Friday, November 16, 2007


259 to go!

Ah, the Crazy Stevens. We hardly knew ye. One night of pencils, lettering and borders. One night of inks. 16 freakin' panels all up in your. It's certainly no worse than my worst pages before. That one panel is a little whacker than I'd like, but it just points to a deficiancy I've long had.

One of the things that facilitated this page was the pencil. An H with the tip flattened ahead of time. It gave me the hard and thick. An unbeatable combination. Or is that a very beatable combination? Damn you, metaphor!

Also helping was the ink looseness for kinetics. I'm particualrly fond of Steven's right shoulder (our left) in the far-right panel of the second tier. That was a sweet mark.

Inspirations have to go over to Osamu Tezuka and Matt Kindt for this. MW and Super Spy are the books in the mind right now, and I could see both their ghosts screaming speed and quality in my face. Half of one and 6 of the other right.

Of course, Matt Kindt is very much alive, but you know that dude's got his very own ghost already.

And, for the record, MW might be a minor Tezuka work, but I think it was really just a few hundred pages short of Ode to Kirihito. If that makes any sense? And it definitely felt less like I was being punished for reading it than the first volume of Buddha did (maybe that wasn't the best book to start with). My biggest problem was with the ending. Why on Earth did the cop think his plan would work? Was he reading the story?

And the first question I've got for Tezuka is, "What do you have against upwardly mobile young men in glasses?" The second is, "What's with the Catholicism?" The third is, "How do you rape someone into loving you?"

With MW in particular, I want to know how I can get that cop's hair. Man, Japan must've gone nuts when Brian May stepped on their shores.

In some strange way, that sort of reminds me of my second biggest problem with the book. Getting that balance of two people struggling over a worldwide conspiracy/threat is a tough thing to do. I'm not entirely sure even Hitchcock managed to do it. I'm thinking North By Northwest, here. The threat just never felt big enough for me. Even if the MW was just a macguffin, then the personal story never felt like the stakes were quite right. I liked Yuki and could identify with him, but I never felt worried about him like in that scene in Strangers on a Train when he's trying to reach through the sewer grate. And I had no idea what to make of Garai. It's hard to say just what he was trying to do, even though he repeats it constantly: Save Yuki's soul. But how?

Still, all the depravity and dog-drawings and female impersonation and deception and brief cosmic sex scenes and brilliant schemes laid out by Yuki and clear (if never transcendant) linework and murder murder murder keep the damn thing moving so fast that I didn't have any problems until the last act.


Blogger Kenneth Belasco said...

First part is excellent, damn near perfect! But the third panel on the second half kind of throws me off.
The woman's (I haven't figured out the names) neck and face amake it look like a scene from the hunger. You know where when Catherine Deneuve drains your blood your neck grows. The only reason I have a problem with it is because the rest of the page is so fuckin' good!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

I agree. That's the panel that sucks. I need to do some studies of thrown back heads. It's my one weakness... of many! Then I'll redo it.

I swear, her head got smaller and smaller and her neck got longer and longer and the whole thing got more and more warped the more I tried to fix it.

And don't worry about the names. She doesn't have one yet. I'm going back and forth between naming her after who she's modeled after and naming her something different like I did with the others.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Marcos Perez said...

yes! go quick.

hows the white working out for u?

i find im more carefree knowing ive got white with a brush rather than whiteout sponges or pens.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

White is working out nice! It's like having a gun at a knife fight. I actually use it less, but knowing it's there frees me for some crazy Michael Jackson shit.

But the flattened hard lead kept me further away from worrying about the details and tought me how to love the line and form again.

I call my pencil Robin Willaims.

1:53 AM  

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