DRAWING WAR: Arrayed in Erlangen

One awesome aspect of the recent Internationaler Comic-Salon Erlangen that I attended in the old university town of Erlangen, Germany, near Nuremberg, was the staging of two contrastingly presented exhibitions of comics art on World War I by Joe Sacco and Jacques Tardi.

COMIC SALON exhibition signboard in the city (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

COMIC SALON exhibition signboard, with Tardi image, in the city (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Joe Sacco’s The Great War was displayed as an open-air exhibit in Schlossplatz, enlarged on display boards arranged in a long series of folds. Seeing it spread across the square magnified the herculean task that Sacco undertook in drawing this epic, concertina work of one day of the Battle of the Somme and fitting it all into one panel.

Open air exhibition in the city at Schlossplatz of Sacco's The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Open air exhibition at Schlossplatz of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

His wordless comic is structured around a single seemingly endless panel that has been folded into 24 segments that unfolds to form a single piece. It depicts events in a continuous, cinema-pan like take, spread across time and space with soldiers assembling, then attacking and returning to their lines. The unfolded published comic is too long for a table and has to be spread across the floor of two adjoining rooms or a long corridor. In Schlossplatz it ran right across the width of the square necessitating a reading whilst walking approach and with so much detail it required several passes to take it all in.

Fold-out art work of Sacco's The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Fold-out art work of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Closer view of fold-out art work of Sacco's The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Closer view of fold-out display of Sacco’s The Great War (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

The panels above show the trenches and the movement of the soldiers from them into the hostilities of ‘No Man’s Land’, their exposure to artillery attacks and its associated schrapnel, plus machine gun and rifle fire.

Sacco being interviewed on site of The Great War exhibition. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Sacco being interviewed on site of The Great War exhibition. (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

On the other hand the war comics art by Jacques Tardi was exhibited indoors. Low level lighting created a sombre mood appropriate to the theme and also perhaps to protect the original art work that showed corrections such as the whiting-out of errant black border lines and some alignment and registration marks. This was the original art on display, not it’s cleaned up and reduced size reproduction as seen in the published comics.

Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

The work, titled Landscape of Death, was very bleak, expressing the agony of those who fought in World War I. Many of the images were painful to view such as soldiers’ bodies being torn apart by flying pieces of shredded metal, lacerated, disfigured or rendered limbless, and with some surviving in this state.

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Images from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Exhibited in a darkened theatre inside the Civic Centre, the low level of the light created a reverence for the images as well as a canopy of protection for the original art work as protection from fading. The work was housed in a series of narrow wooden walled and roofed walkthroughs with some shapes cut into the walls so that one could see out to lessen the confined effect. Tardi’s use of colour was impressive with his delicate watercolour brushwork adding a poignant hue to his poppies, pools of blood and rising smoke.

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

Image from Landscape of Death: Jacques Tardi and the First World War exhibition (Photo-© 2014 Michael Hill).

These two exhibitions, Sacco and Tardi respectively, with contrasting presentations: open-air/ indoor; spacious/ confined; sunlight/low level artificial illumination; expansive/confined; complete/edited, served to express and communicate aspects of the texts: open, the vulnerability of soldiers out of the trenches and restricted by the narrow confines of the trenches; and time-one day or six years of living with gas masks, flame throwers, helmets, barbed wire, dampness, misery, the stench of rotting bodies, despair and the ongoing expectation of death made a memorable imprint on me.

Pages from my Germany journal with Tardi press clippings and sticker (© 2014 Michael Hill).

Pages from my Germany journal with Tardi press clippings and sticker (© 2014 Michael Hill).

UPDATE MAY 2017: I FOUND THIS JACQUES TARDI STICKER (below) FROM THE SET THAT THE ERLANGEN ORGANISERS WERE DISSEMINATING, 300 IN ALL IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, SO I HAVE ADDED A SCAN.

