BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.23

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon, this post shows more examples of the printmaking aspects of the project.

The inky black lake scene (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

The inky black lake scene (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

A deliberate ‘blotting’ effect was obtained from pressing a saturated inked block onto highly absorbent paper for a scene from the forthcoming second issue. After the printing, the paper had to be peeled from the block quite carefully to avoid tearing due to the combination of the wet inked areas and the paper’s very soft and fibrous tissue texture.

Proposed cover or insert (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Proposed cover or insert (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

This unused print, above, from the first issue remains a possible inclusion as a cover or insert in the second issue.

Fish tail print (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Fish tail print (Monoprint-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Tails and fins of a cooked fish were inked and printed for some images used in Chapter 1. This approach was inspired by the Japanese sosaku hanga printmaking method in which inkable flat objects were employed as ‘blocks’ as an alternative to woodblocks. The resultant graphic effect is shown in the print above and photos of the image-making process involved in making that print, below.

Printing the fish tails (Monoprint-© 2008 Michael Hill)

Printing the fish tails (Photos by Louise Graberl)

Proposed back cover print (Monoprint-© 2010 Michael Hill)

Proposed back cover print (Monoprint-© 2010 Michael Hill)

Another unused print, above, from the first issue is a possible inclusion as a postcard insert in the second issue. It was constructed from a combination of woodblock and object printing. Decisions, decisions! 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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.20

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon, this post mentions some of the tools and the workspace utilised in the production of two-dimensional print images. In terms of image-making techniques, printmaking is suitable for generating both single and sequential images.

A bowl of sumi ink and a brush

A bowl of sumi ink, a brush and a bamboo baren. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Following the Japanese creative print approach sumi ink enabled the getting of solid blacks in some of the images. The ink was brushed onto the block or substrate surface carrying the ink. The paper was placed onto this and rubbed down on the reverse side with a bamboo baren.

Bench hook and roller on studio bench.

Bench hook, roller, rag and bucket on studio bench. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Materials used included water based ink and paint, rags and cloths for smearing, cleaning and wiping the ink, and a plentiful supply of running water for washing the blocks and brushes as well as my hands.

Water, cloths, sink and block.

Water, cloths, sink and lino block. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Despite the implied reference to woodblocks in Japanese print techniquess, it need not always involve woodblock printmaking. The wood may be replaced by other materials such as vegetables, fruit, leaves, string, rubber or other found objects that are sufficiently flat or pliable that they may be inked and pressed onto paper. The creative print (sosaku hanga) approach places the emphasis on the act of making the print. Oh joy!

Printmaking attire.

Printmaking attire. (Photo by Michael Hill)

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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.15

I mentioned last time that I have been doing some drawings of bones. In Chapter 1 of the artist book/comic I used fish bones as an image and as a printmaking substrate for the sosaku hanga technique on the AFTER DINNER PRINT pages. In Chapter 2 there will be drawings of human bones of the hand and foot. I have had the opportunity to study some broken bones incurred in falls from bicycles. Perhaps there will be more about this in the next report but speaking of cyclists I also make reference to the Bookseller of Glee character who was scheduled to appear in the first issue but ended up being edited out (see production report No. 6).

Bones of the hand and foot. (Pen and ink drawing-© 2012 Michael Hill)

This bookseller rides a penny farthing type of bicycle and will play a part in this issue. I had my portrait of this gentleman in the Glebe Sesquicentenary Art Exhibition(see below) and then it was a finalist in the 2010 Bald Archy Prize: The Bookseller of Glee (mixed media-drawing, painting and collage on paper):  A postmodern portrait of Roger Mackell, co-owner of Gleebooks (4 time Australian Bookseller of the Year), as a generous character gleefully disseminating books and promoting the joy of reading. The portrait caricatures the proprietor and his store’s contribution to the intellectual life of Glee Village, its nearby universities and the community by virtue of its main street constructed from the writings of French literary critics and philosophers whose work the store made available in the 1980s and the populace is collaged from pages of Shakespeare, Dickens and Australian fiction.

