Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thusday- A little Uncle Slam, and a lot of FRANK ROBBINS!

Art scan coming up, but first, please check out this promotional blather:

Just a few words about UNCLE SLAM FIGHTS BACK today. I've been going through the finished art, tweaking the dialogue and doing balloon placements. It's a really exciting process, as it's the first time I get a good feel for the finished product. I think it's gonna be a fun and funny book, and my friend T.J. Kirsch is doing a killer job on the art. Here's a tiny sample; a nice shot of America's favorite robotic canine, Fire Dog!

And now, today's art scan- a panel from a daily strip called Johnny Hazard by one of my very favorite artists, the immortal Frank Robbins! Talking about Robbins is a little tough for me, because when I see how he draws a comic strip, it just looks like how it should be done, and I'm at something of a loss to explain it. Like Jack Kirby created the best way to draw superhero comic books, I feel like Robbins found the best way to draw an adventure strip.

In short, Frank just does it all right: composition, spotting blacks, texture, economy of line, and sheer exuberance. God bless him! I'm lucky enough to own a whole week of Hazard dailies from the '70s. It's not my absolute favorite Robbins era, but it's still fantastic stuff. I love everything about this panel I've pulled from one of my week's worth. In particular, I think it's so cool that there is a whole story going on in this single image.

Since I mentioned pulling a single image from a daily strip, it might be time to address the premise of this blog. When I finally decided it was time to start blogging, and that I would be showing off art from my collection, I immediately made the decision to share single shots at a time. That decision was based on two concerns. First, I wanted to be able to stretch my collection out for a long time, so I can be sure that I have enough material to do this form some time to come without going broke buying new stuff. There was a loftier goal as well, though. While it is certainly true that the comic book page is designed to function as a whole storytelling unit (within the overall story, which is another entire unit, hopefully), I wanted to focus attention on the fact that each panel is also a standalone illustration.

I think we often take the extraordinary amount of work that goes into a comic book page for granted. While the goals of comic book storytelling and conventional illustration are very different, I think it's interesting to view each individual comic book image on its own, almost as if it were an illustration. I know that, in doing so, I may be doing something of a disservice to the whole page. But, as I referenced elsewhere, if I was to show pages at a time, you could say the same about the whole job. In other words, this is the way I'm doing it. You want it done differently, please send me a link to the blog where you are doing so.

Enough of my spouting! Enjoy the genius, and come back for something different tomorrow!


I don't know who owns Johnny Hazard, but I'm pretty sure it ain't you!

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