Here are some of the many post-its I drew for the Foxing Quarterly event. If they arrive on time you can see them at the Fantagraphics Bookstore on Wednesday, February 26. Ink, water, brush, nib, finger (yes, meown).
Reprimanding groupmese/going back to trashy line style for bits of YZ5.
And no, I don’t think there’s enough hands on foreheads in this world.
Here’s a commission for Dustin Harbin, who asked for something Russian. I didn’t feel like drawing bears, booze and homophobia, so I did a thing inspired by Petersburg, the highly demented modernist novel by Andrei Bely that has passages like this:
"The factory hooter wasn’t hooting, the wind was absent; and speechless was the dog." (quick crap translation by yours truly)
Of all the Russian books I’ve read this one most thoroughly seems to capture the Russianness of Russia, its language, patterns and colors while moving the story in the most fantastically hysterical fashion. As far as I’ve heard it’s actually more accessible in English, though I can’t imagine how its wordplay and rhythm can be translated.
I also drew 10-15 other commissions (sending next week), but I can’t be bothered to scan them. Good night.
versusetc asked you:
Hey Roman, your work is beautiful, love what you do. I’m wondering, do you have suggestions in how to make comics that don’t rely on line so much as shape and color, like your recent piece for NYT?
I think color separation is the best way to force yourself out of line-centered thinking. I still make linear sketches, although my drawings are getting increasingly loose and trashy on porpoise. When I do things on paper, I usually ink the layers without any registration reference so there’s an element of chaos introduced after I scan the bits and pieces. Afterwards, I often forget which one goes where, so I end up playing with shapes that don’t necessarily work together. I feel, however, that all of it is still a development of the same general approach, so it would be nice to break off completely and try composing a color-separated picture without any preliminary sketches.
As for shape and color in general, regardless of the execution I think it’s good to keep reducing everything as far as it can go. I guess it’s all part of the permanent editing process: the fewer things you use, the more weight each one of them has. You know when you can’t tell if it’s a cat cleaning itself or a plastic bag swaying in the distance and your mind starts building connections that you wouldn’t have if the cat/bag were closer—I’m going for something like that (at least in my personal work), a mix of exactitude and abstraction.
I talked to Dan Berry of Make It Then Tell Everybody about my dwording process, effortlessness, self-sabotage and other things.
Also, the Thinking Captions readingsesh is up, my bit is around 20 minutes in when the audience goes wild with indifference.
I think I said in the interview that I redraw everything a hundred times to make it look effortless, but I now realize that’s not quite true and I probably blurted it out because the particular project I was working on at that moment did involve a lot of that. Now that I looked through my drawings folder, almost all the recent pieces were done straightaway without any versions & revisions, so I don’t know why I said that… Sorry.
Speaking of embracing mistakes, the image above was composed out of some idle doodles I did while working on something else; when I scanned it I realized that the drawings from the other side of the page (yes, I’m very cheap) got in as well, so instead of leveling them out I decided to keep them in their crappiness. I didn’t end up with an attractive illustration, but I had fun putting it together, which is much more important to me at this point.
PS. The moon is from a CB2 catalogue of some plates and things.
We’ll be in the center of the main room with a ton of ‘proper’ zines and comics, so do come by!
Also, I did a short interview about my process and influences. I’ll be talking about my favorite authors, constraints, repetition and other things on Sunday at noon, that should be terribly exciting.
itsspelledjon asked you:
Are you table-ing at SPX or are you just going to be there? I didn’t see your name on the exhibitors list is all.
I won’t be -ing, but Box Brown will have my Retrofit comic for sale at his table, as well as a couple of my Yellow Zines if I ask nicely. I’ll be walking around looking miserable, so you should have no trouble recognizing me.
To the three people who wrote to inform me that Canadian is not a language: please tell me more.
A few trashy drawings from my recent travels to Candada & NY and some of the exciting things that happened:
I got to see Charmaine’s tattoo of my doodle next to a Mukai & a Deforge.
Sold out of all Yellow Zines & other comics at TCAF. Thanks to everyone who bought my stuff! I’ll put up remaining copies for sale online once I’m done with kickstarter rewards.
I got to sit next to the amazing Sam Hiti and watch him draw almost non-stop. The man is a master.
Met lots of lovely people. Heart melted.
Some other things happened, but I should get back to work. Thanks for everything, everyone, everywhere!