The Salty River

I love a bit of visual metaphor—it’s one of the unique narrative possibilities open to the comics artist.  But it’s surprisingly rare. Lots of graphic novels, while well-drawn, read like illustrated scripts. Entertaining, but not making the most of the medium. 
But last week, I picked up The Salty River, an autobiography by German artist Jan Bauer, and it’s been a delight to read. Every panel, every page, is beautifully designed, and the images do things words alone can’t do to expand the story’s emotional boundaries.
Learn more at Twelve Panels Press (where you can find this preview image and more).

Page 5 from graphic novel The Salty River

Jan Bauer’s autobiographical graphic novel is about his trek through outback Australia in search of solitude

People watching 

Cities are great for practicing observing, remembering, and drawing from memory. People come and go so quickly that you don’t get much time to see.  

quick sketches of people

see, memorise, draw, improvise

Finding the story

Some days when I don’t know what to draw, a small narrative will reveal itself. Usually about process. Today, the story is how my hands are not really communicating with my brain. Could be the heat. Could be the caffeine. 

pen and pencil drawing

hands wont listen

 

Artists at work: Jackie Ormes

I find views of artists’ studios fascinating, so I had to post this photo of pioneering comic artist Jackie Ormes. I love her desk and drawing setup–all the inks and pens within reach, and a drawing board that’s just the right size, and fabulous flowers…noice. I’ll be keen to learn more about her work.

Comics artist Jackie Ormes

Jackie Ormes in her studio