 

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: 2ND SEQUENTIAL ART STUDIES CONFERENCE

It was ten years ago this month that the second Sequential Art Studies Conference took place at the University of Technology, Sydney. At a time when minicomics, having blossomed throughout the 1990s, had really begun to matter in the local alternative comics scene it was billed as A Mini Conference on Minicomics and featured presentations by comics creators as well as scholars. The conference was convened by Spiros Tsaousis(now Spiros Xenos) and I and was a sequel to the first Sequential Art Studies conference held in 2002, again held in association with Supanova Pop Culture Expo. Included in the event was a minicomics market.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference May 23, 2003, Sydney. The Interdisciplinary Studies Unit of the Faculty of Design at UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) http://www.uts.edu.au will again host this new scholarly conference that will be held during the same week as the Sydney Writers’ Festival. The inaugural event in 2002 attracted a small but stimulating range of papers from local academics and students and it is hoped that this year’s event will build on that. Scholars are invited to submit 250 word proposals which address alternative approaches to comics, whether local or global, recent or historical, online or offline, artistic or commercial. The conference will adopt an interdisciplinary approach and so welcomes papers from a broad range of areas. Send proposals by email to either of the conference convenors and coordinators by February 28, 2003: Michael.Hill@uts.edu.au  Spiros.Tsaousis@bigpond.com 
CONFERENCE PROGRAM: Scholarly Papers

4.00pm                Opening of Conference and Welcome Assoc. Professor Steve Harfield Assoc. Dean of Research Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building  University of Technology, Sydney

4.05pm                 The Sydney Morning Hell of Glenn Smith, Michael Hill, Interdisciplinary Studies Unit, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building University of Technology, Sydney

4.30pm                 Fear and yearning of “manga Japan” in Australia, Craig Norris, School of Communication, Design and Media, University of Western Sydney

4.55pm                 Taming the ‘Superhuman’ Shrew: Identification with Superheroes in Comics and the Popularisation of the Human Potential Ethic, Adam Possamaï, School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney

5.20pm                The Problem of The Yellow Kid: From Single Panels to Sequential Images, Spiros Tsaousis, La Trobe University

Craig Norris, University of Western Sydney.

Craig Norris, University of Western Sydney.

Adam Possamaï, University of Western Sydney

Adam Possamaï, University of Western Sydney

CONFERENCE PROGRAM: Artist Presentations 

6.00pm             Alex Major (Naomi and Poggie)

6.20pm             Komala Singh (Moshi Moshi)

6.40pm             Bernard Caleo (Big Cardigan Comics)

7.00pm             Katarina Knebel (Cult Fiction Comics)

7.20pm             Ben Hutchings (Geeen Comix)

7.40pm             David McDermott (Glitter Shy)

Bernard Caleo proclaimed his comics manifesto and promoted Tango.

Bernard Caleo ‘performed’ his comics manifesto and promoted Tango.

Komala Singh talking about Moshi Moshi.

Komala Singh talked about her minicomic Moshi Moshi.

David McDermott goes Glitter Shy.

David McDermott goes Glitter Shy and had some pages ‘performed’ live in his presentation with lines read to projected images of panels.

Chloe Lyttle introducing David Maccad.

Chloe Lyttle introducing David Maccad.

Ben Hutchings going Geeen!

Ben Hutchings going Geeen!

Katarina Knebel talks Cult Fiction Comics.

Katarina Knebel talks Cult Fiction Comics.

Alex Major describes Naomi and Poggie.

Alex Major describes his minicomic Naomi and Poggie.

Minicomics market at the conferece.

Minicomics market at the conference.

This is the thirteenth in a series of posts called Archives of Australian Comics History that document moments in the recent history of Australian comics, particularly alternative comics and the Australian Small Press. I started researching this subject in the late 1990s and it eventually led to my PhD thesis: Ph.D. Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy,  A Study Of Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 1992-2000 With Particular Reference To The Work Of Naylor, Smith, Danko And Ord, 2003. On completion of the research I donated the materials and comics I had collected to the National Library of Australia: Michael Hill Collection of Australian Comics.

