Archive for the ‘Process’ Category
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting various memories, notes and artifacts from the creation of my new book, Fingerprints. Why? Why not? There are 5 parts in total: The Idea, The Art, Making The Book, Translation and Finishing.
2-3 three years out of college and I was still experimenting with what I wanted my comics to feel like. When I would attempt to explain the comics I was trying to do, I would subconsciously hold my hands in front of me and grasp an invisible ball that would shift and move as I held it. I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to explain. When I told this to cartoonist friend Vincent Stall, he nodded understandingly and said, “Sure. You’re just finding your voice.”
None of the longer stories that I was working on at the time seemed to hit the right note. However, I had just started using a 5 panel by 5 panel grid for my pages that alternated the text and pictures. Also, I had just finished a story about Scientology and felt like I was getting the hang of writing in that particular format.
When it comes to writing longer stories, I try to have a simple idea in mind to focus on. I had a job at the American Red Cross that was starting to become more of a grind then I ever imagined it would be. My schedule at the time was 4:00 PM until about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. I would basically stand around all day and move around bags of blood. Bags of blood out of coolers. Bags of blood in a centrifuge. Bags of blood out of a centrifuge. Bags of blood into a refrigerator. This was a far cry from the nearly limitless free time and carefree lifestyle I enjoyed during college. It was depressing. So I decided to write a story about my sobering belief at the time that All Good Things Fade.
Holding a pint bag full of a stranger’s blood in my hand, I tried to think about what type of person doesn’t believe that good things fade. Maybe it’s because I was wearing a lab coat at the time, and jokingly would refer to myself as a scientist, but I automatically thought of a cosmetic surgeon. A cosmetic surgeon would believe that your good looks should never fade.
Ways of Seeing by John Berger was useful in describing Dr. Finger’s view of women as a canvas for his art. And The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein was a book that just had a very powerful effect on me. So much so, that sci-fi elements started worming their way into many of the stories I was writing at the time.
The title for Fingerprints was originally Beautiful, Cool & Irreplaceable. I’ll write later why the title changed, but the original title came from a Dance Hall Crashers song.
Very little of the story actually changed from the first draft. It seemed to flow effortlessly, and I genuinely enjoyed the story as I wrote it. For the very first time, it felt like I had found my voice.
Sometimes you miss the paper
Here’s the step by step process of creating a screen print at synthetic sunshine studios:
1. Gotta make the seps.
2.Picking the color. I’ve been really into the Vivid FX colors lately. That blue looked good to me.
3. Let’s print on random sheets from around the studio.
4. Important step. The beer of choice for the night.
5. Also VERY important. Music to print to. The new Flaming Lips.
6. Print the print.
7. Hang em’ up.
6. Look at it glow under the black-light.
7. The final product.
I’ll be giving these away at the Alternative Press Expo this weekend in San Francisco.