The artist and his bookseller subject on display. (Photo by Louise Graber)

More bones (pen and ink drawing-© 2012 Michael Hill)

More bones (pen and ink drawing-© 2012 Michael Hill)

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

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

BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.12

Copies of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics are available exclusively from the launch venue Hondarake till 31 May 2012: Level 1, 465 Kent Street Sydney  phone: 02 9261 5225  online shop: http://fullofbooks.com.au

The book with original print on cover. (Original print-© 2011 Michael Hill)

The limited edition numbered and signed book comes with an original print on the front cover (see photo above), a numbered bookmark and printed bag (see photo of package below).

The Blotting Paper package-limited edition, signed and numbered book + original print + matching numbered bookmark + gift bag.

A double page spread from the book that shows printmaking with pieces of fish. (Drawing and prints-© 2011 Michael Hill)

The book was launched by my friend and colleague Gene Kannenberg, Jr. a noted comics historian, director of ComicsResearch.org. and author of “500 Essential Graphic Novels”.

Gene Kannenberg, Jr’s copy with his suggested matching drink, Ommegang Abbey Ale. (Photo by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.)

The Blotting Paper package.

The store also stocks a selection of printed postcards that I produced in the  sosaku hanga method, each one an original hand-made print, signed and stamped by the artist. Both the art book/comic and the cards involve printmaking as an image-making technique. I employed the Japanese technique of woodblock printmaking in my first animation film around 20 years ago and I have continued to use Japanese influenced printmaking techniques since. During this time I have largely been involved in the scholarly and research aspects of visual communication, writing and teaching more than making. This artist’s book and exhibition marks a more focused return to ‘making’ images.

The printed cards. (Original prints-© 2008, 2009, 2010, 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.10

The launch of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Issue #1 The Ingurgitator in a signed and numbered limited edition of 50 is on 11 February 2012 at Hondarake Full of Books in Sydney (details in the poster below). The book will be launched by my friend and colleague Gene Kannenberg, Jr. via a Skype link from the U.S. Kannenberg, a noted comics historian, is the director of ComicsResearch.org. Formerly the Chair of both the International Comic Arts Festival and the Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association, he has written widely on comic art including “500 Essential Graphic Novels”.

Poster designed by Louise Graber from original print by Michael Hill.

The launch will be accompanied by an exhibition of 33 hand-made art postcards produced in sosaku hanga style, the ‘creative print’ movement that emerged just over a century ago in Tokyo. Creative prints became the voice of a group of artists who went under the name Pan and met for sake parties by the Sumida River (Sumida Gawa), the centre of the Floating World of old Edo and site of the classic Ukiyo-e print movement. James Michener described this new approach: …in contrast to the classical system in which the artist merely designed the print, leaving the carving of the blocks to one technician and the printing to another, the newer print artists preached that the artist himself must do the designing, carving and printing. A new term was devised to describe such a print-sosaku hanga, meaning “creative print.” (Michener, 1968: The Modern Japanese Print p.11)

One of the cards in the associated exhibition–© 2010 Michael Hill

Another of the cards–© 2010 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.7

Whilst steady progress is being made it looks now as if I shall not be getting the first issue published before the end of the year. On the optimistic side, however, the comic is getting closer to completion so I am certain that I shall have something to show in early 2012, apart from this ongoing series of blogged progress reports (that incidentally have now been linked and may be viewed in sequence-see bottom of post). The nature of the comic and its format continues to digress in an e-hon-ish or artist book direction whilst still retaining some semblances of an alternative comic and an Australian one at that despite the Japanese influences. All good. In this report there are some more drawings and a photograph. The drawings are basic, raw and overlaid to look more interesting online. They may not appear like this in the finished work being subject to further development such as reworking and re-composing for the print publication. The figure in the drawings is the elderly Doctor Comics character doing some printmaking at home in the Japanese sosaku hanga method.

The comics scholar turns his hand to making comics. (Felt-tipped pen drawing-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Photography is also being employed in the comic. Below is a shot on the waterfront area of Sydney with a row of shipping containers. The photograph has been worked over graphically, both the figure and the background. It shows a younger Doctor Comics returning from a shopping expedition carrying a bag of books…comics and graphic novels of course.

Doctor Comics has been shopping. (Photo by Louise Graber, graphic treatment-© 2011 Michael Hill)

Hand coloured version. (Photo by Louise Graber, graphic treatment-© 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