Posts in Archives of Australian Comics History:   Comic-Fest   Comics  in Record Shops   Comics Workshops   Down Under Ground   Getting SMASH(ed)!   Imaginary Worlds Symposium    International Exhibition of Drawings   OZCON   Mind Rot   Savage Pencils   Sick Puppy Comix   TiNA Arena   MCA Zine Fair   2002 Sequential Art Studies Conference   2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.14

This is the first in a series of regular reports documenting the production process and progress of the second issue of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics. In this blog the new series of reports continues on from the those posted during the construction and launch of the first chapter/issue The Ingurgitator (see linked blogged posts #1-14 below). The new chapter, A Blot on His Escutcheon, goes deeper into the establishment of the character of Doctor Comics, the environment in which he lives and some reflected moments from his life in comics. I am making progress with this and hope to have self-published it sometime next year. The book is based on my memories of a career in education in Sydney at an art college and design school, working within the disciplines of art and design in the specific areas of film, video, animation and visual communication. Comics came up quite a bit, as a method of teaching storyboarding, as a word and image project and as a medium in its own right that included the study and research of it, presentation of lectures and conference papers, the staging of conferences, symposiums and exhibitions and the writing of a thesis. It has fictive passages as well as the auto-biographical elements. Printmaking is being employed again as an image-making medium including the Japanese sosaku hanga method, along with pen and ink drawing, collage and found materials.

Proposed title page for issue #2(Pen and ink drawing and collage-© 2012 Michael Hill)

I’m currently learning to draw bones by reading the osteology chapters in anatomy books and studying the illustrations really carefully, but more of that in the next report. 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

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: 2002 SEQUENTIAL ART STUDIES CONFERENCE

Conference poster designed by BOWB.

Ten years ago almost to the day this event, the first Sequential Art Studies Conference took place on April 19 2002 in Sydney at the University of Technology. The conference was named after the descriptive term for comics, sequential art, introduced by Will Eisner in 1985. Thank you Will! Convened by Jeremy Allen and myself, with panels chaired by Jeremy, Spiros Tsaousis and I the conference was held in association with Supanova Pop Culture Expo with support from Daniel Zachariou. This was, to my knowledge, the first scholarly conference on comics studies to be held in Australia, more than 3 years before “Men In Tights” at Melbourne University in 2005. The conference poster was designed by BOWB.

CALL FOR PAPERS

SEQUENTIAL ART STUDIES CONFERENCE, Sydney, Australia, April 19 2002 SUPANOVA POP CULTURE EXPO Sydney Showground, April 20-21 2002 This inaugural scholarly conference on comics will take place on the day preceding Australia’s largest comics convention and will be associated with that event. Scholars are invited to submit 250 word proposals which address alternative approaches to comics, whether local or global, recent or historical, online or offline, artistic or commercial. The conference will adopt a multidisciplinary approach and welcomes papers from a broad range of disciplines. Send enquiries and proposals, by email only, to either of the conference coordinators: Jeremy Allen: Jeremy.S.Allen@uts.edu.au  or  Michael Hill: Michael.Hill@uts.edu.au Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Design, University of Technology, Sydney. DEADLINE: Friday December 21 2001

PROGRAM

Michael Hill-Bite of the Mongrel Breed: A Study of Satire in Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 

Abstract: This paper involves an examination of the contemporary Australian alternative comics scene as a lively form of lampooning and derision in the late 20th Century. In contrast to the mainstream print media, many of the artists, creators and cartoonists involved antagonise, irritate and ridicule with their graphic humour and horror, provoking irreverent laughter as well as an element of fear and amazement within their limited audience. In so doing, they take advantage of what is a relatively unregulated outlet of creativity and visual communication. As a wide-ranging group of artists, their repertoire houses a mix of graphic styles and comic art genres and their attitude has strains of ‘larrikin’ and ‘ratbag’ humour.

Bio: Michael Hill is Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Unit at UTS and partner in Graber Hill, publisher of the independent comic B.L.A.CK.

Craig Norris-Manga in Australia: erasing and re-animating Japan   

Abstract: The export of manga (Japanese comics) from Japan to Australia is a journey from erasing race and culture to redrawing ideal bodies and communities. Using my two years of field research in Tokyo I argue that the export agenda of Japanese animation distributors is based on the erasure of Japanese racial characteristics and life-style to allow for easier localisation of animation and comics such as Astro Boy, Poke-Mon and Dragonball Z (Iwabuchi, 1998). I compare these producer-dominated ‘erased’ manga with the ‘redrawn’ manga of fan artists throughout Australia. I focus on the work of a number of manga fan-artists based in Sydney whose work appears in fan-zines, online, and on more unusual surfaces such as car-body art work.

