Transplant is posted at webcomicsnation so go read it here.
This page was meant to be the page before my story, in Amanda's proposed but never published Apologue book, you can find more links to her art, thoughts on the book and ways to contact her at her deviant art page here. About a year ago, aaprox. sept. 2007, She held a fan art competition I asked if i could do a fan comic, came up with this and then she asked me to make this page to explain it, just read it. Below is a paper I wrote for Bob's class explaining some of my thoughts further, but with the prospect of its publication looking gloomier every month I have decided to publish what I had previously and curiously kept under wraps.
Fan Comics: creating comics inspired by other comics.
By Zach Bassett
Knowing that my story would encompass multiple locations meant that I would need to detail backgrounds and base my story in a more solid reality and physical world that Mythchan’s surrealistic watercolor dreamscape. However I also knew I was going to need to fit seven to ten panels to a page in order to tell my story, in the five page limit set by the competition. Though I did change my style a bit to fit with that of her manga inspired characters, I had to follow, be inspired by and essentially transplant Sleepsong in tone, subject matter, and theme more than I would be able to visually.
At the time I was approached about the fan art contest I was reading A Foregone Tomorrow and The Counterfifth Detective from Virtigo’s 100 Bullets series, featuring art by Eduardo Risso. As I skimmed through it visually, I noticed the amazing number of panels he was fitting on the page and knew he would be a perfect artist to look at for my own similarly panel heavy story.
A few days earlier a friend had seen my pencils for Transplant and told me it reminded him of an artist named Stuart Immonen. So I went to his website and found one of his blogs particularly pertinent. After briefly discussing how comics rely on deadline he hit went to the figures, saying that the average comic page has anywhere from four to seven panels, and the average superhero comic book has something like 90 different drawings in a 22 page story. In 100 bullets there was an average of nine panels per page, and you wouldn’t even need all your fingers to count the number of pages containing six panels or less. Needless to say Risso did quit a bit more than 90 panels a book. Risso’s style is not necessarily simplified per say, but does rely heavily on lighting to and separate foreground and background.
I probably should have taken note of his figure shading though, I left my characters shadowless in almost every panel and relied more on line weight to separate them from their backgrounds. Speaking of backgrounds, the stylized noir-like backgrounds and lighting of Risso’s 100 bullets and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween gave me great ideas for simplified environments.
All in all, Transplant, while heavily influenced by Mythchan’s Sleepsong, Transplant turned out to be quite a different animal than I thought it would be. But thanks to some inspiration from Tim Sale and Eisner Award winning artist Eduardo Risso I was able to make Transplant into an easily readable story, despite it’s dense number of panels. For a more intricate look into the inspiration for Transplant as well as Mythchan’s original story, Sleepsong, checkout her self published Applogue.
I did the story, pencils and inks over a weekend on top of other homework, these were my thumbnails, pencils, inks and rough dialog, i scanned them before trashing them.