Sunday, December 23, 2007

Page 10, Inked

Getting through the end of the semester is never easy, but I always try to submit my grades on the same day that I give my last exam, so I can get back into the other things I always have to neglect at the end of the term. (For example, there's the MLA paper on Chris Ware and "the grammar of diagrams" that I'm delivering on Thursday; I still need to write that.)

But now that I've had a couple of days to recover from the end-of-term grading marathon, I have been able to put a few minutes into redrawing Ipthorin in one panel, then a couple of hours into inking the page. It's not the best cartooning I've ever done, but it is finished (I think), which is what matters.

Please, I beg of you, click on this image to see how our story ends.

I invite you to notice that I have not merely satisfied Jesse's remaining two constraints—as long as you count the middle of the second tier as a panel, it's the third silent panel in a row; the third panel on that row is mostly swiped from Jesse's recent and awesome Bluefuzz minicomic. Not merely, indeed, for I have also chosen two constraints from each of the preceding four sets of constraints and nodded to these in individual panels: the Corrigan and the Reverse Corrigan; the shop-sign and the Passion of Joan of Arc; the Ditko and the Segar (also a little nod to the J. Chris Campbell in the transition to the last panel); a borderless panel and a reference to Duchamp; even (why not) a panel of pure silhouette. You can see signs of me planning this stunt on one of the thumbnail pages I posted back in November. I'm surprised no one commented on that.

We're planning to leave the whole story up on the website for a little bit longer, but we'll pull most of it down when we start coloring the pages and printing them as postcards. When that happens, you'll have the option to buy a copy of the story, either all at once in a single envelope, or serialized to you (or the recipient of your choice) in the mail one page per week.

Meanwhile, please enjoy it in black and white for free, while it's here. I encourage you to use the comments section to discuss overarching themes in the story. For example: what view does this story take of potentiality and the realization of a single potential? What does that imply about the authors' apparent unwillingness to "grow up"?


Mike said...


Congratulations on finishing the semester and finishing the page, Isaac! The second tier is probably my favorite visually--lots of fun stuff going on there--but I also really enjoy the sense of space you've created in the bottom two tiers. And Ipthorin's nicely saurian in the redesigned panel.

I know our work is not yet done, but I hope you have found or will find an appropriate way to celebrate the completion of the inked pages before you go on to other tasks.

Anonymous said...

Now that I've had the time and have read the entire story it really isn't the end of the story so much as the end of chapter one.

One question: On the second page, when Arntham is getting attacked, Arntham yells out Kalbi's name. Was that just because he was being attacked and didn't know where Kalbi was or is there something else?

Isaac said...

I think the explanation we settled on was that Arntham was calling out for help. Kalbi doesn't look like he'd be much good against an armed shadow-creature, but he handles himself pretty well on p. 7.

Believe me, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what had happened on the first two or three pages (and why). For a while, we were considering the possibility that Kalbi had betrayed Arntham. We also considered the possibility that the shadow-people were phobic about Kalbi for some reason, and that Arntham kept Kalbi around to ward them off.

Mike said...

Briefly: I think the final best reading of Arntham's calling out for Kalbi is a request for help, but that we kind of enjoy the momentary suspense of not knowing what's being yelled or why. It kept us guessing for quite a while, and we're not above a little cheap withholding of information if it makes things more mysterious in the early pages.

Isaac said...

"Withholding of information" is one way to put it, but doesn't that imply that we knew what was going on when we drew those pages?

Ben Towle said...

Guys: Congrats on wrapping up this ambitious project! I can't wait to see it in print form. I've been following it online, but I'm one a' them old-timey book-readin' types and am looking forward to hopefully picking it up in Elfworld. -B.