Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I made Johnny attempt this with computer fonts but it didn't work so I went ahead and did the English lettering by hand. Two years after this was made, I am not glad to revisit it, which I suppose was the initial reason I tried to get Johnny to do it.

I don't have anything to say about this, besides perhaps to restate my amazement that such a page could somehow find its way into the 'funny comics' part of a major Greek newspaper. At the time I suppose I had half a mind to quitting and I guess this was my way of pushing it? This is perhaps an important page to note for when we reach the end of the material and you see on what page I was finally let go. An interesting contrast for sure.

In private conversation all through my time with the paper a recurring topic of discussion with Mike was "who reads us anyway, and do they understand us?". I am fascinated perhaps, by what an impression such a page would made in a thoroughly 'untrained' audience, but it's more probable that they looked at it once and skipped it because it didn't immediately make some sort of sense.

This was by far the fastest comic page I have ever drawn for this job (something like 4 hours all things considered) and also by far the hardest.



Johnny Spade said...

Yes! I have both versions in front of me and seriously, you did a great job with the lettering, Helm. It profits by being chaotic, just as the comic does. The fonts, on the other hand, hinder that kind of symbiosis which goes on between the quick, careless graphical style and a forceful character of the narration and word arrangement. The new, polished translation also, goes better with the general flow. I really like it.

Helm said...

I'm sorry for wasting your time on this one, though.

Johnny Spade said...

no harm done, no worries!

pan pan said...

it's very moving.

Helm said...

Thank you.

bel said...

Hi Helm. Just wanted to add a small comment on this. I find it very interesting that the comic makes sense and is "readable" even without the text ( lack of Internet - have to view it on my phone - perspective ) and even though text is an important part of most (all?) of your comics, its design makes the process of reading it feel very natural.

Helm said...

Oh, I'm happy it reads even without the words, in fact hopefully the fairly linear sequence of events pictured helps gel together the exposition which jumps around quite a lot.

It'll always be a surprise to me whenever someone gets something out of this comic.

Thanos said...

This one makes me sad. It feels like a wall.
I guess it works the way it is(hastily drawn and all, a linear course from detailed solid images to lines and blurs and light to abstraction) but I can't be sure it would have the same impact if I wasn't who I am and I didn't know you. I don't know how much of it it would make sense.
You have a number of such comics, this is one of them, and even though they resonate in me, I don't know if they can speak half of what they scream to me to another audience. Maybe this shouldn't matter. I don't know. They are not user-friendly, they have sharp edges and cracks that tend to communicate the impossibility of communication instead of the non communicable in communication. Maybe this comic is not such a perfect example of this(or perhaps it is and I can't see beyond myself :-))but this really bugs me.

Helm said...

Thanos your concerns are the same as mine. Screams to some that know me and whispers to others that don't, if at all, is a good analogy. Your comment is very astute.

But it is fine for something to not deliver on its promise of making sense, of feeling incomplete, of making the random reader think 'I must be missing something'. That feeling is useful, especially in a world where entertainment is shallow and meant for instant gratification. It may not be compeletely without sadistic sentiment, but let the reader worry, and let them ponder on what it could be they will never know. Art is not here to make anything easier on anyone.

Jad said...

No no no no, reading comics is not necessarily about understanding, we all know that, and this has plenty to offer in terms of a strange kind of immersialization (this word surely doesn't exist). The steady progress of the imagery and the steady change from coherent to mad ramblings in the text provide a very emotional experience for me.

Also, the fluctuation when the text and imagery starts to lose their connection come to a very powerful end where everything just ends.

Anyways, the feeling of "I'm missing something" is there, but if you just turn of the desire to "get it", this is one of your more powerful comics IMO.

Oh, also, I really enjoy the way you draw his face. Which probably made it easier for me to immerse myself because I'm very superficial like that.

Helm said...

Hey, Jad. Thank you for your kind words.