Monday, January 24, 2005

Swans instead of rabbits 

Finally, I decided to abandon the Rabbit story that I had in mind for Tango. I was halfway there anyway, but when Jill and the children came got back from Bundalong, she told me about the behaviour of black swans they'd been watching.

What I ended up with is a one pager drawn in a very naturalistic style, but then I think I've always been more of an illustrator than an artist (my ambitions towards entering the Archibald Prize notwithstanding :)). There's not really even any anthropomorphism - with the possible exception of one sideways glance by the male swan - just observed behaviour. What's disturbing is that the behaviour described (and even on video) runs contrary to the accepted wisdom about swans, but then that's the twist!

Maybe I'll put it up here at some stage. I'm not even sure it will get into Tango as I hadn't really warned them that I was serious about doing anything. If not, maybe I could submit it to the Birds Australia magazine, Wingspan, or even literary magazine, Meanjin. I do think comics need to get out a bit more!

My working method was different this time. I wrote the script directly onto a piece of B4 paper, then pencilled, inked and lettered it to completion, which is quite a change from my usual scripting, enlarging, tracing, etc.

I think I can do fairly rough work in a realistic style very easily, so maybe I should think about doing more work this way, both comics and otherwise. My piece for Tonia's Pirate anthology will be similarly "rough," with strong blacks and whites, though it has a fairly romanticised look to it. Again, the ending of the story somehow came from nowhere and has a bit of a twist to it. Sometimes things in both nature and narrative just don't go the way you'd expect.

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