Sunday, September 27, 2009


for the secret of st michel.
the death's head moth is the symbol of the grimoire, or magical secret police.

the quote is hercules poirot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

wednesday comics #13

well, i had so much fun doing 12 pages of wonder woman that mark chiarello let me go ahead with an "afterward" page! it's sort of a thank you to everyone who enjoyed the strip. and an excuse to draw hippolyta.

i will be posting the entire page, full-size, on my blog next wednesday. theoretically, it will also be in the collected edition.

ps - that is not hippolyta.

ben c

Sunday, September 6, 2009


just finished an interview about wonder woman... anyway, it occurred to me that there are a few misconception about my story that i'd like to clear up:

1) the coloring in the stories has become clearer after the first few issues. that may be because the printers made some adjustments on their end, but the fact is that the colors actually evolve in the story itself. the first part (pages 1-4) was intentionally oversaturated, especially the acid coloring in page 1. this was to emphasize how surreal our world would seem to an unprepared young amazon. (there was also quite a bit of off-register lines, duplications etc.) the colors for part 2 (5-8) are much more muted, as WW adjusts to our world. (of course, 5 and 8 also take place in the snow.) the colors for part 3 are much brighter, although somewhat less trippy than part 1.

2) i stated that i originally envisioned a 52-page story for WC. that is true, but that was a different story than this one, and by the time i started even the rough outline of the "seven stars" story (november 2008) i was perfectly aware that i would be telling a 12-page story. it is likely that i might have done slightly fewer panels if i was trying to spread something out over 52 issues, but i had ALWAYS envisioned each distinct adventure being a single page, with perhaps a few more "epic" stories taking 2 installments. (even in the final version, where pages 9-12 are a single "scene", each page features a distinct challenge and resolution. that is, the page structure would have been the same either way -- the 52-page story would have just had a LOT more story (dr psycho's ectoplasmic assassins and the invisible jet, for starters). in my annotations, i'll probably go into more detail about the specific reasons for creating such densely structured chapters, but compressing a longer story was never part of it.

3) several people have this intriguing but bizarre and completely mistaken belief that each WW page has a hidden structure. the idea is that each page is divided into 4 strips , and that each strip is further subdivided into 4 blocs of panels, secretly making 16 "pages" per installment, or 190+ pages of super-epic story. apparently, this was my way of sneaking a million pages into the project, and by the way, totally proves that i didn't understand the assignment and i'm inherently immoral or whatever. yikes.
it is generally true that, for the sake of writing convenience, most pages were divided into 4 strips as i broke down the story. (for example, page two: 1) WW wakes up at the bottom of a japanese lake 2) she surfaces and meets some faeries, and agrees to rescue their temple from a gang 3) she spies on the gang in the temple, led by dr poison 4) the gang ambushes her but she wakes up.) it is also true that within each page there is a visual hierarchy of main and supporting images, visual clusters etc. any artist who isn't a moron would do the same thing, especially on a page with this much visual information to organize. i do the same thing with my classics comics, and those average only 3 panels per page — it's just common sense. BUT (again, going to that not-a-moron point) i spent an exhaustive amount of time and energy devising pages that only work in a single format — the newspaper, one page/installment at a time format. my pages cannot be shrunken down. nor can many of them be altered; many of them would be difficult to split (pages 2, 3, 8, 11 ), others (pages 4, 7, 10, 13) would be impossible.*

as a more general comment, people may or my not like what i have done, they may think that it is good or bad, but the idea that i didn't know how to use the format because i pushed it to its limits is farcical. and not in a cool bertie wooster way, either.

...and i guess i should include a picture, just because:

*there are also technical reasons why even the more conventionally laid out pages don't fit the theory, but i'm sleepy. or hungry.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

more annotations

page 4 and 5 annotations are up, i was having problems with my website.