Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring colds and books.

Well, I missed a week of looking for work, drawing, making model airplanes and anything else fun as I was down with a cold from the 17th to the 22nd. Sheesh! I only get sick twice a year, but when I get sick, I get SICK!


I have been doing some work on something that might lead to something else. Like money. I really enjoy making Page One-Hundred Comics. I got the wild hair to think about offering commissions of a people's favorite books. So, in that spirit, I've been working on a fully inked and hand-lettered suitable-for-framing page as a test. I chose my absolute favorite book: Northern Borders by Howard Frank Moser. I will recommend it to anyone who likes a good novel. It will be like little, if not nothing, you've ever read.

How's it going. Here's first test (click for extra-big version):

The layout itself took about two weeks of sketching. I had to take many liberties with the text because a lot happens, but there's a big moment that had to be shown. But, I'm pretty happy with it as an adaptation goes. The explosion turned out, if I may say so, awesome. A lot of failed attempts went into it and it worked, considering I've never drawn an explosion that occurred in water before. The lettering is good, but I sort of cheated with the sound effects: I typeset them in Illustrator, printed them out and traced them.

What didn't work was the figures. Even discounting the misshapen head of the grandfather, they figures are... unsure. My linework is wishy-washy and tentative. I think it might be my lack of confidence with my dip pen. I'm going to re-work the whole thing this weekend.

Another Book

In March, Sweet Enemy snagged a big audiobook cassette set of "Tojours Provence" by Peter Mayle. It was the second book of (probably) true memoirs of an Englishman who decided to escape the city life and move to rural France. His exploits of language, customs, odd neighbors and finally coming to completely adopt his new hometown's rhythms and lifestyle is funny, sweet and satisfying. For comparison, think David Sedaris if he actually loved life mixed with Bill Bryson if he was 90% less insufferable.

We then snagged the other Provence books and are now in love with the place. With the exception of the food (which Mr. Mayle writes about with infuriatingly loving, mouth-watering detail), Provence is a bit like Vermont which is, I suppose, why I fell in love with it. SE and I would like to visit, but our money, time and French language skills are lacking. If we go, I'm going to hit up my Québécois/American friend Ghislain for some helpful phrases like:

1) I have no idea what you're saying. Do you speak English?
2) I know very little French and that I do know is abysmal.
3) Lunch, please? Tasty and not expensive? What would you recommend?

So, that's it. I have been working on some Big Beautiful Wonder Woman drawings, but I put them on hold to work on the Northern Borders comic.

Listening to while posting: "Gender Bombs" by the Stills


Lee said...

That's a great idea offering Page 100 commissions - I've actually been thinking about a derivative of that project myself for all my Star Trek books - it would be one panel though and I haven't really thought out the rules yet.

Looking forward to seeing some of these!!

Arjan said...

Now I want to know what happened before and after...

As for French..I had 5 years of it, but it's still basic.

Je ne comprendre pas (I don't understand)
Je ne parle pas Francais (I don't speak French)
-> Tu parle Anglais?

Sil vous plaît (Please) -> if someone wants to be a bit on the classy side in the Netherlands they use this one too (we can blame Bonaparte for that).

Qu'elle heure est il? (What time is it)
Je m'appelle .... (My name is../I am...)
Du pain (bread), du vin (wine) et du bourcin (cheese) CHEAP PLEASE, Now! (might not actually work :P)
Au revoir! (good bye)

Arjan said... might want to work on pronounciation though or you'll sound like the guy from Inglorious Bastards.