In your view, what constitutes ideal aestheticism in a comic?
Tell the story, be interesting to look at, but don’t bore the reader and don’t lose the reader. I think keeping it simple and consistent is best. I think I’m done experimenting because, if your style stands out too much, or, god forbid, you lose the reader, you’ll be roasted for it. Some films shouldn’t be watched on an iPhone and some comics demand a greater than normal level of concentration.
The simple line style I adopted for ‘The Boötes Void’ was probably my favourite methodology…for the most part. (Aces Weekly volume 34)
I’ve pitched the simple thing in the past and had it labelled ‘boring’.
Sometimes a more dynamic in-your-face approach is required. That can be fun but can exhaust the reader’s eye very fast. With Defoe for 2000AD I tried to draw it as though it were somewhere between a baroque etching and an old German expressionist film. An experiment. Some people couldn’t get enough of it, others hated it with a passion. The 2000AD letters page was a very divided place.
Hergé is a great example of an artist that is clear and consistent and a treat on the eye.
Alex Toth on Torpedo is just perfect.
Juan Gimenez was another legend, great stuff that ranged from comic to very realistic.
Mignola is a great example of simple, clear and exciting work.
George Herriman is a great example of something like perfect comics. Raw, rough, alive, charming, crazed, unique, uncanny.
Viewing the pages of your ‘Thrawn Janet’ gives me an impression of superimposition: the original text by Stevenson, depth in the drawings, invasive onomatopoeia, added photography, and some zones seem to come out of the page. Do you recognise your intent in this description?
Maybe, yes, I played with depth a lot. Made various allusions to things. I wanted realism to give way to caricature to echo the way the towns people had marginalised and caricatured Janet, reducing her. ‘Othering’ I guess they call it. So as the minister succumbs to the idea that she is evil, he slips physically and becomes more of a cartoonish figure. Well I tried. Like I said, I think I’m done with experiments.
How would you compare the choices you have made for ‘Janet’ as opposed to the ones in Macbeth?
Macbeth was raw, like cut-out art. It also did not allude to any classic style. It relied heavily on stage performances. ‘Janet’ was a direct attempt to go classic EC comics. Defoe: The Divisor went from that point into UFA cinema. Well, that’s what was behind it, ideas-wise. End of.
Now I’m working on something different again, more like ‘Boötes’, in fact TBT is a kind of offshoot to Project MKUltra: Sex, Drugs & the CIA.
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