Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moving Pictures Review

I've just finished reading "Moving Pictures" (Top Shelf), by Kathryn (writer) and Stuart Immomen (artist). I snagged it at the Top Shelf booth at Comic-Con. The graphic novel's stark simplicity caught my eye. I strive unsuccessfully for this
in my own work.

On one hand,  the book is a keeper for the afore mentioned extreme graphic
simplicity of the art. Definitely some swipeable stuff here. I've never followed
Immomen's superhero work; it seems pretty good, but there's nothing interesting about it to me. But  "Moving Pictures" has a really cool look.

On the other hand, I had difficulty following the story on first reading. There
was nothing graphically to help one keep track of the two narrative streams and time dislocations. I was ambivalent about the pacing which was slow, stately and reflective. It
was a tonic compared to the over-amped over-hyped crap that passes for
storytelling these days. But everything was SO serious. If any of the characters ever cracked a smile, it was a wan, ironic, thin lipped smile. Also, I would have preferred opening up the
story some to show some of the events referred to in the dialogue (Nazi's taking over in France, disappearing whole groups of people, etc), but that
would have conflicted with the interior/closed-room nature of the story I

I liked the production values. The water color paper used for the cover and
similar (but smooth) paper of the interior pages gave the whole thing a very
classy look and feel.

Interview podcast posted on da Vinci's Waking Dream

Will Norman posted an audio podcast interview of me on his da Vinci's Waking Dream blog at http://queersotv.com/daVinciPodcast.html

Fogtown page 91

This is a montage sequence of early 50's San Francisco at night.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kane Moebius

This is a recent sketch, a copy of a Gil Kane "Moebius The Living Vampire" cover from the early 70's. I love his compositional dynamism.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fogtown reviewed in The Gay Comics List

The Gay Comics List reviews Fogtown. They really get it. They call me "an impressive graphic storyteller" at http://gaycomicslist.free.fr/blog/index.php/2010/08/fogtown.html

Fogtown reviewed in The Stranger

The famous Seattle alternative newspaper The Stranger reviews Fogtown.  He likes it: "This is one of the best comic book mysteries I've seen in a great long while." Read it at http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/08/25/fogtown-is-a-good-gay-comic-book-mystery

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fogtown page 88

This is another example of breaking the panel grid for heightened dramatic effect. The triangular panels 1and 3 become like blades, metaphorically slicing panel 2, itself a sceneof Frank slicing Bone's face with a stiletto.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fogtown page 76 inks

This is part of the first batch of pages that I inked in the
14" x 19" format with the newly acquired help of my assistant, Lee-Roy. The
larger size gave me more control in the inking, especially necessary for the 6
smaller panels on page 76.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Last chance to see show at Flazh Alley


Closing Public Reception & Book Signing

 San Pedro's 1st Thursdays Art Walk Night  September 2, 2010 from 7-11 PM
"This is a fantastic exhibition for anyone who appreciates graphic novels. Each of Mr. Rader's panels has a small placard that describes a bit about the behind-the-scenes creative process that takes a raw idea and transforms it into a finished book. Original panels from Brad Rader's newest book. This is a must-see for graphic novel fans! Great exhibition!"  --Louis Jay, Webmaster, The Tom of Finland Foundation

ADULTS ONLY (18 and over)  "Filthy Fifties Frisco" can also be seen by appointment until September 4,2010. Please call, 310.833.3633 or flazhalley@aol.com Flazh!Alley Art Studio is located at 1113 S. Pacific Ave., Suite B, San Pedro, CA. Park in the large city parking lot behind Ramona Bakery at Pacific Ave. & 11th Street. Enter Flazh!Alley from the alley, of course.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Fogtown in the Vertigo Comics blog

The Vertigo Comics blog has an article about Fogtown.

Fogtown reviewed in the Miami Herald

The Miami Herald reviewed Fogtown. They say that my art is "the perfect evocation of the story."

Fogtown reviewed at Edge New York

A review of Fogtown in the Edge New York blog. They really liked it - "It transcends the comic book art form." Hey!

Fogtown reviewed at The Shelf Life blog

FOGTOWN reviewed at The Shelf Life blog

Fogtown review at The Outhousers.com

Fogtown reviewed at TheOuthousers.com

Fogtown review in Comic Book Resources

A review of Fogtown in the Comic Book Resources blog: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/08/chain-reactions-fogtown/

Fogtown Pages 76-77 pencils

This is part of the last batch of pages
that I penciled in the 9" x 6" format.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fogtown reviewed in Frontiers

There's a review of Fogtown in Frontiers now.

Fogtown pages 70-71

This page is an example of my design strategy for the book. I established a fairly rigorous rectangular grid for the panel layout, with either two or three tiers per page, adhering to this for the most part. This produces a fairly even, metronomic baseline, which can be easily broken for heightened dramatic effect. For this near-rape sequence, I varied the panel shapes to slashing diagonals increasing in length during the four-page sequence, creating a feeling of descent.

Other examples are the meeting of Frank and Eliza Gray on pages 25-28 by using horizontal panels with each character on opposite sides of the composition, separated by their word balloons. Then followed immediately pages 29-31 where Frank threatened by Greg in Jack Kerouac Alley shown by narrow vertical panels giving a staccato, knife-like feel.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fogtown pages 64-65

Page 64 introduces Colonel Thorpe, the main villain of the piece, partners in crime with Madam Tse. He is a pretend civic-reformer, bully-pulpit-wielder. He is based on Karl Rove. One of Andersen’s main themes in "Fogtown" was to show that all the characters wore masks, were liars on many levels. Sadly, that aspect had to be given short shrift as the novel was repurposed to fit in the Vertigo Crime format.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fogtown reviewed in Monkeysee

Fogtown has now been reviewed in Monkeysee, an NPR pop culture blog.

Fogtown reviewed in S.F. Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle reviewed Fogtown! This is particularly cool as Fogtown is set in San Francisco! Read it here.

Fogtown pages 56-57

One of my favorite aspects of cartooning is casting; i.e., designing the cast of characters. Over the years I've saved old model packs from TV series I've worked on with the idea of repurposing characters in my own work. In these two pages, two characters are lifted from King of the Hill, which I was working on at the time. Frank Grissel's lawyer on pages 56 and 57 is based on the model of Peggy Hill's real estate agent boss, Chris Sizemore. The uniformed SFPD office on page 56 is Enrique, one of Hank Hill's co-workers at Strickland Propane.

Page 57 is also the first appearance of Madam Tse, part of the criminal conspiracy afflicting the city by the bay. She went through several design permutations before we (Bob, Andersen and I) arrived at the current version. Andersen insisted that she sport the hairstyle worn by Jean Simmons in Angel Face.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fogtown pages 54-55

This page is part of a sequence that is heavily influenced by 50's film noir. I watched various DVDs and freeze framed, sketching several scenes to swipe their compositions, lighting, costuming, casting, etc. Movies I found especially helpful were The Dark Corner, Vicki, and House on Telegraph Hill.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fogtown pages 48-49

Toth was a key Caniff acolyte as a young man in the late 40's, but branched off into his own style in the early 50's. He took the "Caniff" approach to an even more extreme level of simplicity and graphic innovation. His calculated simplicity served him well when he transitioned to TV Animation in the 60's, working primarily as a designer and storyboard artist on The Herculoids, Space Ghost, Sea Lab, Superfriends and a host of other Hanna-Barbera series.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fogtown News and Reviews

I'm posting two current items, one a news article and the other a review. Check them out!

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