I love watching designers and illustrators get into the nuts and bolts of their craft. P. Craig Russell has launched a series of videos discussing graphic storytelling and sequential art. In the debut installment, he looks at the opening page of his comics adaptation of Pelléas & Mélisande.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
These drawings will never see the light of day if I don’t post them here. Back in 2007 I was tapped to illustrate a Filipino graphic novel published by Adarna and written by Don Valdez. The book was entitled “Taguan”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet the deadlines because of my day job in advertising.
They asked Robert Magnuson to replace me as the illustrator on the project. Strangely enough, the book hasn’t come out yet. Here is a teaser for the project done my Magnuson.
Here are my initial and very rough studies for the some of the characters in the book.
“San donato. San Guiliano. San Martino.
Where we’re from all the villages have saints names. When they bombed a village it felt like they really hurt somebody. not a town but an individual person.”
I fell in love with Gipi’s work after I read “Notes for a War Story”, the story of three youths aimlessly drifting in an unnamed European country in the middle of the war. They spend their days dodging bombs, squatting inside abandoned houses and stealing to survive until they meet Felix – the leader of a mafia-style militia who’s found war as a profitable venture. Soon, their tasks escalate from petty crime to killing in the name of Felix.
The book is about war and how it takes hold of people and swallows their lives and their futures. Even Felix, for all his bluster about how the war is the best thing that ever happened to him is scarred and wounded. Youths who gain cred and respect from stealing and killing never leave the war the same way again.
This was first exposure to Gipi’s work, who I found out is a superstar comic artist in Europe. In 2005, “Notes for a War Story” was awarded the Goscinny Prize for Best Script and was proclaimed Best Book at Angoulême the following year.
Gipi’s line work is frenetic and the monochrome watercolors are juicy and atmospheric. What’s even more impressive is Gipi’s ability to breathe life into his characters and to make a simple exchange between characters riveting.
Check out this 10-page preview here: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2007/09/comics_war_story.html
For people who want to venture into graphic novel reading beyond the usual superhero fare, I recommend checking this book out.