printmaking method these prints were made for an animation. Seven species of fish were featured, the first of which, featured here, was the Japanese Tai or sea bream. I was very attracted to the idea of working in either  animation or printmaking at the time but found it difficult to choose between the two. I found the answer in combining both mediums. Animation’s enormous greed for artwork could be more speedily satiated by using the print medium. I was doubly happy but have since settled on making comics which falls in the space somewhere in-between the other two.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Tai/sea bream woodblock print with overlaid hand-colouring for the animated film Toxic Fish-© 1990 Michael Hill.

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Shooting the 1990 animation Toxic Fish on the Oxberry animation rostrum camera with artwork produced from woodblock printmaking.

 

Posts of my graphic based material include:  THE GRAFIK GUITAR   BOOKBINDING THE GRAFIK GUITAR   CARTOON   MORE CARTOONS   RESEARCH CARTOONS   UNIVERSITY CARTOONS    POSTCARD   POSTCARD-Second Series   POSTCARD-Fourth Series   PRINT Fish Tai   PRINT Fish Two    SCRAPBOOK   SCRAPBOOK-More Pages   SCRAPBOOK-A Few Pages More  and the posts on my artist book/comic BLOTTING PAPER:  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   Issue #5: No.45   No.46   No.47   No.48

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.26

With publication of the second issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon just a matter of weeks away (September is looking increasingly likely and Saturday September 21 is being scheduled subject to completion of the binding and delivery of the books). What has been fixed though is that the book will form part of an exhibition of works on paper at a new gallery in Glebe called GAUGE. Here is an image of the title page. The image has been constructed from elements of photography, printmaking, typography and collage and shows Doctor Comics returning from a shopping expedition for fish and books.  UPDATE: Exhibition dates have now been firmed to 18-29 September 2013 but still no firm launch date for the comic.

Title page of Issue #2 of Blotting Paper (Design-© 2013 Michael Hill).

Title page of Issue #2 of Blotting Paper (Design-© 2013 Michael Hill).

Press Release for Blotting paper exhibition.

Press Release for the Blotting Paper exhibition.

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. 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

GIGANTOR AND GOJIRA IN THE HOUSE

I’m happy to now have two three dimensional wall plaques or flat sculptures of Gigantor and Gojira on the kitchen walls of our house: Gigantor the giant, remote controlled, peace-keeping robot, based on the manga Tetsujin 28-go (Iron man No.28) by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and adapted for animation, plus Gojira (Godzilla) star of the famous Japanese movie directed by Ishirō Honda. These plaques are the work of model maker, artist and comics creator Lewis P. Morley and were exhibited just last month at a gallery in Redfern, Sydney. Once installed, Lewis agreed to attended their christening.

Gigantor installed… (Photograph by Louise Graber)

…above the stove in the kitchen. (Photograph and ceramic tile design by Louise Graber)

I have always thought that Gigantor’s body resembled a pot-bellied stove so I decided that it was appropriate he be positioned above the stove. His clunky design with rivets and pistons, prior to those more elegant mobile suit robots, such as Gundam that succeeded him, have some resonance with the metal stove and the various pots and pans on the shelves.

Gojira installed on the Japanese graduated toned wall. (Photograph by Louise Graber)

The whale eating Gojira, on the other hand, coming from the depths of the ocean and memorably seen in the 1954 Godzilla movie wading through Tokyo Bay, had to go over the kitchen sink.

Lewis and his magic silver signing pen signing Gojira. (Photograph by Louise Graber)

Man in the mask. (Photograph and ceramic tile design by Louise Graber)

The position of Lewis’s eye in this photo reminds me of the actors who played the monsters in those Japanese films having to get inside a costume with their eyes are visible through a mesh covered slit in the throat or neck of the character that enabled them to see where they were going.

Christening Gigantor in steampunk style with steam from a boiling kettle. (Photograph and ceramic tile design by Louise Graber)

Christening Gojira with water from a metal jug. (Photograph by Louise Graber)

Job done: the artist poses in front of the installation.  (Photograph and ceramic tile design by Louise Graber)

It was very kind of Lewis to come over, wearing his Gundam T-shirt and perform this ritual. He now has visiting rights. This post was first published on the Doctor Comictopus blog.

Doctor Comictopus avatar for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

UPDATE: GODZILLA GETS RESIDENCY CERTIFICATE IN TOKYO, June 2015

News photo: Godzilla officially welcomed to Shinjuku by the Mayor.

News photo: Godzilla officially welcomed to Shinjuku by the Mayor.

UPDATE: POSTER DESIGNS FOR THE NEW SHIN GODZILLA FILM, April 2017

 

 

CATS IN COMICS: The Rabbi’s Cat

This cat can talk! The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar.

