Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Anatomy of a Neo Story-Part 3

By Paul Kupperberg

Andrew Mitchell's first impression sketches of "Digger" and friends
When the call went out for stories for the upcoming Charlton Noir, I thought I would try my hand at something with a supernatural slant...and a little bit of the funny. I’ve written several short stories for R. Allen Leider’s Hellfire Lounge anthologies featuring Leo Persky, a reporter for the Weekly World News (the fake news tabloid where I was so happily employed until its untimely demise in 2007) and enjoyed crossing the supernatural with my own snarky sense of humor and wanted to give it a go in the pages of a comic book story. The result was “Digger” Graves, Paranormal P.I. I wrote about the genesis of the strip in Part 1 and Part 2, and, a month after I first discussed the idea with Neo editor Roger McKenzie via Facebook P.M., I delivered the finished script.

Me: Attached is the script for my contribution to Charlton Noir, Digger Graves, Paranormal P.I. When you get a chance, take a look at the work of Arrowhead Andrew Mitchell; he could be good on this.

Roger: Andrew's in The Charlton Arrow #3, PK. He's on our radar, my friend! I'll see if he's interested.

Andrew was. The next day he P.M.’ed me: “Roger may have contacted you already but I liked your Digger Graves story and am on board to illustrate it. Excited to work on this!”

The team was in place. Now it was all in Andrew's hands. I asked him to share some of his thoughts on the story and his creative process in working on the story:
"Digger" refined.
“Roger McKenzie contacted me with news that he had a 10 page story for me to draw from Paul Kupperberg. I had recently turned in a two page story for Charlton Arrow #3 and two pinup illustrations for Charlton Pulp so I thought ‘I guess I passed the audition.’ I was excited to draw a Kupperberg script and the fact that it was a horror/P.I. story for Charlton Noir #1 sounded perfect. I always liked art by guys who left a lot of ink on the page (Eisner, Wrightson, etc.) and this looked like a good opportunity for that.
Gorthgot, a demon in search of redemption

The splash page in doodles and a demon.

 “After the first read of the script, I did sketches of Digger Graves (son of Dr. Graves) and Gorthgot the demon, wanting to get my immediate impressions down. I sketch directly in ink with no pencil so I can be the most expressive (something I picked up from Sienkiewicz or Crumb? I can’t recall.) With the next read I drew up secondary characters, some environments and more careful takes on the protagonists (like correcting Graves’ hat and jacket and softening Gorthgot.) 

“I’m hoping that these sketches hint at the fun to come with the finished story.”

They do! 
First draft of the splash page.

Next: Laying it all out.

© Paul Kupperberg
Art © Andrew Mitchell

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