Gareth A Hopkins

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Intercorstal: After Smith - where I'm up to

"The Intercorstal: After Smith" is a series of artworks reinterpreting comic pages written by John Smith. It will be exhibited at Projectroom 404 in Bremen from 11th September - 4th October 2015.

As announced* in my previous blog post, last month, I'm working on 10 pages for an exhibition which uses The Intercorstal to reinterpret** comics originally written by John Smith for 2000AD. Here's a quick update on what I've been up to. I've broken it down into steps to make it as easy for me as possible -- it's not necessarily chronological.

1. Spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to find the exact right shade of purple marker to use. Eventually I settled on 'Mulberry'.

2. Read and re-read an incredible number of comics to find the exact right pages to steal. The 'Final 10' has changed innumerable times. The last one's still not 100%. There's no set criteria for what makes a page 'right' but I wanted to cover as many artists as possible, make sure each page would work as well when reworked as an Intercorstal one, had made a palpable impact to me at some point in my life, and to look good on its own merits. The final 10 all meet at least 2 out of the 3 final criteria.

3. Measure each page, and calculate how much bigger it needs to be to fit an A3 page. There are probably computer programs that could that for me, or settings in programs I already use, but I did it all with a ruler, a calculator and a notebook. I suppose it felt more 'honest' to do it that way, as a part of me is still worried that 'stealing' pages for The Intercorstal is still somehow inherently dishonest. (here's a blog I did a while ago explaining why I 'steal' pages at all)
2 pages of Simon Harrison's work on 'Revere' get copied and measured.

4. Asked Tom Whitely, whose blog 'Suggested For Mature Readers' is at least partially responsible for the Intercorstal taking this route***, to write some notes on who John Smith is. He's exceptionally good at writing about comics.

5. I've used my calculations and measurements to transfer the layouts of 9 out of the 10 pages to A3. I've even done the black and Mulberry areas. This is probably the most important part of the project, as it's the actual work, but I've not got very much to say about them yet. Here's 8 of them laid out on my living room carpet:
Looking at this now, the one from New Statesment is very obvious, as it's a totally different format to the others.
 6. Made a very rash decision to present Tom's writing using a layout stolen from the illustrated text story 'Touched By The Hand Of Brendan', which was illustrated by Mark Buckingham,l appearing in the 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1991****. I desperately wanted to include Tyranny Rex in 'After Smith' somewhere, but I couldn't find anything that really met the criteria from point 2 (above) quite as well as TBTHOB, and it also makes a handy way to present whatever Tom comes up with. This decision has of course increased my workload somewhat. Here's the cover drawn up, without any text yet, next to the original cover:

Aaaaand that's it for the moment. All I have to do now is the actual really hard work of turning the blocked-out pages into finished work, with all of the squiggly lines, dots, circles and stripes that entails.

*'announced' seems like a very grand word to use. Being naturally predisposed to humility and/or humble-bragging I'm still not really comfortable with it. But it's the correct word to use, I think, and can't think of a better one.
**'reinterpret' doesn't feel like it covers the ground I need or want it to. But it's the correct word to use, I think, and can't think of a better one.
***Without it, I'd never have read 'Still Life', which means I'd never have done this.
****Someone's typed the whole thing out here, if you're interested:


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