This is the third 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 less autobiographical and less of a graphic memoir and markedly more fictive and humorous. Owing to the absence of the Doctor Comics character it contains hardly any of his anecdotes and even fewer human characters as it drifts more in the direction of funny animal comics. The principal character, Cohl the cat from the Blotting Paper graphic novel, has adventures in the Asakusa area of Tokyo to which he has travelled in search of his missing friend 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.
In addition to the restaurant supplies area some scenes take place in Kanda, the bookshop area of Tokyo. Cohl initially explores the manga shops but then extends it 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 to 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. It will contain fewer anecdotes of Doctor Comics and much more about his cat Cohl’s adventures. 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.
In this post I’m adding even more sample pages from my scrapbook, the previous postings of which can be found here and there. There is only one copy of the scrapbook so I like to think of it as another constructed artist book of mine. It contains images of other people’s work that I admire along with some assorted memorabilia of my own. These are images that I have collected and arranged and like to have around.
Japanese anime magazine with emphasis on profiling new work. One of the first Japanese words I learned from hearing it so often on TV was atarashi, new.
Lex Luthor discovers his artistic side and has fun with paint.
Mixed Bag, from Nara and Mizuki to Van Gogh. I like the idea of using notebooks as well as some of the forgotten images you can find in them.
Baseball cover for Peanuts collection with Schulz’s wonderful ink-line representation of grass.
Sports page-Formula One and Football.
Some Kamishibai cards.
San Francisco, sand and sea-the postcard is Californian but the beach is Australian.
Manga Bat Wing and monster on painted sea page.The comics panel is from a Japanese version of Batman.
Eisenstein with cats and dog and mouse-Krazy, Mickey and Norakuro.
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 and copies 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.
In this post I am profiling another artist book I have made, my scrapbook. Only one copy, it contains images of other people’s work that I admire along with assorted memorabilia of my own. This profile will be ongoing as the book is not yet finished. It does have some history though. Subsequent posts will be added to this one and the content of the book may change over time as images and pages are altered, removed and added. To begin with here are some sample page-spreads.
Double page spread in progress.
Starting with a blank paged, hard-covered sketch book I covered the covers with cloth then painted some of the double page spreads in various colours and a range of textures. To these I added images that I had collected or made, gluing them onto the pages, sometimes in random fashion and other times in related groupings. This relationship might be in terms of colour or commonality of subject or simply a whimsical choice. The above spread shows Kamishibai frame boards on the left and animation drawings by Chuck Jones on the right.
Double page spread in progress.
This spread juxtaposes a theatrical illustration with an add for a Gary Panter book. The white blotch at the join is torn paper, the result of closing the pages before the paint had dried then re-opening them. It looks good though, I think.
Double page spread-prints and seals.
Above are some printmaking images and a selection of Chinese seals.
Double page French spread.
Front cover has been covered with cloth.
Top edge shows extent of painted and pasted pages.
Almost done! Completion of the art and text on 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.