It's snowing in Basewood...

Tue 1/22/2008

I have been working really hard on Basewood ever since I got back to New York. It has been pretty humbling... I kind of forgot just how much time it takes to do a page of Basewood. Especially when it's SNOWING... (at NIGHT!)

I just put up (a crappy digital photo) of page 5 if anyone wants to check it out. There are only going to be 8 preview pages, so enjoy them while they last! You'll have to wait (until this Fall?) for the other 40 pages.

I really like how the snow looks, and I think it will really FEEL like snow once it's at reproduction size, but man... this is some seriously tedious drawing! It doesn't test my patience so much as my SANITY. I think I'm going to start splitting my time between inking AND penciling. Like two hours of inking, then two hours of penciling on another page. Working on two pages at once will mean even slower progress, but I think it will keep me more mentally engaged than trying to power through a whole page of little circles, the black space around them and a trillion interrupted cross hatching lines.

On the other side of the project, scripting has been going really well! I finished the script for Chapter 4, which was by far the hardest so far. (It's the one where all the pieces really come together). I'm really happy with how it turned out. It felt so good to finally put scenes down on paper after thinking about them for years and years.

So all I have left to do is script Chapter 5... oh! and then to draw everything! :P

11 comments on this entry

you... are... CRAZYYYYYY!!!!!

jp Jan23

Holy Shit Alec that has to be some kind of first in the history of comics... While I do not think it is wrong for making such pages to be testing your sanity, the results certainly are effective and pretty... and sort of different. I don't think I have ever quite seen snow depicted that way. The wind curls are interesting too.

Chris Wright Jan23

JP- I'm gonna bring some of these pages up to CCS, so you guys can see just how crazy I am!

Chris - Thanks dude!

Alec Jan23

Wow Alec
The pages are insane, but beautiful.

Wade Jan23

I've been writing some posts on my blog about writing comics
awcomix.blogspot.com
Could you elabourate how you write your scripts, ie msword, pencil on legal pads etc. Also do you do rough sketchs or leave that to the drawing stage?
Cheers

Anthony - I've been meaning to do this for some time, but just haven't had a chance. Maybe I will document the process on the last page of the Basewood Ch. 3 preview (page 8)

For now you can see a BIT about my process on pages 7 and 8 of For The Love Of Comics.

Also, you should check out Chris Schweizer's recent post in a similar vein. Amazing stuff!

Alec Jan23

Man that is some serious hours of work Alec. I like very much what you are doing here in regards to your design. The iconography of the wind and snow portrayed as pure graphic elements, that create a visual suggestion of look as well as a suggestion of feeling at the same time, (just through the simple abundance of the snow--I grew up in Alberta, I know what that feels like!). Its very graphically pleasing work, with a really strong personal signature.
I was reading in that Pulphope book about how Paul would "pencil, letter, ink and finish 16 pages at a time, using tape to hang up two rows of eight comics pages side by side." He credits this method, "The Hugo Pratt method", as his means of sometimes finishing "seventy or eighty completely print ready pages a month." Given that idea, I don't think working on two pages at the same time should slow down your progress.
Great work Alec. I'd love to see your process broken down too. Love that stuff. Looking forward to the Fall.

Cam Jan23

Alec, this is brilliant! Take this out of its comic book context and it would fit right in with the "OCD chic" contemporary art scene - but then, perhaps it would be a little less awesome. I'm somewhat partial to the idea that this seizure-inducing onslaught of detail would be carefully tucked under a kid's mattress along with back issues of "Ralph Snart" rather than in a gallery.

andy h Jan23

*drool*

Jewett Jan24

i'm not even sure if folks can grasp the extent of alec's insanity here -- these are on what size bristol? the largest you can get right? -so- out of control! but so beautiful! can't wait to see the issue.

nate Jan27

Yeah Nate - 18" x 24" It takes six hours just to put the snow down on a page.... [pantomime's blowing his brains out]

Alec Jan27

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