11 January 2007

Testing Bristol/Making Comics

testing bristol board 1

...and so I read a book that told me how! Or something like that anyway.

Actually this (and the preceding/following, depending on whether you read this top to bottom or oldest to newest) was just some messing around with a pad bristol board I just got. For the ignorant (which tends to include me), bristol board is a rigid, shiny art paper. I've tended to use typing paper for most of my unpainted stuff but it's not really suited to it - it doesn't always agree with the drip-pen nib, it creases up when I rub out the pencil beneath/behind the final inking and sometimes it just won't sit still and flat on the scanner. Also, anything remotely wet like felt-tip buckles it so that it's even less likely to sit on the scanner. The rigidity of bristol board makes it less likely to buckle and crease as a result of rubbing out and other vigorous, drawing related activities. So far it seems okay with slight dampness from felt-tips, water colour pencils and ink. It's on very good terms with drip-pen nibs. Crucially, it seems to be the paper of choice for comic makers the world over.

The one universal truth I have found about creativity is that momentum is the key. If you have it then keeping going, writing the next chapter, drawing the next panel, learning the next speech, is as easy as sliding down a steep and icy slope. But lose the momentum for whatever reason and starting again can be as tough as pushing a heavy sled up the same slope while wearing flippers. And since the end of the play back in October I have lost, lacked and totally failed to regain all creative momentum for a variety of reasons and none. And worse, various attempts to shove that sled back up that slope have failed so far.

I got some great comics for Christmas, all of which make me want to make comics. Luckily for me, one of the books I got is all about making comics. Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics blew me away when I first read it well over a decade ago. A comic about comics that told me more about comics than I thought it was possible to know, opened my mind and eyes and, most importantly, was a fantastic read. So when I stumbled upon some reference to a new book by him called Making Comics at the arse end of last year I was excited. And I had an answer to the next person who asked me what I wanted for Christmas (me mum, as it goes).

Anyway, in an attempt to get some of that vital momentum back in my life and art, I'm going to read the book and do one of the exercises from the end of each chapter then post the result to this blog. The first exercise I'm attempting is to tell the story of a favourite movie in 16 panels. My first stumbling block is deciding which movie...

testing bristol 3

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