Monday, April 23, 2012

Press Your Footstep Into My Blood

There's no special significance to this ominous sounding post title other than it came to me in a dream the other night.

Here's a page I finished recently that kicked my ass.

Crowd scenes are notoriously hard but I think I did everything in my power to make this as difficult as possible. I came up with a seating arrangement and inked every individual audience member with a #0 brush that is in serious need of replacement. Most of the work I did is probably not visible to the naked eye. The audience is mostly made up of characters from my other comics. If you squint, that's me in panel 3 at center, top row behind the pissed-off audience member.

Here's a Colleen Coover crowd cover I covet.

There's this great book  from the 70's about truckers that I've been looking at. The book is wonderfully written by Jane Stern. I drew Jean Sawyer, president of the National Women's Trucking Association. I also included her in the page above in the bottom right-hand corner.

I am so taken with this woman. I keep talking about all the comics I want to do whilst taking a gajillion years to do the one I'm working on, but I really want to do a comic based on Jean Sawyer. What little info I have on her is just too good to pass up.

Here's another spectacled woman.
So clearly what I need to do is go back in time, fly to Greece and go an a date with Nana Mouskouri so I can draw pictures of her all day in her natural habitat.

Surely there is an easier solution to my problem.

It's break-up season here in Alaska. That means we're ending our long term relationship with a cold, white omnipresence and entering a stage of mud and filth. If we can get through that without killing ourselves we will enter into an everlasting sunshine...


  1. That page makes me smile. I keep reading it over and over and looking at all the people. It's really effective, and it gives me the creeps. It's full of detail and rendering, yet is completely clear, and all that work gives it a wait and seriousness that I'm not sure you could have gotten without it. I love when hard work achieves a thing that only hard work can achieve.
    I'm really looking forward to getting to read this story.

    1. I really appreciate those comments Dustin. I was hoping for the very effect you described. Obviously this could have been done more economically and the only solice I had was that all the obsessive detail would lend an effect you wouldn't have otherwise. I DO think it reads clearly, even if the linework itself doesn't register. It adds to the feeling like you're in a dark room where your eyes can't register everything. I think if you keep your compositions simple- because I think compositionally this is a very simple page- then you can load in as much detail as you want and it still reads. I'm really glad you found the page effective.

  2. I am not sure how I happened across this specific blog. I must tell you, Jean's personal life isn't all that pretty. While she was one heck of a business woman - she failed beyond words as a mother. Multiple children all to different fathers, many married men at that, and all of the children grew to be dysfunctional adults. Perhaps it's because not one of them had a father around, as it was a revolving door of many men, or maybe because she never told one of them she loved them (this is not an exaggeration, she didn't utter the words even once.) Anyway, my point is that there are so many awesome women out there. When the smoke dissipates, she is not one of them.