G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y


Tell me you make comix but have a background in design without telling me you have a background in design, amiright?

Attempting to finish the last of inks on this chapter tonight (or over the weekend tops!), while taking short breaks every couple hours to think and daydream about the future of Mythomatic.

#work #comix #TheSolarGrid

Let it be remembered that this is the exact moment shooting lower back pain prompted me to move my adjustable side table near the window to draw on standing up.

That's how it works; each page becomes a record of the moment it was created in (at least as far as the creator is concerned). Case in point: the page in Chapter 1 I distinctively remember drawing under the influence of a migraine in the old downtown LA loft.

Aaaand, I just noticed a typo for the first time (7 years later).

#work #comix #TheSolarGrid

Original art boards for THE SOLAR GRID #1's print edition cover:

The composition of the entire thing is very much informed by the underlying grid I have in place, which gives the entire wraparound cover its balance, with room for the “cover dress” anticipated from the get go, since it was actually “designed” before I even conceived of any of the cover art (see posts from Aug 30, 2020 and Sep. 1, 20202).

I will happily employ digital aids where necessary, while relying on traditional techniques where it matters, and I think it shows with how I approached this cover art.

Take for example the Safety First guys lined up behind Sharif Algebri. Poses all identical, could have drawn just the one and copied and pasted the rest in photoshop, but I knew the small unintentional variations in lineart would lend a kind of quiet dynamism to the final illustration, which I felt would be necessary for what is ostensibly a very “still” cover.

The newspaper text that kinda blends in with the lineart there. Again, another thing that would've been a real time-saver to do on my computer, but... if you look at the printed cover, you'll notice that bit of text sits rather closeish to all the “proper” typography of the cover dress.

A good way to differentiate the cover dress's typography from any other typography is to employ an entirely different “medium” in its creation, hence opting to go the hand-drawn-with-ink-on-paper route for the typographic elements that are essentially part of the cover illustration.

For the poster behind the feline figure, I decided to go ahead and print a miniature poster and paste it right on the board. This to give it a real pasted-up feel, which you can see affected the mark-making around its edges. And also, you see the little bits of poster illustration that are coming through the ink strokes for the cat fur? You can't see it so clearly in the final printed product, but you do see something, and it almost makes you want to scratch it off to see what's under. It's an effect you can't quite draw with any intentionality, and is purely the result of analogue “collaging”.

The fade on Mehret within the gun smoke was done digitally, because digitally does it better.

Same for the benday gradient taking up the bottom half of the cover and the shopping cart icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the front cover. As well as the Skyquench towers behind Algebri because they needed to be extra clean, accurate, and identical, like contemporary architectural blueprints. And also white, all of which Adobe Illustrator does better than analog.

Here are the boards compared to the final printed product.

I draw on 11”x17” Bristol Boards, but the comix themselves are printed at 6”x9”, smaller than the traditional comic but I've always imagined it that way. Makes for a handier, more intimate read, and not out of place with most other books of fiction on the shelf, with 6'x9' being the most common standard. Both the level of detail in the art as well as amount of text per page account for this size difference.

#work #comix #TheSolarGrid

Rome, September last year if I recall. Laura Mega conceived and curated this project in collaboration with Maurita Cardone and Chiara Mannarino. They called it DREAMERS and it included the work of over 40 artists in projections set up at multiple locations around the world.

Only now just got around to uploading a couple pics to Ganzeer.com, because I've been graphic-noveling and thus braincells are switching off too many too soon.

#journal #work

After a few days of thick impenetrable air, the skies have finally opened up this morning and the sun shines through. Though I am inside with two TSG pages worth of inks on the docket for today.

I am however resolved to step outside with a book at some point, and maybe even fit in some exercise and a visit to my chiropractor (it's been a couple weeks, not cool).

I need to get into the habit of treating my day the way I would a physical space. Like say, a closet or piece of luggage. It has a very particular capacity. Stuff it too much, and it just won't work.

#journal #work #comix #thesolargrid

Mystery Spring Packs packed and out to the post office. It is just after 4:00pm here, a little dead as a result of starting my day at 7:00am despite ending last “night” at 3:00am.

I've been graphic-noveling.

Prison Chart (a method I only recently picked up from Dave Gibbons' WATCHING THE WATCHMEN) tells me I am 7 pages away from wrapping up inks on this chapter.

But then there's scanning, lettering, and even coloring in some parts.

But after that I will only be 3 chapters away from finishing THE SOLAR GRID for good.

#journal #work

One of the Mystery Spring Packs going out in the mail tomorrow.

Yes, those are original drawings. Completely randomized, so even I have no idea who will be getting what.

#journal #work #garage

Feeling a little weary after having switched my “journaling” system for the first time in years. In a recent development likely associated with the unfortunate process of aging, I seem less inclined to leave the house with a backpack on my shoulders, often the apparatus of choice for carrying one of those hardback A5 journals (typically a Leuchttrum1917 or Shinola Detroit for me). Adopting instead the small and lightweight Field Notes. Together with a Lamy Pico Ballpoint Pen (which collapses to a mere 3.5 inches when not in use) this note-taking system is far more portable and better-tailored to jotting down thoughts on the go.

It's been on my mind for a time now, because for a while a thing would come to me and my journal wouldn't be handy. I've been reluctant about going the measly memo-book path because unlike a hardback journal, they aren't made to sit on your shelf, and thus don't store as easily and become a bit difficult to revisit when needed. Until I discovered Field Notes' Archival Wooden Box designed just for that purpose, at which point I was sold.

Designed to store up to 60, and having just started with my first I have a long ways to go before filling that box up, but knowing I have a place to shelve my note-taking things puts my mind at ease.

I am still weary about how this might affect my journaling practice though. What might a piece of paper less than the size of my hand capable of handling versus an A5 journal which took everything from sketches, notes, doodles, quotes, to complete stories. A sampling of my journal from 2016-2017:

  1. San Francisco Tea Seller
  2. THE SOLAR GRID's Mickie Stardust, who doesn't appear until Ch.5 (issue 6) which I only got to work on in earnest by 2020, a whole five years later.
  3. The complete first draft of 1,000,000 A.D., my adaptation of a story by Tawfik al-Hakim, which itself prompted me to start TIMES NEW HUMAN

Everything I end up creating (and everything I don't end up creating) starts with a journal entry of some kind, even if just a passing note.

#journal #work

The Moody Center for the Arts in Houston celebrated its 5 year anniversary with an auction in which I was honored to donate a work of art to (pictured in the image above, left-hand side). The mixed media piece, titled IMMIGRANT BLUES #2: THAWRA is part of a larger series, IMMIGRANT BLUES.

#4 and #5 are in the possession of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. #2 is in the possession of whoever won the bid at the Moody auction, which only leaves me with #1 and #3 right now.

When embarking on this series, I did have in mind that it's a theme I might want to revisit... forever? But now I'm not sure I'm feeling them immigrant blues no more. Will it last, or is this alleviation merely temporary?

I suppose only time will tell.

#work #journal

I was asked to paint a mural at Atlanta's Carlos Museum, so I painted my son. More pics and info on Ganzeer.com.

“Mural” is a bit of a deceptive term here though—just a bit—because they are painted on canvas rather than directly on the wall. But, the way the canvas is installed and by extension how they are painted on, is all quite muralistic, so I guess it counts.

Also, a Gallery Talk with curator Amanda Hellman about the work in this video here:

#work #mural #painting