Monday, 14 October 2013

Bone Idol (Or Why Artists Are All Sorcerers)

Working with artists is a consistently baffling experience for me. Here's a step-by-step example of a page from The Company of Killers artist, Pete Mason, in which he patiently walks me through his process. I imagine he intended it to be accessible to the life-long non-artist, demonstrating that the visual construction of a comics page is bound by rules and principles that can be grasped, learned and mastered:



When people ask me, as they occasionally do, why I write comics rather than novels, I tell them that there's still real mystery involved in the process for me. The script you turn out is only the skeleton of the story, and when you send it to the artist there's a process of interpretation going on that's (and I know I've said this before) as close to real magic as anything I can imagine. A workable definition for magic, in this context, might be the sensation provoked by the discrepancy between a perceived or expected state of affairs and their actual state, owing to obfuscation of the intermediary process. Pete's page here is a great example of that magic, because here's what I see when I try to interpret his sequence above:

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