Friday, 4 December 2009
But there is an iddy-biddy downside here. You see, a blog needs content. And there are times, like now, when you just don't have much to offer up. Or rather, you've got stuff , but when it's taken out of context it just becomes another meaningless image file, squatting in cyberspace. BLIP is particularly tricky, in this regard, because of its structure. Most pages are single-panel and if you've stopped by this blog before, you'll already have noticed how many lose their significance, when you present them individually. With luck, next time, I'll have a run of pages to show off. But for now - ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - may I present my latest undertaking... three shapes... er... moving past another shape...
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Even so, at the end of last week, that ol' chisel of mine was out once more, chip-chip-chipping away at the conceit of my story. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't work. I could do this. I could do that. Oh, I was honing away alright, and I came perilously close to blinding my creative process again. I was all for tossing the thing aside and starting something new and exciting instead. But this time, I forced myself to keep on drawing, and what do you know, eventually, that funk began to clear. Come Tuesday I could see again. And lo and behold, it was obvious I was still on the right track, and had been all along.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
For the uninitiated, "decompression" is a term applied to modern comics storytelling. Google it and you'll find lots of folks talking about it. It's all to do with the way today's comic artists tell their stories, st-r-e-t-ching out action via single panel pages and telling their tales via repeat panels with sparse dialogue, so that a 24-page modern comic can be read in a heartbeat, and all that it entails for publishers, blah-blah-blah.
Um. Kind of like I'm doing here.
Look, I'm so aware of what I'm doing it's almost painful. But in my case, this is my own comic experiment to create as I please. And if I want to stretch a wafer-thin encounter out over 48 pages, then I'll do just that, and you can't stop me. So there.
But, but, but the point of this blog post is that, even here, in this laid-back, self-created comic environment, I'm always thinking about the pacing of my tale, and how best to present it. And although those initial thumbnail sketches I made are essential, I'm still editing, even as I finish each page, so to help me I've taken to creating rather jolly finished thumbnail pages. I reduce 24 of my completed pages on to a single A4 page, so's I can look at them in sequence, checking the flow of the story and just as importantly, the mix of the colour scheme, all on one sheet. And it's been darned handy this week, because I've now looked at the finished article(s) and I've been able to edit out two whole pages of action and tone down a big shouty example of colour overload. I was on page 34. Now I'm on page 32. But my spacey tale flows a whole lot better, now I've condensed the action, and it looks better too, now that I've recoloured a panel. So there you go. It begins with thumbnails, and it ends with them too!...
Friday, 16 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Thursday, 10 September 2009
I'm quite taken back by the quality of thing. I had no idea that I could produce something like this from the confines of my attic. It's a real jolt in the arm, and it's made me even more determined to get back to my Bristol Board and complete the rest of this spacey tale, and - oh - so much more besides. And funnily enough, despite all the effort I've poured into Photoshop, layering and colouring every page, I think BLIP looks just as good in greyscale. It's certainly a cheaper way to go, initially, when I finally crank up my Small Press... So you can colour me very excited indeed!
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Though my blog posts have been thin on the ground of late, I've actually been super-busy behind the scenes, drawing BLIP, creating his little cyberhome and... dusting down an old friend, who is soon to embark on a dangerous - nay - legendary adventure... But that's for a future posting...
BLIP has also been a great adventure for me, thus far. I'm slowly getting the hang of this Photoshop lark, learning how to cut corners and deliver the art I want in double-quick time. I haven't been this jazzed about cartooning since... well.. my school days, I guess... and BLIP has been a way for me to ease myself back in to the cartooning world... big panels.. block colours.. nothing fancy... If my li'l alien buddy finds a fan or too online, well, that would be the icing on the cake. But I'm not fussed. I'm just happy to be back at the old drawing board again!...
BLIP copyright Frazer Diamond / 2009
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Now I don't know about you, but I've never actually sat down and read the early DC material. I'm familiar with it, obviously. Heck, everyone is familar with this stuff. Or at least, they think they are. Everyone knows it's a bit hokey, right? But sitting here, on page 134 of this magnificent compilation, I've gotta tell you, this stuff goes all the way down Hokey Street and beyond. It's so mired in its 50's philosophies it leaves you aghast and agog and the sheer audacity of it all. Coincidence and happenstance abounds left, right and centre. Supergirl performs the most outrageous fantasy feats and manouevres in a heartbeat - stuff that leaves the mind boggling at its ridiculousness. And best of all, she's performing most of her super-miracles merely to allow her alter ego - Linda Lee - to fit in to Middle Americas's desire for domestic servitude, or to save the kiddies blushes at her orphanage hideaway.
