Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Influence Of The Studio

The Studio (Dragon Dreams, 1979)
by Berni Wrightson, Jeffrey Jones, Michael Kaluta & Barry Windsor-Smith
DAVE SIM:
(from an interview in UK fanzine FA #115, 1990)
Barry Windsor-Smith for the sense of... everything has to work at a number of levels. When you're doing a story it has to say something that is the story, that's interesting in and of itself; that it has to say something about me, to me, strictly for my benefit; it has to say something about the comics environment that I'm in; it has to say something about the city I live in, about being, like being in Germany at the time of the Roman Empire, being an adjunct to the American Empire; and say something about civilisation, where it is. To Barry, anything that didn't do that was an exercise in futility, or just a display of sheer drawing ability or whatever. That's as pointless to me as it is to him.

Berni Wrightson, for the depth of the page. With Wrightson at his best, you can't maintain in your mind that there is no depth. You can't look at that page and say that it's all drawn on the surface, because it just goes too far into the page. There's black and there's white and there's dark grey in Berni's work, the whole page holds up, the relationship of black and white creates a warm feeling inside you. I'm not as able to do that but if I can maintain that pleasing, warm quality that I'm driving at, it becomes sort-of pleasing and luke-warm, which is still up from where it would be if I wasn't keeping that kind of value in mind.

Jeff Jones, because of his ability to take Hal Foster to the next level. Hal Foster was a definite primary influence at the time of the Idyll strips. But his ability, as opposed to Wrightson who shores up the whole page - there's depth and substance and layers that go in - Jeffrey Jones in his strip work has huge areas of black, huge areas of white and anything that's rendered in detail is in the tiniest, finest line imaginable. To take that feeling and combine it with the pleasing warmth that Wrightson has, and try to filter that as well.

Mike Kaluta for the sheer love of drawing, the sheer love of rendering something, and the fun part, the very human part of drawing, is the Mile Kaluta element. Also the ability to compose what is essentially a flattened perspective - five elements placed playing card style, four elements in the corners and one in the middle, and to make it exciting. Mike Kaluta more than anyone else can take the blandest possible angle to shoot something from and make it exciting. There's very little artistic trickery to Mike Kaluta's work.
The Studio (circa 1979): Berni Wrightson, Jeffrey Jones, Michael Kaluta & Barry Windsor-Smith

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