How I Art Direct A Graphic Novel: Cooking the Onion

This is the second stage following the Onion Method: An Outlining Method for Graphic Novels. You got the onion...now how are you going to present it? This post will talk you through how I craft the art direction of a graphic novel... weaving the thematic and character motivations established earlier in the outline into its final, ultimate mode of language: the visuals.

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Digital Island Artdump Week 3

The unofficial start of the residency (at home).

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I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks

I am reading The Penguin Book of Prose Poems, an anthology of... well, prose poems. A nicely-sized paperback made out of stacks of typical cheap FSC paper. But my goodness, the book smells good. Almost vanilla-ish, earthy, subtle. And I think, man I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks.

Comics smell like ink: heavy, pungent. Like glue in effect. I'd know – the Carpet Merchant came out as a dense giant sandwich of CMYK; nearly every page is covered from corner to corner. Apparently people enjoy that smell. It's the first thing they would comment on, before they talk about the art or the story. I like watching people plunge their face into my book. It's funny, but sweet.

Unfortunately I don't like that smell very much. It's not my thing. I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks. I want vanilla. I want the smell that comes with yellowing pages. I want comics to compliment the atmospheric scent of my studio-bedroom, which is also a library. I want comics to smell like a dusty library. I don't know. I have memories of reading that's incongruous to the materials my books are printed with. My entire history is cheap FSC paper and brittle ancient sweet stock. But comics are a different medium, and until they make ink that smells like prose paperbacks (though if we had a choice, I'd prefer peach or brown sugar), comics will have to smell like comics.

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Capturing a Portrait

A year in... and I think I've got him. Disclaimer: I won't deny it. Alexander is impossible to get an accurate picture of. His personhood is made out of sand and everyone brings their own bottles to shape him into. I don't think my jar of sand is the One True Alexander, nor will it ever be. But the good news is, all the other jars aren't that either. The nature of his (after)life is elusive. That's what it is. But I think I've gotten a hold of him. I mean this in an authorly, character-study sense. I think I've found something interesting. (more…)
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The 21st century Alexander Romance and Transformative Fiction (aka is it fanfic?)

Most Alexander-the-Great-inspired fiction is arguably a fanfic of the man himself. This includes that 2000 year old tradition called the Alexander Romance, which is basically (simplistically) an isekai alternate universe history of the Macedonian hero going on wacky adventures, retold over and over again by writers and artists who admire his achievements. But what happens... when the author of the 21st century Alexander Romance is not herself a fan of Alexander?

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Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.

She creates the webcomics The World in Deeper Inspection, and The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya; the latter of which is the first Malaysian graphic novel to be Eisner-nominated.

Currently writing and drawing a whole bunch of stuff. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

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If you’re not already familiar with @reimenayee’s work then her debut graphic novel, SΓ©ance Tea Party, is a perfect place to start. It’s a heartwarming love letter to childhood told through the eyes of a girl who’s afraid to grow up & the ghost of a girl who never will.

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