Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Day two: Reference by Matt Sheret
16/11/2011, 11:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

We have a story. We’re in a library, surrounded by stories, so in many respects getting a story was the easy part. Yesterday was spent getting two days of conversation and plotting into a lean, seven-page first draft. Heaven help the spell-checker.

We finished the job this morning, scrambling up to our spot in the library and tapping out the final few captions. As I type, Kristyna’s redrafting her thumbnails, scoping out space we might have for extra panels and marginalia, as well as those moments where I might have crammed a little too much in.

After which comes the hard part. We’re casing the joint for neat reference shots as well as fonts and copywriting styles. Kristyna’s been soaking up some of the building’s unique offerings for an illustrator, while I keep burying my nose old books because they’re just Too Damn Interesting.

If I’m honest, I find some of the referencing process a real challenge. Some of the commercial work I’ve scripted hasn’t required it, the briefs have been too specific, while the more, uh, ’emo’ of my other scripts are a little too solipsistic to require it.

But a project like this – like most comics – demands it. Whether it’s a stack of borrowed and bought texts or a huge folder of photo-references, you need exactly enough immersion in a space to develop a shorthand for how to describe it and how to portray it. And it’s very very hard, while also being very very satisfying.


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[…] the festival’s Artist in Residence, is in production, and the four blog posts I wrote (one, two, three and four) are online to read too. Kristyna’s a fabulous illustrator, and it’s […]

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