Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pompeii process post

Pompeii started as me wanting to tell this story about working for Francesco Clemente. But that was too complicated. Too many modern details. Dash had been telling me I should make a romance and I had always wanted to do a riff on the genre. So I mashed up my classical influences - many learned from Clemente - and set the whole thing in Pompeii at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Working for Clemente had that feeling of going into another world - so it felt right. Plus I could play out the narrative without explaining too much. Pompeii is like a genre in itself - like stories set around the sinking of the Titanic.

Publishing history - Pompeii was originally going to be four 32 page books. But we scrapped that idea when the first book sold out quickly and the response was good. Dan and I just wanted to take the momentum and present the book as complete instead of as issues.

riso edition on left (below) was a little too dark - it washed out a lot of detail:

                           New edition right (below) is closer to the original drawings:

new edition on top - riso on bottom (below)

original drawing on top - new edition in the middle - riso edition on the bottom (below)

origiginal drawing on left - new edition on right (below)

original drawing on top - new edition on bottom - I'm very pleased with the reproduction

I want to address drawing - make drawing the subject matter. I made an artist who makes portraits my focus. I could play around with representation. This is the back cover of the completed edition (below)

I drew the back cover on tracing paper - the pencil flows across the paper because it is so smooth (below)

I want to make comics that look good at the scale they are made - this spread (below) was drawn the same size it is printed here in the book. This would be a small drawing - 11 x 17 inches total for the two pages

The original drawing for the spread (below) - drawn the same size as it was reproduced

I want my narrative to read very easily, almost effortlessly - I'm going for openess and clarity here:

I maintain a basic timing device and I never give up the center of the page

The drawing changes - the feeling of the scene is reflected in the drawing

Some spreads have thick lines and washes

Some spreads have thin pencil lines and little or no wash

They look really different when you put a thin line pages next to thick line pages:

I'm trying to frontload the making, the drawing has to have life -
and I'm changing scale and tools in order to create a tension between the different approaches

original drawing on left - printed page on right

mostly I am thinking about scale, about value and about tone - about drawing