Doom With A View 2

Oops, we had a slight misfire with the automatic posting, so this week’s page is a couple of hours late. Or maybe I’m messing up the dates and I’m publishing it early. Anyway.

I think experimenting in Manga Studio changes the way I work. The finished art looks much more fluent than I could ever do with an actual brush, and allows me to push myself even further. Or, as Eric @inkybat Orchard put it on Twitter:

@haverholm @empire_of_dust I was actually thinking your Manga Studio stuff looked almost retro, Allan. Sinot/Kirby lines.
@Inkybat
eric orchard

The story is just getting started, but let me know how I’m doing —in the comments below or on Twitter.

Doom With A View 1

Nerve-wrecking, eh? A man walking his dog at night while queueing on the phone? Don’t worry, things will pick up.

This is Doom With A View, a new weekly-updated comic premiering today. Plot by Januz Andersen, but any and all fuckups are mine.

For this comic I’m playing around with Manga Studio, an all-in-one comic creation package. The page above is my first finished artwork using MS, so be gentle with me!

This is THE END!

I was glancing through Christopher Webster’s “Malus” yesterday, and as always I was struck by the frenetic storytelling and linework. Another thing about Webster’s work is the way he uses almost iconographic symbols,  like a single cartoon star, as a shorthand to decompress the narrative. That gave me an idea for the short comic that follows, called “The End”:

It’s all drawn directly with felt tip pen in my sketchbook. No pencil roughs, no whiteouts or digital edits. Apologies for shaky lines and dodgy execution, it was a matter of  getting the thing down before the idea vapourised.

Basically, I wanted to tell a story of the world coming to an end in as few beats as possible, while maintaining a double narrative. Let me know in the comments if it’s too dense :)

Current Affairs

Since my regular feature, the daily sketches, have been on hiatus for a couple of days, I thought I'd keep you guys updated on my recent goings-on. In less than a month, Ill be starting my working sabbatical, during which the dirty work on Astoria will be done. I am trying to get my stuff at Gimle Studio packed and put into storage while I'm away at Serieskolan (the Malmö Comic School), where I'll be hanging my hat for the next year or so.

I have prepared a little something for the 50th issue of Danish monthly soon-to-be quarterly Free Comics, and that will likely be my last recess before I've finished Astoria. Sketches of the FC50-short may be up soon, or not. Depends, whether I'll have time to scan them.

The kids are vacationing with their grandparents for the next week and a ½, and I try to make the best of the extra time that affords me, work-wise and off duty. I get a lot of reading done, and I think I've reached the bottom of my accumulated comic pile. Finished Kirby's Kamandi recently (a patchy collection of the original magazines, but all goodness), and will soon be digging into a 1875 book by Kersey Graves, entitled "The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours" that I found on Sacred-Texts.com. That is research for "Passion" that will be a (brainier) part of Astoria. In short, it treads the same path as Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a 1000 Faces", only focusing on the common traits of, well, sixteen different deities that have suffered on crosses, poles, trees, etc in a rite of transcendence.

Further Astoria research, specifically, for the segment "Great Old Ones", was my attempt to read Edward Tufte's "Envisioning Information", which slowed to a halt after a frustratingly chatty first chapter. Tufte is a widely learned gentleman, to be sure, and his writing (in "Envisioning…") is anecdotical, starting way off center, probably to narrow in on the subject at hand. In my case, looking for hard fact, instruction, and guidance, that method was a bit of a turnoff and ultimately left the book collecting dust on a shelf. I figure his "" may be the actual motherlode that I'll turn to eventually.

For recreation, I am reading the first book of the Danish "Erotikens Historie" by Brusendorff and Henningsen. I'd translate the title, but it hardly seems necessary; it means exactly what you think it does. This short volume tackles eroticism in ancient Greece and Rome, as handed down in prose, poetry, and art, delivered through the culturally (and sexually) liberated intellectual circles of Europe in the 30ies (1st edition) and 60ies (2nd ed.). A little reminder that the current, Puritan era has only lasted for a couple hundred years; before that, sexual 'politics' were not only less restrained, but also wholly different from what is generally accepted today.

And the music, not to be ignored! Lately, I have been listening A LOT to "The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull" by Earth, who inspired the mighty SunnO))) as wellas a dirge of less inspired drone/doom-bands. On this and previous album, "HEX (or Printing in the Infernal Method)", the band have taken on a much "cleaner", more melodic sound, painting a prairie of resounding experience with their instrumental compositions. Quietly, calmly psychedelic, like eating sweet peaches in the sun.

Also playing are Gallhammer, the evilest little Japanese girls I have yet to hear, and Black Dahlia Murder, who just kick ass, and don't mince words about it.

That's it for now – I'll get some sketches up again once I've accustomed myself to being temporarily without children ;)