Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to Asides-Bsides!

Hello. I am Helm. I am 24 years old, from Greece. Here's a picture of me I enjoy:

This blog will be about comics I have made in the last 3 years or so eventually leading up to what I am doing currently. I do my comics in Greek predominantly, so this blog will be for those that Johnny, a wonderful Polish friend of mine has graciously decided to typographically edit into English. There's a lot of backlog to go through so hopefully updates will be coming once a week or so.

Besides that, there will be occasional posts of comic art, storytelling or drawing theory though that's all up to how much free time I have and what the response is going to be. I also wouldn't hold it below me to occasionally post doodles and so on though that really won't be the focus of this blog at all and if it ever seems to become so do notify me and I shall get on with due flagellation. Naturally all comic page posts will handily be tagged 'comics' so you may be able to browse all the pages later on without any of our babbling.

A few words on the comics you'll be seeing posted here for a while to come now. They will almost exclusively be single-pager, many-panel comics that I did as a pay gig for a greek newspaper for a period of 9 months or so, a couple of years back. The theme of these comics on the strength of which was hired (I will make a more informative post about this later on) was 'humorous, odd stories about people and their obsessions, one person a week'. As you will gradually see - for I plan to post these chronologically - I strayed from that theme... significantly, over time, until my being let go. I am finally currently working on doing a Greek collected edition (called "Ektos Thematos", which is greek for what an essay examiner would write in bright red on top of your paper if you strayed off subject) so I decided it would be worth it to translate them into English for a wider audience while I'm at it. Well, that's not exactly truth there. It's more accurate to say that I was hesitant to do both the collected edition and the English versions for a couple of years because I wasn't sure there'd be an audience for it, but after much goading and convincing by friends, the process is now underway. Johnny is being super-helpful with this because though I can fairly easily translate my work into English, actually going in and re-fonting everything is a huge chore for me as I've spent many hours perfecting these comics and stips and don't really want to bother with them anymore! Plus, I suck at computer fonts and using them well for comics, but Johnny doesn't!

We've translated about 15 of the 40 or so pieces of the collection before we started setting up the blog. When that's all done we will post a handy cbr version collecting all of them, and naturally provide means to get the actual (though Greek) physical edition if anyone feels up for it. Hopefully it'll also be out and about by that time. Then if Johnny feels up to it we might do all my odds and ends comics I've done during that period (hence the name of the blog) which vary wildly in format and length. Who knows, the blog might even catch up to my then current comic activities! One can only dream!

That's it for now! Rather naturally by the time anyone stumbles on to this message there'll be a boatload of comics to read above, so feel free to read the archives and let me know what you think in the comments!



Johnny Spade said...

Hello, I am Johnny, 20 yo, living and studying in Poland. Here, I am the guy responsible for setting the English text up to the right places --- some of you would then call me a letterer.

In the original Greek “Ektos Thematos” comics, it is clearly visible that they were all meticulously planned (including the captions placement, of course), so the most important point in my work is not to screw it up and make sure that the altered material is still comparable to the original. Since the previous lettering was all made by the hand of a living Helm, I am trying to give the computer-generated one more human look by breaking the consistency of a font's artificial pattern and, as Helm noticed before, leaving some of the original bits untouched. It's fun! Though it can be seen as a matter of little importance, I would like you to leave some short comments about this aspect, too.

What about the comics themselves, I like how every single piece of the whole collection is approached differently --- I fancy ambitious ways of creating an interesting storyline, characterization and mostly dark atmosphere, which Helm is abundantly using here. This is really something valuable --- you will see what I am talking of later.

Oh, and just in passing --- I'll be leaving comments under the strips, reviving the feelings and memories that struck me while going through them; sometimes adding a few tips about the letterings as well . . . and I encourage you to do the same!

Stay creative,

Larwick said...

Sounds brilliant guys, i'll play close attention. Thanks for putting this stuff online Helm, and Johnny for translating. Graphic novel and comic stuff really interests me atm so this is great.

madart84 said...

many good beginnings to this blog and future book :)

oh! what a cliche that that my kitten is playing mith my mouse cord :P

Helm said...

madart, much thanks.

(psst, guys, madart above is Mike, dear friend of Irish-Cretan descent. We got the job together at the paper at the time. Besides being a stellar comic artist (one of the best Greeks, surely) he also stars in 2 of the comics I did for the paper so you'll be seeing more of him both on and off the comment space!


Johnny Spade said...

haha, nice to meet you, Mike!

madart84 said...


dont worry you'll meet little Shiro soon hehe he only 8 weeks old and ive had him for 2.

@Johnny Spade
Nice to meet you too :D

Sophia said...

Hello! :D Με γεια το blog κλπ κλπ! Καλή ιδέα για τα εκτος θέματος κομικς σου! Πλακα εχει να βλεπω τις ιστοριες και στα αγγλικα! (Αυτή με τον διαγαλαξιακο αποτετοιο την ειχα χασει, σαδεντρεπομαι!) Επισης: Nice lettering! (και ειμαι δυσκολη, ναι?)

Αντε ψήνομαι και για καμια εκδοσούλα!

(Πρεπει ν' αφήνω τα σχολια στα αγγλικα? Δεν ξερω αν θα τα πολυκαταφερνω! ^^)

Helm said...

Θα ήταν προτιμότερο, ναι, είναι ιντερνασιοναλε η φάση :) Σε ευχαριστώ πολύ. Εσυ το βάφτισες αν θυμάσαι το πράμα.

Sorry for the Greek. Returning to the regular program now!

Anonymous said...

I will be definitely watching this new project of yours, Helm. Judging by the initial response, I'm pretty sure it will be successful and hopefully inspire other artists to talk about the creative process as well. Also, hails to Johnny! =)

P.S. My english sucks and you know it (proof, when I originally thought of this particular phrase I had to think twice before writing "sucks" instead of "suck"!).

Helm said...

Hi hs, I'm glad to hear you'll follow the blog. I actually wonder if people are going to be annoyed with me explaining the comics and the circumstances in which they were made or if they're going to go for it and ask for more (for example currently I am not posting doodles and thumbnails for the early comics, though I have this material scanned). The views on this seem to be pretty polarized as far as I've been able to tell: a lot of people really enjoy the look 'behind the scenes' and would like more artists to go into their process and a lot think it spoils the magic to have the artist talk about their art. It speaks on its own or it just doesn't, you know?

I come from a very analytical and critique-heavy background personally and it's only been a boon for my art so I've been promoting art critique for about 7 years on Pixelation and elsewhere. I'll do the same here and see how it goes.

Pablo said...

Hey there Helm! I just found about this blog and am very interested in it already! I'll read through all your other blog entries and hopefully learn something from them and, if lucky and if I have something useful to say, post a few comments.

At the moment I'm working at an art school that partly specialises in comics so I might run across some students or teachers who might want to give this a read too.