Title page for Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator. (Collage, sketch, assemblage- © 2011 Michael Hill)
Just when I thought I could make a reasonable amount of progress on my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics I have encountered a few interruptions that have resulted in delays in production. There has been a good side to this, however, of the ‘working on other interesting projects’ type of interruptions kind. One project is on Anime and Manga research into particular works of Tezuka, Rintaro, Matsumoto and Miyazaki and the films Galaxy Express 999, The Dagger of Kamui, Laputa-Castle in the Sky, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The other involves workshops in the sosaku hanga technique of creative Japanese printmaking. Both of these activities will form part of a Japanese Cultural Festival in Suva in the South Pacific and both subjects are ones that I find quite stimulating. They may even provide some material for future chapters of my comic.
In terms of making my comic I have managed to continue pulling bits and pieces of already completed work together and have unpicked or modified other bits that I had considered to be completed. Here’s the title page design(above) for the first chapter The Ingurgitator, as it currently stands. Originally produced in colour a black and white version will appear in the comic. It consists of a combination of image-making techniques including drawing, painting, inking, printmaking and collage. The original sketch was made during a trip to Shanghai to attend an Animation Expo in Hangzhou in 2007.
Original image of The Ingurgitator from my Shanghai sketchbook. (Collage, sketch, assemblage- © 2007 Michael Hill)
For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, read 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
Production of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics continues to progress although somewhat erratically due to digressions, delays and interruptions. My intention of having the first chapter finished by the end of the year remains though. In my transition from comics studies to comics production the most striking discovery has been the amount of time required to create the artwork. Whereas I can sit down and write a thousand words about a comic in a few hours, creating a page of art takes a fewl days. From all of the comics creators that I have interviewed in Australia the common rate denominator was “a day per page”. I wish! In addition to printmaking as a means of image-making I am doing some drawing. I love this process and the mental spaces it takes me into. I enjoy getting lost in there.
A sketch for the first chapter. (Pen and ink drawing-© 2011 Michael Hill)
The story is set in Sydney when my Doctor Comics alias character is older but contains flashes backward to earlier times. It’s been fun trying to imagine what I shall look like then and trying to recall via photos how I appeared when I was in my twenties. In any case it is partly autobiographical and partly fictitious and so the character doesn’t look exactly like me. Below is a combined image of the Doctor Comics character and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The bridge and Doctor Comics, pen and ink drawing collage #1(© 2011 Michael Hill)
The bridge and Doctor Comics, pen and ink drawing collage #2(© 2011 Michael Hill)
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
This is the first in what I intend will be a regular series of reports documenting the production progress of my debut solo comic/artist book Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. Partly autobiographical and partly fictive it 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.
Typographic design of title of comic(image reversed)-© 2011 Michael Hill. (Photo by Michael Hill)
Although I am finding it a more time consuming process to make a comic than to read and review one I am enjoying the creative experience and I anticipate spending more time making and less time critiquing so I have switched my Twitter profile from ‘critiquing and creating’ to ‘creating and critiquing’.
Some of the stamps, chops and seals. (Photo by Michael Hill)
Red cat-possible design for one of the feline characters (pencil and ink drawing-© 2010 Michael Hill)
Along with Doctor Comics there are a couple of cat characters in the story to keep him company and create something of a contrast with him. These are being designed.
UPDATE: For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, read 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