Friday, 18 October 2013

Sketches for Noir Comic


I'm working on a very short (4 page) comic at the moment, which is a new experience for me. I've been reading comics for years, but I've never drawn one, and it's certainly a learning experience. This one is to go in a noir-themed short-fiction journal called Bordertown, which is a creative writing project that Mr Macska is involved in for uni.

The comic was inspired by this amazing piece of work by Melbourne jeweller William Llewellyn Griffiths, of Metal Couture. A few years ago he created three wind-up dioramas using taxidermied mice, and when you turned the handle the mice moved around.

This is the Swan Lake one, when the handle is turned the curtains open and the three little mice pirouette slowly to the sound of Swan Lake coming from a tiny music box inside. William made the chandelier and the tiny tiaras that the mice are wearing, and his wife Alice made the tutus.

These photos must have been taken before it was fully completed because the finished one is more elaborate, with jewelled trees on either side and some drapery in the background. You can see it in motion on this little video.

Anyway, here are a few poorly photographed sketches from my little comic, which concerns a mouse detective interviewing a serial killer cat who has been murdering and taxidermying mouse showgirls in a perverse attempt to "purify" them by turning them into ballerinas.

I've been tracing over the pencil drawing onto tracing paper with fineliner, and then I plan to scan the images and clean them up in Photoshop.

The finished comic will be a little A5 booklet, made to look like a pulp detective paperback, with the comic inside over 4 pages, and then a little bio of William and a picture of the original Swan Lake dancing mouse contraption.  I'll post more pictures soon as I get more done!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Librarian Ken

Meet Librarian Ken: he likes coffee, cats and dystopian-future novels. I made Ken's outfit for a competition at work, which was to raise money for charity. He even has a tiny Melbourne Uni staff card on a lanyard, and yes, that's actually his photo on the card.  Originally Ken looked like this:

I gave him a haircut and then made a completely new outfit for him. The only thing I kept were the shoes, cream loafers. The pants are made from men's kimono fabric, using the trousers from these patterns. The shirt I just made up on the spot (I cheated and didn't make any sleeves). The bowtie is a piece of velvet ribbon, and the glasses are made from fine black wire twisted into shape.

The cardigan was knitted using this vintage pattern from Free Vintage Patterns. It was a little bit small for a modern Ken (I think he's been going to the gym) so I added some more rows to the sleeves to make them longer. I knitted it up with 4ply and it took about 2 evenings to finish the whole thing.

 Here I am looking embarrassed! The competition was judged by Pam Mawson, who is the Creative Director of the Country Women's Association Victoria, and who was actually in town to judge the cakes at the Royal Melbourne Show. I won a CWA cookbook, so I shall be whipping up scones and lamingtons in no time.