Tuesday, January 15, 2013

365 Comics...15: Inkybook Vol.1 (2013)

I`ve pretty much given up hope that I`ll ever get back to prime drawing form.  I was never incredible, but there was a time there, in my late teens, and even in my early 20`s, where I could produce some solid illustrations.  My prime frustration was not hand eye coordination but a lack of visualization.  My brain is not a space for details, which makes illustration difficult, unless you learn how to cope with that weakness.  Trying to draw today, I see that I can still put an illustration together that isn`t terrible, but it`s not good either.  I need practice, but more than that I need time, of which I have little, and what free time I do have, I, like many others, spend it consuming.  I should be creating, but that requires effort.

Eric Orchard I had a brief interaction at a local comic convention a few years back (approximately this far back, in fact) when he was looking to sell some mini-comics in the storefront of the retailer I was working the booth for.  I gobbled up those mini-comics from him because they're effing gorgeous and I started following his blog on my blogger feed (unfortunately I don't check my blogger feed all that often, and only recently fixed into G+ which reminds me I have to add him).  His work continues to impress, I love his style, the texture to his characters and pages are so facinating to me.  

Since I have a terrible sense of colour, I almost always worked in black and white.  I have a strong appreciation for comics people who can do colour (I particularly love monochromes and duochromes) and do it well, but I have an even stronger appreciation for people who can work in black and white and make it so the absence of colour is essential.  Sean Murphy's Punk Rock Jesus proved to be one of those things.  Eric Orchard equally amazes me with his black and white illustrations (he's good in colour too, but his b&w stuff is most stunning to me).

Inkybook Volume 1 is the first digital collection of homeless material from abandoned (or at the very least shelved) projects that Orchard has amassed.  This includes the first 10 or so pages of pencils from his (unfortunately shelved) project Suburban Witch Detective Agency, which is interesting to see how much detail is included in his illustrations prior to inking (pretty much all of it), as well as a few pages of his abandoned project with Ben Towle called "Alphabeasts", an alphabet book featuring a beast for each letter.  That both of these projects look so amazing and are, at this point, castaways, one comes to understand, if only minutely, how much of an artist's portfolio doesn't make it for public consumption.

It's an art comic, rather than storybook, but no less interesting to look at and pour over Orchard's craftsmanship.  (It's available from ericorchard.blogspot.ca as, I just learned, is another project of his, Marrowbones issue 1 and 2, which you can bet you'll hear about here soon enough.

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