Here's my favourite, thus far: Supergirl wants to stay at her orphanage to maintain her secret identity, so she figures if she burns a roast with her x-ray vision it will stop a pair of prospective parents from adopting her - after all, no good parent will want to adopt a young girl who can't cook properly!
Aint it a doozy? - Oh, you could go on all day about this one. In those first one hundred pages, Supergirl has tossed horses around like salads, she's turned herself into as Super Fairy Godmother, and helped a lad get adopted. She travelled back in time and tamed a fire-breathing serpent. She's tasted from the Fountain of Youth and visited an Interplanetry Orphanage of the future. Linda Lee's feats have been spectacularly daft, and they all been done to allow her to fit in to this cockeyed vision of 50's society. There isn't a super-villain in sight.
These strips frequently leave you laughing out loud at the utter stupidity of it all. But they're also brilliant. I'm so thrilled at having finally caught up with this stuff in such an affordable and accessible away. So thank you DC. Thank you for this great 500+ page slab of archival wonders. I've got Teen Titans and Justice League editions to tuck into next, and I'm sure they'll bring their own unique flavours to the comic table for me to savour. One things for sure, though, I'm hooked on this whole Showcase mularky. I want more. I want a library of these volumes lined up here in my Elgin attic, to dip into as I please. Oh, I reckon I'll be visiting TK Maxx a whole lot more over the coming months...
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
BLIP copyright Frazer Diamond / 2009
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Jason is just the sort of artist/creator that I'd love to talk about at Toonhound, only, he doesn't fit into the remit of the place (he's Norwegian, and Toonhound is Brit-centric). It's one of the reasons I've started this blog, so that the folks who slip through the net can get caught and celebrated here. Anyways, let's get back on topic... Jason's work is bleak and brittle and completely beguiling. His anthropomorphic characters are put through hell. They're dragged backwards through life's hedge and left staggering blindly on the pavement. Each clean line panel quivers with meaning. And in the last few years, he's added melancholic swatches of colour to proceedings - muted blues and purples, autumnal reds and browns - colours that compliment the mood of each tale beautifully...
Why are you doing this?, The Living and the Dead, I Killed Adolf Hitler - It's just impossible to choose a favourite, but it must be said, Hey, Wait... tore my heart out when I first read it. The book is split into two distinct parts, and together they take us from the unfettered joys of our childhood days, to the splintered reality of adulthood. And there's a twist - a turning point - halfway through that shatters the first-time reader... What a book this is...
Jason is a genius. He takes the humdrum and amplifies it. He stokes up great flames of fantasy - time travellers, hitmen, and zombies - but is quick to douse it all down with a bucket of cold reality. And speaking of which, he's keeping me from my own work now, so I'll have to be strong, put his books back on the shelf and GET DRAWING....
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
It also helps that I'm keeping it simple for BLIP. Just flat blocks of colour. I'm a big fan of Jason, as it happens, and - well - sometimes less is more, if you know what I mean. Oh, by the way, the bug-eyed fellow below is a Space Louse. He pops up on Page 5 of our adventure, munching on those BLIP-BLIP-BLIPS - much to the chagrin of our tenacious space traveller. Anyways, that's quite enough waffle for now, I've a dozen more pages to colour... Photoshop beckons!
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Friday, 6 March 2009
Who is this alien being, and why is he following that signal so singlemindedly?... Is he lost?... Is he searching for home, for family, or friends?
And what of that strange signal... Is it a call for help, or a beacon of hope?... Maybe it's something more sinister... a trap, perhaps?... Or simply the residue of some lost event in a far distant galaxy?...
BLIP copyright Frazer Diamond / F2009
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Hooray, and all that.
First out of the mire is this take on a Jack Arnold classic. Hope you like it. Oh, and stand by for more movie mayhem soon... ish...