30 October 2011

V12 & encounter

I have to start by sharing a wonderful event, feel free to skip to the new page if not interested!

Yesterday I had the privilege, and I'm not using the word lightly, to attend a performance by Luc & François Schuiten at Beirut's Lire en Français. The brothers created a while ago a series of graphic novels, Les Terres Creuses, set in fantastical locations like Les Cités Obscures, which François creates with Benoît Peeters. The 4th album of Terres Creuses proved problematic to create as a graphic novel, so they decided to experiment and they presented the contents to us, for the very first time, in a format that wove together slides of studies done for the work, live narration, live improvised music, and live drawing that was projected alongside the slides. The performance was titled Les 8 Sages de Verda, and the finished drawing was the key to the mystery of how 7 wise men can hide an 8th, in an ending that made my jaw drop. That hour and a half was a complete trip to different worlds where architecture follows very different rules, and there was magic in the room.

Afterwards, the two authors signed their books, and I mentioned to François I had seen him in Algiers earlier in the month as I was a guest at FIBDA too. His face light up and he asked to see my work! I whipped out a copy of Malaak (never go to a book fair without a sample of your work) and received unexpected, but very welcome critique, praise and encouragements. He was delighted to meet a Lebanese comicker. He also convinced me that digital coloring didn't serve my work ("Either refine it or give it up.") and that I should learn lettering and not use fonts ("La bande dessinée, c'est le texte et l'image!") Not that I can apply it at once, being in the middle of a series, but I already know that in future work, my technique is going to change radically based on the various feedback I received from people I really look up to. Computer coloring will be the first to go, everybody knows by now how much I hate it :P

Anyway, here's your new page!

Say goodbye to sunlight, because it's going to be a while before we're outdoors again...
Also I'm about to find out how subtle my readers are, with this moment of misunderstanding between Malaak and Amer.

This page underlined for me once more how much it paid to travel... Where, might you ask, did I find such perfect, organic-looking stairs? I found them in Sri Lanka:

They're located in Mihintale, the place where Buddhism began on the island, and that's also the reason they look so beautifully worn – they've been used for over 2000 years by monks climbing up to the meditation rock (the rails are a recent addition.)

Sketch page: