Friday, February 26, 2010

Velma's Journals

So... Velma Graydon? If anyone's heard of the Wonder City, they've heard about Velma. I guess it's because she's the centerpiece of this little yarn we're trying to spin. It could also be that Courtney and I have included her in many of our polite conversations over the past three years. Since our Kickstarter debut she's found her niche as the librarian super sleuth on the fast track to solving New York City's biggest mystery.

One of the questions I field from people who wander in and out of our story: "Is she real or did you make her up?" My response: "What do you think?" In all honesty, she's as real to me as anyone else who meanders in and out of my daily life.

For awhile I was posting her personal journal entries from her time at Barnard in the thirties. Just as her story was getting juicy, I stopped because of overlapping time commitments. I realized that some people were really enjoying and, dare I say, invested in them.

I was having a conversation with a good friend yesterday who was invited to an organ recital at St. Ignatius Loyola church on the Upper East Side. I asked him if he was going (I thought he would be crazy not to) and he said: "I'd much rather stay home and watch women's figure skating. Besides, it sounds like something my aunt and Velma would show up to." There she is again, lodged in the lexicon of my Brooklyn enclave.

It's been almost two full years and people still talk about her journals. This includes Velma herself who, at last check-in, was trying to post them on her own. Her lack of computer savvy (she's 96) has blocked her success.

So I guess it's time to make the time for them. In the process of completing the first volume of the Wonder City with Courtney, I'll continue to post Velma's shenanigans from her college days when I can. For convenience sake I will import the old posts here and all new entries will then be posted to both blogs.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Page 17

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This is a duplicate post from my blog, teeny tiny horses, but since it's Wonder City relevant, I thought I'd share:

While drawing The Wonder City, probably the most helpful tool I use (besides sharp pencil, LARGE eraser and bristol board, of course) is good ole Google Image Search. Here is a smattering of search terms that have helped me draw the comic:

1940s women's attire, 1940s New York City, World War II recruiting posters, loose lips sink ships, world war II rationing, 1940s car, playing marbles, tenement, singer sewing machine, 1940s Coney Island, Coney Island Bowery, Coney Island side show, Wonder Wheel cars, Nathans, body builder, ticket booth, Coney Island games, carnival lights, grandma's fortunes, fortune teller, side show signs, carnival barker, beached whale, sperm whale, dead whale, whale eye, attacked by whale, distress, terror, trampled, punched in the face, in pain, carrying limp body, church candles, st. john the divine cathedral, lighting a candle, 17th century handwriting, 1940s western union telegram, packing a pipe, bankers lamp, globe, 2 Pierrepont, Brooklyn Heights mansions, library, view of downtown Manhattan, 1940s skyscrapers, 1940s menswear, lighting a lantern, stairwell, Brooklyn Eagle headline, dropping china, breaking china, fetal position, sewer grate, street urchin, orphan, 1940s little boy, sewer tunnel, cavern, Half Moon Hotel, stenciled letters, steamer trunk, Victrola, bird cage, carousel horse, roller skate, icebox, birdcage, broken chandelier, antiques, famous missing paintings, shoveling, digging a hole, colonial women's clothing, Barbara Stanwyck.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Page 16

Any readers that have kept up with the first 16 pages of The Wonder City on this blog may be wondering about the artistic process involved in creating this comic. I can't speak for the scribe Justin, who probably does his writing while lounging in a smoking jacket effortlessly tossing brilliant page after page of script onto a plush bear skin rug (I'm pretty sure this is what writers do, right?), but my artistic gristmill is just as glamorous. When you read The Wonder City in its final bound form, I hope you'll imagine me wrapped in my Gramma's red afghan (limited heat in this apartment), in the middle of my bed, with a marathon of Criminal Minds on in the background, Google image searching terms like "whale eyeballs" and "sewer rats" and mastering the art of sketching Velma's hair-do.
This is how I've spent most of my free time in January and February, but I must be doing something right though, 63 pages down, 30something to go!