Monday, December 18, 2006


Like the rest of the world, I've been enjoying making stops to Paul Pope's blog. I was taking a break from drawing on Saturday and read a post that broke my heart. The post seems to be lost now, so I can pretend I just imagined it. I guess. There should be a Yes song about how imagining a broken heart is worse than owning one. Duece worse than a lonely heart.

Anyway, I was working on pages 7 and 8 and starting to get the back of my head ready for pages 9ups, thinking about revisiting my tiny photo library for set reference. I was still coming off that pride high I felt when I used the previous reference shots. I really felt like I had used them right. Like olde Eddie Campbell in From Hell. You get the stuff you need and discard the shit you don't. And you keep it loose. No one likes the slavish.

Well, Pope's post struck me in the chords. He wrote about using photo reference for things you've never seen (the Taj Mahal was the case that he gave us) and you evoke the atmosphere of everything else from memory. And he included a lovely image of a friend's apartment he evoked for a Spider-Man story. And, boy, did he evoke the shit out of that apartment. What hurt was that Pope wrote about the cartoonist's obligation to not depict the world as it is, but rather as he sees it. Slam. That's the gut shot. That's the shot that hits you where you live. That's the can of worms in the kitchen sink. Kaboodle.

So, here I am, drawing my own neighborhood from photos. Reading his post, it sucked the stomach right out of my bile.

After finishing that day's pages, I went over to Marcos' party and shared my existential dilemna with him amidst the fragrant scent of his studio. I wasn't sure what that smell was, but I realized it was something burning. Turned out to be sage.

Marcos said that what Pope was saying was fine, but you get yourself some reference and you let it collect in your head. Pretty soon, you've got yourself a mental library of so many doorways, window sills and fire hydrants. And drawing these things as they are, puts them a little deeper in your head than just observing them. Godot.

Finished page 11. here's the second panel:

And I can feel that library starting to build. Grab a fence from here, another one from there. This is where the roof is in relation to the top row of windows. This is how wide the sidewalks are. This is how the telephone lines cross. Don't forget the stop signs on the street signs. City.


Blogger Marcos Perez said...

yes increasing the library. is always the goods. my library could use new additions. im beginning to think, rather then photo reference, i need to take i some more life drawing. go to the park, walk around, be in it a bit...

12:27 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

I'm embarassed by how small the library is sometimes. We need to get in it to be it. Libraryhead is all that I want. Except for that other thing. Other things.

1:26 AM  

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