So, last semester our final project was to do an anthology with several other classmates, I was assigned to be in a group with Dakota Mcfadzean, Katie Moody, and Amelia Onorato. We broke down the tasks of making the book based on our strengths, Dakota was the art director, Katie was the editor Amelia was the group leader and I was the production manager. Overall, it was a really positive experience and I would work with any of these people again in a heartbeat. We decided that our theme for our anthology would be "Religion" and for the most part our stories focused on Christianity, for that reason, we designed the physical book to resemble a Bible, it was faux-square bound, with gilded edges and a gold screen-printed cover that simply read "Holy Shit"
I was really happy with the final product and I'm proud of what we produced. We made a small print run of 50 copies, but we hope to make a larger print run in time for Mocca this year. The book will probably run $7 a copy, but it is worth every penny, I promise. Over the next few days I will my entire story on this here blog, you can read Dakota's entire comic on his blog and hopefully Katie and Mia will get their acts together and post their comics as well, because they are fucking amazing comics and the world needs to see their work.
Although a lot of my work tends to reflect my own life at times, I have never done a straight up memoir comic before. The events in this comic are TRUE, they all did happen, but I did need to change the chronology of some events and mash other events together to create a cohesive 10-page story with a good flow and a satisfying conclusion. Unfortunately, life doesn't really work much like a story arc. Someone once told me that Craig Thompson has a sister, even though in "Blankets" there is never any mention of his sister, only his brother. He had to take out certain details of his life to focus on the theme and flow of his comic. I can't really compare my little 10 page student work to the magnum opus that is "Blankets" but on some small level I can now understand what liberties an artist must take at times to tell their story. For my contribution, I tried to follow the tried and true layouts that Kurtzman was using for two-fisted tales, it is essentially a 9-panel grid laid on top of a 6-panel grid, most stories opened with a 2/3 splash page which included the title. I think this is a really versatile grid that let's the artist push page composition, but at the same time it is still a really easy layout for the readers' eyes. I used a rapidograph pen for this entire story, even the spot blacks. I was trying to create this decaying look to try and create this fuzzy memory kind of experience. I really like the texture that rapidographs make with a shaky hand. Although, for the new year I have decided to work exclusively with brush and nib, I am trying to clean up my art and make it as readable as possible. Even though it's only been a couple months since I worked on this, it's already hard for me to look at, I see a lot of laziness and I feel like I could have made an even better looking comic if I just followed through on a few things. I would love to hear any critiques on this project.... stay tuned for more pages!