This is a wonderful talking cat from Algeria that lives with a rabbi and occasionally visits Paris. One day it ate the rabbi’s parrot and in so doing, gained the gift of speech. Being a smart cat it denied eating the bird and instead demanded conversion to Judaism. The design of the cat appears loose and improvised. Whilst it is rather thin and scrawny in physique it is big in terms of personality, intelligence and cheek. This richness of character and determination affords the cat the capability of comprehending foreign languages(he speaks Arabic, French, Latino and a bit of Spanish) and of learning the Torah. The rabbi’s cat is a marvellous, witty and charming cat that pleases itself, as cats do. It has appeared in several comics and most recently in an animated feature film of the same name and is the creation of the very talented Joann Sfar, a jury prize winner at Angoulême for The Rabbi’s Cat graphic novel. The cat likes to hang out with the rabbi’s daughter and snuggle up close to her. It even tells her that it loves her. She tells it to shut up as she prefers it when it’s quiet or not around. It’s also inconvenient for both of them when her boyfriend visits. The cat loves a bit of a scratch, preferably on the ear by a female foot with painted toenails. Resilient, resourceful, stubborn, smart, curious and decidedly nocturnal, this cat is difficult to ignore.

This cat considers taking up painting to impress his love.

The Rabbi’s Cat (Le Chat Du Rabbin) film is a charming animated adaption of the graphic novels by Joann Sfar who also co-directed the film thus ensuring an authentic visual adaption of the bande dessinee. I saw the film at the 2012 French Film Festival in Sydney and I have been reading the graphic novels for a couple of years. You can watch the trailer of the film here. Sfar is a prolific and award winning comics creator with awesome talent who is now transferring his talents to filmmaking. Sfar had previously directed the highly stylised live-action film Gainsbourg (vie héroïque) of the life of the famous 1960’s French pop singer Gainsbourg (that’s Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte’s dad). The film won the French Oscar, César Award, for Best First Film. The Rabbi’s Cat (Le Chat Du Rabbin) film also won a César for Best Animated Feature and the similar prize at the 2011 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. It is a traveller’s tale in more ways than one dealing with the cat’s progress from ordinary cat to talking cat having swallowed a parrot, its enforced separation from its beloved mistress, the rabbi’s daughter, and its struggles with the rabbi in its attempts to convert to the Jewish religion. Then there is the overland journey in an antique Citroën half-track, all terrain vehicle from France to Africa with the rabbi, a Russian artist and others in search of African Jews in Ethiopia. The film is ambitious covering material from three of the graphic novels although some characters and sequences have been altered or omitted. Its visual design has also been modified into a more simplified cartoon look suitable for animation production from Sfar’s sumptious illustrative style but the images remain rich and varied. It contains plenty of satire including a few barbs aimed at Tintin and his dog Snowy whom the travellers meet in Africa and whom the cat finds somewhat obnoxious.

Poster of the film.

Poster of the film.

For a more formal analysis of The Rabbi’s Cat graphic novel see my post Gridlocking Joann Sfar’s Talking Cat on The Comics Grid. You can also watch an extract from a new documentary by Sam Ball called Joann Sfar Draws From Memory that shows Sfar cheerfully drawing in a restaurant with his pen and water-colours whilst dining and commenting on his cross-cultural background and port city upbringing.

Read all the CATS IN COMICS posts:  Busch   Cohl    Doraemon    Krazy Kat    The Rabbi’s Cat

 

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

   

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.5

I mentioned in an earlier report that I am employing a range of image-making media to produce the artwork and text for my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. In this post I’m showing some examples of the images that have been generated through a printmaking process at a small studio, Studio Buljan, in Petersham in Sydney’s Inner West. Some of these prints should turn up in the first chapter The Ingurgitator. Both the chapter and the comic begin in sunshine in Sydney but things take a bit of a dark turn towards the end not so much in terms of nocturnal as subconscious terrain. There is an evening ritual wherein Doctor Comics cooks dinner and drinks wine whilst reading some of his latest comics acquisitions and conversing with his feline companions. This often results in a dream state that is a melange of memory, thought, taste and reflection.

Evening swim in a sea of sumi ink. (Monotype print-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Losing one’s footing and swept somewhat out-of-depth. (Monotype print-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Struggling for footing and breath. (Monotype print-© 2011 Michael Hill)

These images are monoprints so called because of their singularity. By re-inking of the block and manipulating the images some degree of continuity is presented. This enables a sequential element to come into play. I have used this approach in generating artwork for animation. Employed in printmaking, comics and animation it is both labour saving and destructive. The images come up quickly but the act of re-inking and printing the block destroys the originals. There is no going back. 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