Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Intercorstal Dot Com

(quiet, mysterious voice): Go to

(conspiratorially) That's where the good stuff is.

(eyes darting side to side) I mean, it's the same stuff that's on this blog, mostly...

(skulking back into the shadows) ...but you don't have to scroll through to find it, it's all laid out nice.

(whispering) You heard:

Friday, 3 July 2015

Intercorstal Dungeon Fun

Because I'm waiting for paper and markers to be delivered so I can work on 'After Smith', and because I fancied a quick break from '683' and because I just really, really like Dungeon Fun, I did this Intercorstal page based on one of my favourite pages from Book 2.
Here's a photo of the page before I scanned it, alongside the original comic (written by Colin Bell, illustrated by Neil Slorance).

Dungeon Fun's fourth and final part has just been released -- you can buy them all at Neil Slorance's Etsy store.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Preliminary work ups for 'Intercorstal: After Smith'

The Intercorstal: After Smith will be a series of work reinterpreting comic pages originally scripted by the writer John Smith. More details can be found here:

The final Intercorstal pages for this project will be A3, but as prep, and to make sure that my ideas would work, I completed two at A4. One is a reworking of a page from Killing Time, orginally by Chris Weston, the other is a reworking of a page from Still Life, by Sean Phillips. Comparisons of these pages versus the original pages can be found at the above link.

'Killing Time'

'Still Life'

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Goodbye "Intercorstal 2", Hello "683"

The Intercorstal moves very much in phases, and in a way is a set of smaller projects interconnected by a style and intention. And the phase that had been called 'Intercorstal 2' came to a close, unexpectedly, with page 34. I hadn't realised that was the last page until I'd started work on the first page of the next phase/project.

Page 34 couldn't have been a more appropriate place to finish, really. It's a recreation of the last page of Revere Book 2, where the main character reaches the end of that phase of his journey and throws himself off the roof of a car park, to be reborn at the beginning of Book 3. That my recreation was more faithful than my ripped pages had been previously probably says something too, albeit a completely unconscious decision.

And so on to what's next: "The Intercorstal: 683" which for the time being I'm keeping a little closer to my chest, certainly not rushing to share every single page as it's finished. I'm actually hoping to wait until all 36 pages are finished before I pull the curtain back, so this blog will go even quieter than it normally would be.

And who knows how long for -- what '683' has which was missing from '2' is a distinct direction, so in that respect progress should be more routine, and faster. But at the same I've got a pretty hefty amount of work to do in time for an exhibition with Projectroom 404 in Bremen in September, as well as working on a new entry for the Lakes Comic Art Fest Windows Trail, plus the totally different Crosby and Syd, as well as other bits and bobs. Oh, and a full time job, and two children, and a wife.

But I've got three pages of 683 pages finished and scanned already, and if I manage to maintain that pace I'll be finished this year, at least.

Here's what I've got so far:

See you in a few months.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

What I mean by 'Steal' when I say I've 'Stolen' a page for The Intercorstal

The Intercorstal has always been a way of exploring the language of comics via non-narrative, non-figurative methods. In the early days, there were figurative elements built in, as I was also trying to create a world-on-the-edge-of-perception, and came up with an internal narrative which featured mangled faces, all sorts of eyes and teeth, as well as a main character who appeared on nearly every page. As I worked on the project, and found new ways of working the need for that became less and less important, until finally I started 'The Intercorstal 2' which did away with a lot of that and is more consistent as a result. Granted, early pages still retained some of those elements (if you get into the habit of hiding pictures of eyes and teeth in everything you draw, it becomes quite difficult to stop...) but they're nearly all gone now.

The process of creating pages for the Intercorstal 2 falls into two types of activity. The first, most common, is for me to build a set of frames for the layout and then draw into those. I'll often take inspiration from what I've been reading (Pages 27, 28 and 29 were all done immediately after reading Bill Sienkiewicz's Stray Toasters, and were very much inspired by it) but it's all my 'own work', as it were.

The second method is to find an existing comic page that I find particularly interesting, or am particularly passionate about, and copy the layout of the panels and the broad shape of objects or movement in the panels, and then use those to inform my work. The extent, following this, that the Intercorstal pages look like their 'parent' pages varies -- sometimes the relationship is very clear, and sometimes it's vastly different.

Page 34 is an interpretation of a page from Revere, by Simon Harrison and John Smith, and obviously so when you compare them side by side.

Page 12 is an interpretation of a page from The Amazing Spider-man, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, but other than the frame layout (which is broadly the same) you'd probably not know without me saying so.

Working like this provides a wide range of benefits. For a start, it's an easy way to break through whatever creative block I'm suffering at the time. Past that, though, it helps me to really explore how the page is constructed, whether there's a hidden narrative in the layout and movement of the page ('the page under the page'), and what it is that makes those comic pages speak to me, as well as the broader audience. It also serves to connect people to The Intercorstal in a way that the first method of producing pages doesn't. Being able to show someone a page and then let them compare it to something that already exists takes away some of the work they need to do to see what I'm trying to accomplish.

Below is a screengrab from a document I'm keeping which keeps track of where I've based an Intercorstal page on another creator's work, for reference. And I'm more than happy to respond to any questions that might arise from my work -- this blog is an attempt to answer questions already raised. Email or comments or whatever.

Intercorstal 2 Page 34

Page 34 of Intercorstal 2 is based on the last page of Revere Book II Written in Water, art by Simon Harrison and written by John Smith. A photo of the page as it was reprinted in 2000AD Extreme Edition 20 (which I strongly recommend you buy) is below.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Intercorstal 2 Page 33

Page 33 is an interpretation of Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles: Primordial, Page 6. Original art by Simon Davis, written by Pat Mills. A (kind of rubbish) photo of the original page as it appeared in 2000AD is below.