Tuesday 27 February 2007

My working methods

My working methods probably shouldn't be followed since I always tend to work too long on everything I do. But anyway... One of the reasons I work the way I do is that I'm always restless. Can't sit down for more than ten minutes without losing concentration. Naturally this shows in the way I'm drawing. I never, never, never pencil a page without being bored. Instead I start to ink bits and pieces, jumping from one panel to another. A head here and some clothes or background there.
So if something gets "all fucked up" in a panel and I can't find a solution for a pose or so I jump to another panel. Usually the problem will fix itself in my head when I'm working on the other panel. So instead of wasting working time erasing/redoing a panel umpteen times and getting frustrated over what a lousy artist I am I can still work on the page without beeing stuck on one panel. (Today is the day of long sentences, sorry...)

Here are some sample panels from Emma & Sara #149 that I'm working on right now.
(Click on panels to enlarge.)

First a panel from the top row partly inked.

Then a panel from third row fully pencilled.

And finally two panels from the fourth row partly pencilled.

Actually, there is ONE good point in working the way I do and beeing restless. I never tend to sit down crouching over the drawing board too long. Hopefully this will save my back for my old age.
Or I could start exercise...
Ah, eh, forget it...

Monday 26 February 2007

Rare 1950's Disney art

As some of you might know, thousand upon thousands of pages with Disney comics was produced in the forties, fifties and sixties in the USA. But only a small fraction of the original art has survived. What wasn't saved/stolen/given away was destroyed. Just imagine all the early art by Carl Barks, Paul Murry, Walt Kelly and others going up in flames at the Western Publishing office. Sigh...
But some way or another art to various stories/covers etc. survived. Here is one fine example.
The original art to a card sent out to subscribers of
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories in 1956!

And here's the printed version, front and back.

Knowing how few pages of Disney art that survived from the 40's through the late 60's I was surprised to see this. Not even having seen the printed card before, wich naturally is a rarity itself, I was happy to see that the original art had survived.
The art and lettering is by no-one else than Dick Moores of later "Gasoline Alley" fame.
Do you know about or have similar items in your collection? Please let me know. I'd be happy to post them here.

Sunday 25 February 2007

Lazy Sunday afternoon in the Studio.

Sunday, sunday here again... Just arrived to the Studio where I work. Only Hedvig here today. Myself I ought to get to work straight away. Have a tight deadline as always...
Anyway, some of you might be interested in knowing that I share a studio with ten other artists/writers in central Malmö, Sweden. We all have very different styles. Manga, alternative, funny animal, horror, romance... You find it all here!
I'll be writing more about the studio soon, but for now you'll have to do with some photos.

My drawingboard. I like to surround myself with stuff/artwork that inspires me.

As you can see we all sit in small cubicles, donated by Egmont when they moved office.

Hedvig mopping up after slobs like me. (Actually it's her cleaning week.)

Hedvig just reminded me that I said that I wouldn't blog, but only use this as a showcase for my artwork. Well, well...
BTW: Click on the Seriestudion link to the right under "Other stuff you'll like" if you want to see some of the studio members homepages.
Now I really have to work...

Saturday 24 February 2007

Gustaf Tenggren

Do you read Swedish comics books aimed at children aged 3-9 years old? No? You don't know what you are missing!
The new issue of Bamses äventyr (#7) is out now and features a beautiful Gustaf Tenggren painting from the early 20's on the backcover. Titled "The Dreamer" and possibly previously unpublished! On the inside you get more of his art. The printing on the backcover is excellent but the pics inside are unfortunately a bit greyish.
Anyhoo, just look at the photo of "The Dreamer" above. The repro on the backcover is sooo much better.
You know you want it. Go get it!

Friday 23 February 2007

Bert Christman

I've got a confession to make. I've got a sick, weird and twisted hobby! It's called "Collecting original comic art".
Brrr... Makes you feel quite uncomfortable, uh?
Anyhoo, since I'm a rather strange mammal by nature I enjoy it. I get excited when packages filled with long forgotten dailies arrives in the mail. And I feel the adrenaline pulsing in my body those few seconds before an eBay aution ends. Can you think of a better way to spend a few hundred bucks? No, I didn't think so.

Here's what I won yesterday on eBay:

A panel/strip cut in half from "Scorchy Smith" drawn by Bert Christman who followed legendary artist Noel Sickles on the strip in 1936. This one is from, I believe, 1938.
More on Christman can be found here:

Here's a photo of Christman taken from the magazine Alter Ego. Take a close look at the strips on his drawingboard...

And here's the other piece of Christman art I own. Yes, ta-da, it's the very same art as in the photo. Unfortunately cut, but still a beautiful mood piece by this master of light and shadow.

I know of at least one other full, possibly unpublished Scorchy and maybe one or two more.
I can't help wonder what happened to the rest of Christmans Scorchy Smith dailies, and the rest of the two strips I got.
Do you have one or know about one? Please let me know. I just want to know if they are out there somewhere.
That would make me happy. No joke.

Thursday 22 February 2007

The big, big mystery!

The oft asked question is "How do they do it?" Do what? you may ask. Eat cashew nuts with their left hands, as I'm doing right now?
No, no, no.
What most people wants to know these days is: How are comics made? How does the idea for a layout/page/panel in the brain of the artist end up on paper. What's the magic trick? Wich pens should I use? What paper? Wich ink? Sooo many questions, so little time.
Read carefully now, because the big, big mystery is going to be unraveled before your very eyes!

Please allow me to introduce the quick and easy "get rich quick by doing your own cartoons" course in three steps. No need to bother buying expensive Andrew Loomis books or stealing your mothers pocket money to buy Walter T. Foster books any more. You might as well throw your old Famous Artists binders out of the window.
(Or give them to me, me, me... Please?)

First you scribble down a small, small thumbnail sketch of the panel you want to draw. No fancy pens or thick paper. This could be done, and SHOULD, be done on the cheapest material you can find. Just indicate the layout and the poses/placings of the elements in the panel. And remember: Keep it simple. No need to over do it at this stage.

Then make a loose/rough sketch on your artboard.

Then just add a few dashes of ink and ta-da it's finished. As simple as a child could do it.

Now send me your old Loomis books. You know you don't need them any more.

Sweet little dots.

Yes, I made all the dots in the background by hand.
And, yes, I'm a notorious liar.
Now, seriously: Screentones applied by cut and paste on the original art while waiting in line to use the scanner. No digital faking here.
Sitting at your drawingboard with your scalpel, cutting out screentones and applying them to the artboard is just pure therapy for the stressed soul. You should try it instead of seeing a therapist. Just ever so relaxing... Hmm, might as well go cut some just for fun.

Uh, hum?

Two panels (or should I say one panel + a pose I like from another) from a recently finished "Emma & Sara" page.
#148. Been doing this bi-weekly page for more than six years now...
Fun, fun, fun!

Who? Me? Blogging?

So, what's this?
Joakim goes blogging, flogging, blah, blah, blogging?
Nah... Don't think so.
This one's for the artwork I do. Mostly in shapes of panels filled with dubious schtuff. You know, what most people refer to as comics, the 9th art form or sequential art. Anyhoo, without much further ado here it is. Enjoy!