Issue Three, Page Twelve

October 5, 2020 in Issue Three
Issue Three, Page Twelve
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Author Notes:

MattSchofield 26th Sep 2020, 10:59 AM
There's probably more black on this page than any other page so far - except this one from last issue. I've always admired artists that can use shadow and negative space effectively, and lately I've been studying the work of the great Will Eisner. He has described his technique as being influenced by the sparse sets and stark lighting of stage plays. He doesn't draw every detail in a room; rather he will, for instance, draw a window and a door against black - kind of like this. It suggests the room without having to draw all the detail.

It always looked great, so I wanted to try that technique, mainly to add a sense of mystery and foreboding to this new subplot. I have so many ideas for new characters, stories and gags for Steamroller Man that I'm a little worried I'll never get to them all. I haven't really done any subplots before, but it seems like a good way to start sneaking some more characters into the comic, while making the city of Kurtzberg feel a little bigger. These little one-page interludes also help give the feel of the superhero comics of the 1970s (a major influence) and also serve the practical purpose of allowing me to change the scene when the story needs it! More subplot interludes to come!

Overall this page was completed fairly quickly. It took about 7 hours, quite a bit faster than my average of 10 hours per page. I think it was purely a function of having the majority of the panels somewhat lacking in linework - thank you Mr. Eisner!

Panel One was easy, after sketching out the shapes it was really a matter of just drawing lines in perspective.

Panel Two introduces our mysterious new character, the Chairman of Eco-Opt Corporation. I wanted to do a riff on the well-worn cliché of the Shadowy Villain In The High-Backed Chair. I thought it would be funny to make the Man in The Chair have the position of the Chairman of the Board... Man/Chair, Chair-Man... ehh? Get it? Ehhh? This panel was pretty heavily influenced by Frank Miller's work. I couldn't find a particular example to link to, but I when I think of his work I always think of shadow grids cast by window lattice.

Panel Three was easy and fun - recycled an old drawing of Steamroller Man and turned into a halftone image so it would look like a grainy security camera image.

Panel Four - Manga horror artist Junji Ito draws the scariest eyes in comics, in my opinion, so I was definitely trying to emulate his style here, to make the Chairman look scary. The bandages on the arms were an improvisation. To be honest, I don't know yet what he's going to be wearing. I thought bandages would look a bit weird and off-putting, and hopefully somewhat intriguing for the reader. This choice also gives me the option of either keeping them for the eventual reveal, or changing it and having him say "glad I finally got those bandages off!"

Panel Five is probably my least favorite on the page. It didn't quite match the image I had in my head, but it does the job I suppose.

Panel Six is the punchline, and I discovered that, at least for me, a character's facial expression plays a big part in the comedy. Originally I had drawn only the eyes, but I didn't think the expression was reading clearly enough, so I went back in and added some pencil shading to show a wrinkled brow, at least. Looking at it now, it kind of reminds me of the way they would have lit an old black and white movie.

Anyway, I hope you like this page. Thanks to everyone who posts comments! I love reading and responding to them, so please keep them coming!

If you like the comic, spread the word!


WynautWarrior 5th Oct 2020, 9:08 AM
Only a monster would take away Hawaiian Shirt Fridays.
MattSchofield 5th Oct 2020, 9:33 AM
Guest 5th Oct 2020, 9:20 AM
I really should read some Eisner. Which of his works would you recommend?
MattSchofield 5th Oct 2020, 9:40 AM
I like his Spirit stuff the best. There was a nicely priced little collection of some of his Spirit stories that came out a few months ago - this is a good entry point if you've never read any.
daysofsuturepast 5th Oct 2020, 10:32 AM
I love the veins on the hands. It goes great with the creepy vibe
MattSchofield 5th Oct 2020, 2:19 PM
Cool, I'm glad it had that effect on you!
Amazing Chris Godbey 5th Oct 2020, 2:57 PM
Amazing Chris Godbey
"PERMANANT solution" "PRESSING problem" "STEAMroller Man"...I feel like our Evil Chairman's laundry is weighing on his mind.

"Cylindrical Simpleton" would be a great band name.

Those jokes aside, this is another fantastic page, and the punchline got a definite laugh out of me, as usual. Can't wait for the next update, man!
MattSchofield 5th Oct 2020, 3:38 PM
Hahaha, I never made the laundry connection, but I see it now! I'm glad you liked the page!
dougwarner59 5th Oct 2020, 3:14 PM
I liked the old copies of Mad that Will Eisner contributed to. He was my favorite artist in those issues, I liked him even better than wally wood.
MattSchofield 5th Oct 2020, 3:50 PM
I wasn't aware of Eisner contributing to MAD... are you maybe thinking of Will Elder? I am a huge admirer of Will Elder's work, too! GREAT cartoonist!
Robert_V_Frazier 6th Oct 2020, 9:16 AM
I expect Doug was thinking of Will Elder, but yes, Will Eisner did contribute once to Mad Magazine. Issue #287, "Will Eisner's City People Notebook".

Department: Excerpts Mark The Spot
MattSchofield 6th Oct 2020, 2:45 PM
skowog 13th Dec 2020, 11:27 PM
This page almost exudes a creepy soundtrack!
MattSchofield 14th Dec 2020, 11:34 AM
Awesome! I love comments like this because it means I was able to strike the exact mood I was hoping for! Thanks!