Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Words and Pictures


I'm a little behind again. It irks me because I have two projects I want to begin. Meanwhile, I want to finish Johnny Morte. Well, as much as I can, definitely #1.

I just finished the art for a short story. I sort of crammed it into 11 pages - could maybe have used 15, but it has a lot of talking heads and I was getting itchy feet; or fingers. These things always take longer than you expect. My advice would be, if you are doing all the artwork on your own, to allow one day per page.

The writer, Anthony Abelaye, didn't intend it as a graphic story, so it's big on atmosphere and short on action; but don't be fooled, it still took some drawing. Writers and illustrators take note, the shortest story, or poem, can take some drawing as the ideas are uncondensed - a sentence like, "he looked across the vast expanse of the alpine landscape" takes only a couple of words but a lot of drawing. Actually, the computer-related simile that came to mind was that stories are like Zip files, made smaller, and tighter, for delivery to the reader's brain - where of course the reader supplies the pictures. An illustrated version is like that story unzipped, expanded, and laid-out for all to see. Of course you need to edit sensibly, imagine drawing a passage of running Orcs from Lord of the Rings, you could potentially fill an entire book with just Orcs pounding around the Shire.