Here are the steps I go through for each page of the ‘Smile of the Absent Cat’ story:
- Break the page down into the panels described in the script and place the word balloons.
- Do a rough pencil layout of characters, action and location.
- Tight pencil
- Re-position word balloons.
Then lather, rinse, repeat as necessary:
…I’m not quite ready for the 21st century just yet.
We still just use our phone as a —you know— a phone.
The only internet access we have is a Rogers ‘Rocket Stick’ (if you use more than 12 gig a month, the costs ‘rocket’ and they ‘stick’ you with the bill).
So no YouTube or Netflix, we don’t have cable or satellite.
Our primary source of heat is still the wood stove and we still live out in the country where we regularly have power outages and frequently have no running water…
…I have a new Wacom Cintiq 13HD drawing tablet:
I had decided —for reasons too numerous and boring to go into here— that I would colour the ‘Absent Cat’ pages on the computer and that things would go much faster if I used the right equipment.
So far, so good, I think.
…it’s like trying to herd cats.
I am—ever so slowly—getting there.
I’ve got the next eight pages penciled and almost the first six inked:
The bright dots on the pages are from our little mirror ball hanging in the window:
Around here it’s known as ‘Sparkle Time’.
… it FEELS like November…
…still trying to get chapter 3 of ‘Absent Cat’ done…
…all of my pencils are this long.
I’m saving up for a new one.
(click above to go to their site)
Heavy Metal #286 – with the next installment of ‘The Smile of the Absent Cat’ – will be in shops May 17th
(with usual – yet, to me, inexplicable – variant covers)
Diamond order code FEB171717
I’ve been hard at work trying to get the next eight pages of
Grant Morrison’s ‘Smile of the Absent Cat’ story done before the end of the month.
Here’s a sketch I did that kinda cracked me up:
We’ve been staying at a friend’s place looking after their–what else?–cats.
I’ve taken over their dining room and have been busy sketching chapter two of
Grant Morrison’s story, ‘The Dream of the Absent Cat’.
Now… I just have to piece these into an eight page layout with the lettering.
And draw it all full size, ink and colour it.
It’s a slow process… then I’ll have only 32 more pages to go.
I got me a copy of Heavy Metal #283
from my local comic shop: Retro Rocket Comics (thanks again, Chris!).
Not sure when—or even if—I’ll get my contributor copies and I was very curious to see how it printed.
Not too bad!
You know… if someone had told my teen-aged self that I’d be published in Heavy Metal someday, I’d have freaked out. If they then told me it wouldn’t be until I was 57, I’d have been dubious. And if they then said that it’ll be a story about anthropomorphic cats, I’d have had a good laugh and gone back to drawing my dragons and spaceships; the stuff that’s SUPPOSED to be in Heavy Metal.
This story, ‘The Smile of the Absent Cat’, is Grant Morrison’s 25-years-in-the-making heart-felt tribute to mad cat artist Louis Wain.
The complete story will be released as a 48-page hard-back volume some time after I get the rest of the script.
From cats to dogs…
…Sun Dogs, that is.
As seen the other day from the field next to our tree-house.
The colours out back of Pride Stables during our fall session:
The colourful sprinkles on Shelley’s birthday doughnut:
The sketch covers I did for Charles:
The issue of Heavy Metal magazine with my art for ‘The Smile of the Absent Cat’ story should be on the shelves.
Now I just have to find me one of those shelves.
My first eight pages of Grant Morrison’s ‘Smile of the Absent Cat’ will be in issue 283 of Heavy Metal Magazine.
On the stands October 26 or for pre-order here.
Here’s a look at the pencils/computer mock-up/inks/colour
for one of the pages:
I hope people like it.