Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Wine/Old Bottle

In a nutshell, the "daily" format--consecutive panels in a rectangular
block--was traditionally a much denser visual artform than we see
today. As newspaper readership began to falter during the '80s, ad
revenues became critical for survival. So the generous scale allotted
to the standard daily strip was cut back. The reduced format made the
more detailed strips difficult to read. There is a certain point at
which text becomes too small to read, so the balloon size had to
remain fairly close to its traditional scale while the art got reduced
to more basic elements. Through the mandate of their accounting
departments, newspapers gravitated to the modern version which
emphasizes writing over art. It is my hope that the digital age will
enable the pendulum to swing the other way.
In some recent experiments with this form I came to the realization 
that the tablet format is becoming the most common way that news is
delivered. So why not comics, too?! By having a vertical division
exactly at midpoint, one can produce a two column strip that fills
 the parameters of a standard tablet screen. Though my inked
strips are done the traditional way, I reformat them as digital art.
The trick is knowing when to use Photoshop as a finish tool, and most
difficult of all, when to leave it alone. The above first appeared at the site which I shared with Brian Hagen and Dan
Schubarth. This and other original inked strips are 
now available on my Etsy site.