Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Show Must Go On...

More pages from "Mad Doctors In Love" as our story continues.

The trouble with old movies is we go to such lengths to restore them that there aren't that many left on DVD that have flicky hairs and scratches all over them. Certainly hardly any in my collection.

Handy little filter in photoshop called "Add Noise" sorted that out, coupled with a layer where I'd draw in the scratches, burn blotches and hairs.

Okay, so circa when our chaps would be watching this movie, granted, this would be possibly the worst cared for can of film in existence, but let us pretend for a moment that the projectionist was more than a little clumsy, prone to drinking on the job perhaps, if for the benefit of telling the difference between a black and white film within a black and white world as we introduce our screen starlet, in a film role, and then cunningly introduce our two doctors, enjoying a night at the movies (for the moment).

Here's thumbnails for pages 6 & 7.
I sketch using animation pencils. The page of sketches shown in an earlier post was a greyscale scan. I don't actually draw using standard HB lead pencils and haven't in over fifteen years (near enough). Have no idea why but thanks to animation, I've become so conditioned to drawing with coloured pencils (notably blue), that I sometimes find it difficult to get into that drawing mindset when using standard lead pencils.

I'll leave that one for the shrinks to figure out.

Whilst on the subject of mindset, the music I listened to whilst drawing these pages consisted of, "Rumbas En Colores" by Lecuona Cuban Boys (who are awesome, don't just take my word for it, it's a scientific fact), "Jungle Drums" by Xavier Cugat and "That Old Black Magic" by Stephane Grappelli and his Quintet.

The scene was inspired by Rita Hayworth in "The Lady from Shanghai" which was incidentaly based on Sherwood King's 1938 novel "If I Die Before I Wake" which was exactly what I was thinking little over a week ago as I lay on a trolley in a corridor waiting for my operation.

Yep, definitely leave that one for the shrinks to figure out!

Mad Doctors In Love is Copyright ©Ian Culbard, 2006.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

We interrupt this program...

Werewolf By Night, issue 13. One of my first comics, certainly my first American comic (being a kid from England where the Beano and Whizzer and Chips were a staple diet of any child). Mike Ploog's work on that book was to prove a tremendous influence on me.. A driving force, a guiding light. It's a book I would read at night after lights out. The door ajar; the corridor light spilling across the pages.

The book hit the stands initially in 1974. But it didn't reach my grubby little paws till 1977 (the earliest). It had probably languished in a hospital waiting room, for a couple of years perhaps, till my mother, who was a hospital nurse at the time, brought it home with her. This is an educated guess as to where the book had come from, devoid of substantiated facts, but I'm fairly certain that that's how the story goes. My early comic book collection did indeed consist of hospital waiting room seconds, books destined for the bins. Doomed classics.

I was rather pleased that recently, Marvel produced "Essential Werewolf by Night" because the book contains all of Ploogs glorious art in black & white. Coupled with "Essential Monster of Frankenstein", these are two of my favorite nostalgia collections and I highly recommend them.

This post was inspired by the recent flux of 'first comics' posts on various comics blogs across the blog-i-verse.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mad Doctors in Surgery!

I went to hospital for a hernia operation on Wednesday, hence no update. The hospital discharged me a few hours ago. I feel like I've been kicked in the guts by Rosa Klebb.
To mark the occasion there's this picture featuring two characters who will soon be making their appearance in Mad Doctors In Love, notably the mad doctors of the title.

Sneaking this one in because my wife wants me to not do anything but rest today. Anyone who's ever seen Witness For the Prosecution, where Charles Laughton plays a barrister and Elsa Lanchester plays his nurse, will get the picture.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More Mad Doctors In Love

So, where we last left off, Rocco was falling to his death. Or so we thought. Here are the closing pages of the first chapter of "Mad Doctors In Love", as it were.

When I drew these pages, I was listening to"A Boat in the Fog" from Max Steiner's Original "King Kong" Film Score and Mama Told Me (Not To Come) and Never Been to Spain by Three Dog Night. I think that's where I found Rocco.

Speaking of Rocco, here's a couple of pages of sketches for 'Mad Doctors In Love'. The first has a glimpse at some thumbnails I did for the first two pages and at the bottom, the lantern jawed guy is an early version of Rocco. But I decided then that he just didn't look tough enough. The second sketch page is another version of Rocco. The prominent brow is evident, but here I thought he looked a little too old.

Mad Doctors In Love is Copyright ©Ian Culbard, 2006.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mad Doctors In Love

"Mad Doctors In Love" is my comic book take on a black & white movie. I'll be sticking pages of it up over the coming weeks along with sketches, designs and various other art. The story will appear in sequence (breaking at convenient reveals and chapter points). You can, as with all images on this blog, click on the thumbails for larger versions of the pages so you can read them.

"Mad Doctors In Love" is a project I've had kicking around for a good long while now. Almost too long for me to have not done anything about it, so here's me doing something about it. At one point it was even a proposal for an animation project. It's a potpourri of a few of my favorite things. Mobsters and Monsters. Gangsters and Gadgeteers.

There's something I find comforting about black and white movies. Something reassuring, about films like "The Maltese Falcon", "Dark Passage", "Key Largo", "Bride of Frankenstein", "Some Like it Hot", "The Lady from Shanghai" and Lewton and Tourner's "Cat People". And these are just a few of my favorite films. My word, how I love "Cat People"! They were straight talking movies. No nonsense movies. Enduring movies. Naive yet worldy wise movies.

Well, anyway, without further ado ...

Mad Doctors In Love is Copyright ©Ian Culbard, 2006.