Two of my favourite pages are in this set. I’ve never been a landscape guy, preferring the figure over scenes of trees and things when it came to drawing, however when I got to the point where I had to show Victor’s lonely trek thru the wilderness is search of his Monster I discovered that scenery is not only quite easy to draw, but it is as much of an actor as any of the humans involved.
This is one aspect that a lot of comic artists neglect IMHO. Often backgrounds are seen as something to be avoided, or they detract from the drama of the human story, but in reality the scenery is an actor too, conveying emotion and tone using the same visual language that we use to get the humans animated. It’s almost abstract in that backgrounds can be simple shapes and textures that affect us on an instinctive level, and as an artist I found that to be an extremely compelling thought.
Not every background gets to be Laurence Olivier, some have to be content being mere extras depending on the complexity of their construction and the skills of the artist. Many of mine have been quite basic and lacking in any real intensity, but I try to compensate for that by making the important ones really sing out. And in these pages you can see that they don’t even need to be detailed. Simple shapes are powerful enough to evoke feeling in the reader, as long as they can relate to the shapes in some way. That way a flat horizontal can symbolise the bleakness of a man’s soul, or the winding path of a river can suggest the difficult journey he is on.
I have so much fun when I get creative control on a project. It’s the power. It drives me mad with excitement.