Monday, 21 May 2012

Comics: PROJECTIONS by Paul Penna with art by S K Moore (free PDF download, for iPad etc)

PROJECTIONS by Paul Penna with art by S K Moore (free PDF download, for iPad etc)

I've always loved art but it was comics that got me drawing. The following post is about a short comic story I drew last year.You can read this short by downloading the PDF here and opening it in your e-reader of choice, I use Comic Zeal but any e-reader will do. For desktop reading view the artwork full screen on your desktop via this Issuu link.

I tried Graphicly and wasn't content with the final outcome. Perhaps I did something wrong, but the options above are the best I can do for now.

1. COMICS: Early last year I realised I wanted to attempt some comic art again. I use the word 'attempt' because it's like the difference between saying you are going to jump the grand canyon and actually jumping the grand canyon. Although as a child I'd been exposed to classical art, it was British and French comics that inspired me to draw. I probably did this because it seemed accessible and looked easy.

From a technical standpoint one of the truly wonderful things about great comic-art is how easy it looks and flows. Yet I can't think of a more difficult task for an artist. The comic artist has to have an entire world in her head ready to spill out over the page and depict any and all possible situations. These sequences have to make 'logical' sense of often highly illogical situations. The artist has to be on top of material and stylistic continuity, colour, forms of all kinds have to be stored in that artists mind...and it has to be interesting work. The artist has to be a designer and a director. It's actually sickening how little respect comic artists received until recently. 

That seems to have changed today, COMIC-CONS have been a big help to artists and writers I think. They helped make rock-stars of some by putting them in touch with fans. Now everyone seems to talk about these events. They're cool now. Believe me, where I grew up, comics were anything but 'cool' except to people like me and I knew two people in my school who were anything like me. 

So, anyway, I drew an episode of JUDGE DREDD from an existing script last year. I did this because it was really the 'gateway' comic that grabbed as a kid, it caught my imagination. It introduced me to a vicious and viscously funny view of the future, not something I'd seen before. The comics of Crumb and MOEBIUS*and Tanino Liberatore and everything else besides came through this door on a rainy morning when I was 13, sick with flu, and my mum brought me something to read. That door was issue 284 of 2000AD in 1982* and the story 'Destiny's Angels'. At this point I became obsessed with drawing.

Cover by Carlos Ezquerra

I read the issue, it made no damn sense. I read it again, it still made no sense and I couldn't get enough of it. It wasn't cute and it wasn't 'good', it was brilliant and cleverly funny and uncompromising. Take, for example, the cyborg on the cover of issue 284, he has a dial on his head and the numbers represent levels of rage. Anger is a loss of control, but not for this guy, this guy is in control of how out-of-control he gets, he decides how angry he needs to be.

So, going back to my point. I drew the story to test myself in my spare time. I was busy with an oil painting, but when I had time I illustrated this script. I later made some changes that I think improved things a bit. But over-all I failed. Just a warm up maybe. You can see version one below.

In doing this test strip I became aware of a UK comic called FUTUREQUAKE and got in touch with them. I'd communicated with Paul Penna on a forum around about this time and found he'd submitted a story to them and they needed an artist. It's quite a spooky tale and I really liked the script. You can read the whole three page at the top of the page or buy issue 20 here.

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