Showing posts with label ligne claire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ligne claire. Show all posts

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in Review: Jonathan King

Jonathan King

Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

I've been working my way through Edgar P Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer series -- taken up in later years by others. While I admire Jacobs for not standing still in his style, i like some of his work more than others. His later ones are horribly coloured and the drawing has got harsher and uglier. Following Jacobs' death in the 1980s, the series was resurrected in the 90s by various artists. I like Ted Benoit's warm ligne claire style very much.

While I'm pleased that Tintin didn't continue after Hergé's death -- the Blake & Mortimer books show how it could be sensitively handled.
A new work influenced by Hergé and Jacobs is Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid. A ripping yarn told in a beautifully executed ligne claire style, The Rainbow Orchid was split over three volumes -- not ideal for what is really one story. The third volume was out this year, however, and it's now available as one complete story. Ewing's artwork has really hit its stride in the last volume and the story is great old fashioned fun (if a little more wordy and complicated than it needs to be!). I can't wait to see what he does next!

Recently I finally got a hard copy of a book I adore, and have only previously had as Spanish-language scans -- the second volume of Yves Chaland's Adventures of Freddy Lombard. Chaland would undoubtedly have ended up the equal of Herge and Jacobs if he hadn't been tragically killed in a car crash in his 30s in 1990. His Freddy Lombard stories are my favourites of his work, and in these last two -- Holiday in Budapest  and F-52 his ligne claire / 'atom style' artwork is breathtaking -- especially in the hilarious character details on the edges of F-52, a story told almost entirely on a long plane journey (and revolving around a horrifyingly heartless premise).

For years I've (literally) dreamed about finding an unpublished Tintin story … this is almost the next best thing, with a two-page Freddy Lombard story I'd never seen before appearing in the back of this book.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

A few new films like Looper I've enjoyed … but mostly older ones like 60s new wave films, Breathless, Alphaville, Last Year in Marienbad, 70s paranoid thrillers like The Parallax View. I devoured Breaking Bad when I belatedly discovered it and have been loving Boardwalk Empre. Most new movies suck ass though.

Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?

It's only been about a year since I got my Cintiq -- a screen I can draw on with a stylus. It felt like an outrageous indulgence when I first got it, but i've really, really enjoyed drawing with it. I pencil and 'ink' in Manga Studio, colour in Photoshop. I'm glad I spent a while trying to draw in real pencil and ink with dip pen (Hunt 102) and ink … but I must admit I love the freedom the undo key gives you, as well as the flexibility of being able to tweak and rearrange elements digitally.

It's also been a year or so since I've collaborated with a writer on some work -- the City Lights series I've been doing with Chad Taylor. I've loved having it be my 'job' to illustrate what he writes; to work out how to 'block' on the page the story we're telling.

I've also been experimenting with animation -- 2D cartoons, 3D CGI and stop motion -- something I'm really loving. I'm currently working on a stop motion music video for my band, The Dickens.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

I'm making a low-budget film with Chad Taylor -- I'm directing from his script -- called Realiti. I wish I could get more time to draw comics -- it's more satisfying and productive than filmmaking which takes so bloody long for anything to happen … but I find to get with done, I have immerse myself in it at the expense of other things. But once this film is done, I really feel like I'd like to try a more substantial comics project -- like a book-length all-ages adventure story … not unlike the stuff I was talk about above.