Bio: Craig Norris is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Sydney. His research interests include cultural globalisation, audience-studies, and Asian/Australian popular culture flows.

Jeremy Allen-OZ.COM: Australian Comic Creators and the Web  

Abstract: Over the last seven years the web has emerged as a focal point for comicsculture. It is a place for fans to connect, for the purchase of latest titles and back issues, for comic news to be broadcast, for upcoming comics to be ‘spoiled’, and for established comic companies to advertise. Significantly, it has also given a mass media voice to aspiring comiccreators. In this respect, the web has become a gallery of online comics to be appreciated by potentially millions of people across the world. It is through this new method of distribution and new form of comics that the Internet has perhaps had its most revolutionary impact on comics, by producing a true alternative to the ‘offline’ comics industry.  

Bio: Jeremy Allen is currently researching his Ph.D. on Online Comics on an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney.  

Zeldz Magnoonis-The sequential art of the skateboard sequence   

Abstract: Skateboarding is an activity full of dynamic action and motion.  Inevitably, attempts to capture this phenomenon require communication of this movement.  Representing movement in print has obvious limitations and the most obvious solution is that of the photographic sequence.  In this paper, it will be argued that these sequences can be read much like a comic strip.  It will be demonstrated that they not only share characteristics of comic strips, but have developed alternative processes that could be of use to the comic creator.

Bio: After falling into the cauldron of magic comics as a baby, monsieur Magnoonis has been addicted to the medium ever since, currently studying visual communication and creating the mini comic Pepe’s Quest.

Kurt Brereton-From Paper to Pixels: Animating Drawings and Paintings   

Abstract: Many artists and new animators work with desktop Mac and PCs at home or in schools and colleges. Great ideas can be well expressed using alternative approaches without resorting to high tech wiz bang special effects. New media and interactive multimedia technical restrictions have forced alternative animators to think big and work small.  This talk will focus on practical and conceptual issues at play in working in multimedia.

Bio: Kurt Brereton is Adjunct Professor in Computer Based Art & Design at the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Technology, Sydney, Managing Director of Spark Interactive and an internationally represented visual artist, photographer and film maker.

Spiros Tsaousis- The Spatial Logic of Krazy Kat   

Abstract: Modernist spatiality evidenced two strains – one orderly, mechanistic, logical and gridbased; the other fluid, dynamic, a transvaluation. However the rational and orderly exhibits the symptoms of anxiety, containing within its formulation the seeds of its unconscious propensity toward disorder and fluidity. Broadly tracing the spatial development of the comic strip from, say, Hogan’s Alley to Little Nemo to Krazy Kat evidences the movement of the medium between the two poles. In this paper I assert that the ‘logic’ of Krazy Kat is made coherent, legible and thematically consistent with appeal to its representation of space and place; and that its spatial presentation – its design and rearrangement of the comics page – is a significant departure from the relatively uniform and stable arrangements of comic strips such as Hogan’s Alley and Little Nemo.

Bio: Spiros Tsaousis has recently completed his thesis, “Disturbance of Distance: Postmodern Spatiality and the Comic Strip, Comic Book and Graphic Novel”. He has presented and published a number of papers on comics.

Adam Possamai-The Social Construction of Comic Books as a (Non) Recognised Form of Art in Australia 

Abstract: Even if since the 1990s there is an emergent community of comic book artists, Comic Books in Australia appear to be negatively stigmatised as immature literature in everyday life and in academic spheres. Even if comics started in newspapers as a way to attract working class adults to buy newspapers, and later became a literature form aimed at young readers, this medium has reached its Lettres de Noblesses and has been recognised as an art form since the 1970s in Europe, Japan, and the USA, but NOT – as it appears – in Australia. The aim of this paper is to describe the social construction of comic books as an immature literature in Australia since WW II.

Bio: Adam Possamai lectures in sociology at the University of Western Sydney. His doctoral thesis won the Jean Martin Award for the best PhD in Sociology submitted in Australia during 1998-9.

