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Jan
23
2007

Igor the Cowboy pg. 2

I’ve wrapped up my two page “guest appearance” for the forthcoming sequel to Chris Reilly’s The Trouble With Igor. I’m not sure how successful I’ve been at aping the “bigfoot” cartooning style of the ’20s–in fact, I don’ think I really get a decent bigfoot style drawing of Igor until panel five on page two. One interesting thing, though, about doing this was realizing in a real hands-on way how much the vocabulary of the comics art form came to be influenced by the conventions of Hollywood cinema.

Even at a casual glance, someone with any familiarity with old newspaper comics can tell that this story doesn’t look truly authentic. That’s mainly because the story as written called for–and really required–panel compositions and croppings that would only enter the comics vocabulary later via film. The style I’m immatating–E.C. Segar-ish stuff–was still heavily vaudvillian in most respects and since the artists weren’t thinking in terms of “camera angles” as they so often do today, you almost never saw panel compositions in older comics than didn’t show the entire body.

Interestingly, I also noticed that the “establishing shot” of the General Store which the script called for (in page two, panel one) is something that you don’t see a lot of in older strips, I’m guessing because this visual device doesn’t really have an equivalent in the world of stage, in which characters travel from scene to scene exclusively by means of changes of interior scenery.

On a less analytical note, I also learned that modern Hunts/Speedball inking nibs pretty much blow in comparison to whatever folks must have been using back in the day. I’ve heard some comics folk saying that they’ve switched to using Japanese Nikko G-Pen nibs, claiming that they’re much better made. I’ve added them to my “check it out” list…

Anyway, here’s the completed story. I’m reposting page one since I’ve now reversed panel two in order to do a better job of establishing direction of movement. Now Igor moves right across the page until he reaches his destination (the store) and then returns to the sandbox by moving left across the page, putting him back in the correct panel relationship to the kid when he gets there.

pg_1r.png

igor_2.png

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