Sunday, April 4, 2010

ZX page 41: pillars of doubt



I opted to use a different vantage because I didn't want to do the usual Marathon dam shot. I used this photograph for reference. It kind of looks wonky architecturally in the comic but so it does in the reference too, perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to use unreal-looking reference but it did suit my purposes on a few higher levels. One is that is gives the page a nice overall construction, panel segments slotted into natural divisors. The other is that I wanted to place the monologue of Stephan on top of the pillar that supports the bridge because his doubts are shaking up the foundation of the relationship between the two of them. The black/white contrast between them in the establishing shot is a further indication of distance, of the here and the beyond. I don't expect anyone reader to read my comic and go "oh, the doubts are over the foundation of their relationship, nice!" because I think these things work best - and are most worth it - when they leave a subconscious mark. I only mention such here because I know that some readers enjoy post-analysis of an the art as a separate joy to actually reading the comic.

Marathon's already looking better, by the way. I mean after we burned it down last summer. My friend Vasilis showed up out of the blue and gave me a ride over there, it was a very pleasant afternoon. I dreaded going back because of the summer fires but it seems the green is back at least. The trees will take a while. Possible dam walkers are invited back, I guess. I wonder if we'll burn it again this summer.

Next couple of pages end this story. I'll try to post them both at the same time (if not on next Monday then certainly a couple of days later) so as to not diminish the impact of the finale. Then it's revisions on the art and a cover left to do. I'm not looking forward to trying to shop this around but in the same time, I am, if that makes sense. The comic certainly feels as if it's over already for me even though I haven't drawn the next two pages. It's over in my brain and in my heart. Drawing the last bits and then fixing the badly drawn bits before them is just routine housekeeping now. What's strange (strange? perhaps not so much) is that it has brought some psychological issues on the surface it seems I have to tackle directly soon. I guess it's a good thing if your art surprises you, right?

-Helm

13 comments:

Conceit Arturo said...

ooof...that looks like something I've felt way too many times. Love the effect of the ghastly ZX, it works in B&W in a way I couldnt really see working in color or just about any other way

Helm said...

Thanks!

meastupid said...

i love the dialogue here.
skeletal.
less is more, you know.

really good work!

Helm said...

Thank you mea(t?)stupid. Commentator from lhp blog?

James said...

Heartbreaking. Everything here is spot on, the dialogue, the timing, the evocative cross hatching. I've struggled with loss and these same ideas occupied my thoughts for many years.

Helm said...

James, thank you for your post. Please, when the comic is done (very soon) let me know if it goes beyond just acting as a the remembrance of your own loss, if it contributes positively even in the littlest bit.

Markus Rosse said...

It's interesting to see how you used the geometry and composition in the establishing shot for storytelling. To me, it looks like ZX is more prominent than Stephan, even if he has less contrast. It feels like something is missing - like a memory when both Zachary and Stephan were standing there, but now he is no more.
Stephan looks much older in these closeups, which I find absolutely believable. I have observed that phenomenon too and it gives the scene so much more depth. I think that is one strength of the comic medium. A movie for example would have immens problems to convey that feeling unless you would have an extremely capable actor. Great job.

Helm said...

Thank you. About older, yeah, especially since the last few appearances in past pages were of Young Stephan in the flashback.

meastupid said...

helm

yah that's me(atstupid)

also the fellow who asked you about greek metal/politics on illogical contraption globblog.

Helm said...

Oh, I see. Thank you for reading :)

Markus Rosse said...

Hmm, I see. Yes, the flashbacks do influence my perception of him. But it's not so much how he looks (the way you drew him (e.g. rougher)), it's more his acting. He seems more tired and meditative. A behaviour which he doesn't show to this extend in the past or future (past chapters). ZX seemd to help him to get out of his misere - but to what price?
Looking forward to the final pages.

Helm said...

Yes, yes. You have grasped the main themes of this comic completely. I am proud for it because it means the comic communicates, but I am also thankful for your courtesy.

Markus Rosse said...

Thank you, Helm, it's a pleasure to take part of your voyage.