Note: Jeremy Allen is now known as Jeremy Kerr and Spiros Tsaousis is now Spiros Xenos.

This is the seventh in a series of posts called Archives of Australian Comics History that document moments in the recent history of Australian comics, particularly alternative comics and the Australian Small Press. I started researching this subject in the late 1990s and it eventually led to my PhD thesis: Ph.D. Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy,  A Study Of Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 1992-2000 With Particular Reference To The Work Of Naylor, Smith, Danko And Ord, 2003. On completion of the research I donated the materials and comics I had collected to the National Library of Australia: Michael Hill Collection of Australian Comics.

Posts in Archives of Australian Comics History:   Comic-Fest   Comics  in Record Shops   Comics Workshops   Down Under Ground   Getting SMASH(ed)!   Imaginary Worlds Symposium    International Exhibition of Drawings   OZCON   Mind Rot   Savage Pencils   Sick Puppy Comix   TiNA Arena   MCA Zine Fair   2002 Sequential Art Studies Conference   2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: MIND ROT

Trawling through material from my back pages for content that will form part of my semi-autobiographical comic (Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics) I came across this poster for an event that I conceived and organised at the University of Technology, Sydney back in 1998. I was a lecturer in Visual Communication in the Design Faculty at the time and endeavouring to incorporate comics based projects into the curriculum. Comics is a perfect medium in which to practice techniques of visual communication reliant as it is on the combination of words and images. First year undergraduate students undertaking Word and Image projects were generally enthusiatic about comics based applications. To increase the students’ understanding of the professional practice of making comics I decided to involve some practitioners.

Poster for the event designed by Neil Heymann.

With additional funding from the student group Stop Motion Sickness I invited Mandy Ord up from Canberra, Dillon Naylor from Melbourne and Glenn Smith from Sydney to show their work to visual communication design students and discuss how they went about making it. Mindful of the possibility of regional differences from the research I was doing into the Australian small press scene at the time it seemed interesting to have a speaker from three different cities. Each comics creator made a 45-60 minute presentation of their work followed by a Q&A session. Naylor profiled his comic about share-household shenanigans Pop Culture & 2 Minute Noodles, Ord her intensely inky, autobiographical tales of life in Canberra, Wilnot, and Smith his painstakingly linear drawn, slice-of-life The Sydney Morning Hell. Each guest also led a practical, sequential graphic workshop with a small group of students. Gerard Ashworth, also from Sydney, who attended the seminar helped out. The event was a small but significant moment in Australian comics history, especially in terms of the study of the medium within the ‘academy’.

The title? Attempted irony, perhaps? I think I was put in a defensive position by some of my colleagues about claiming comics as a valid medium of visual communication back in those days, thirteen years ago. Photography was the then popular medium followed by graphic design and illustration whilst comics, animation and video were off to one side. The poster was a good piece of visual communication by the then student Neil Heymann, now a New York based advertising designer. Teaching comics as practice was the hurdle then. A steeper jump followed with the notion of comics being considered as a medium of scholarly study and research.

This is the fourth in a series of posts called Archives of Australian Comics History that document moments in the recent history of Australian comics, particularly alternative comics and the Australian Small Press. I started researching this subject in the late 1990s and it eventually led to my PhD thesis: Ph.D. Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy,  A Study Of Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 1992-2000 With Particular Reference To The Work Of Naylor, Smith, Danko And Ord, 2003. On completion of the research I donated the materials and comics I had collected to the National Library of Australia: Michael Hill Collection of Australian Comics.

Posts in Archives of Australian Comics History:   Comic-Fest   Comics  in Record Shops   Comics Workshops   Down Under Ground   Getting SMASH(ed)!   Imaginary Worlds Symposium    International Exhibition of Drawings   OZCON   Mind Rot   Savage Pencils   Sick Puppy Comix   TiNA Arena   MCA Zine Fair   2002 Sequential Art Studies Conference   2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.3

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 #1(© 2011 Michael Hill)

The bridge and Doctor Comics, pen and ink drawing collage #2(© 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   

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.1

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 hangarubber 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)

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)

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