Tuesday, 24 May 2011

It ain't over until its over...

So says Lenny Kravitz...

and he has a point - there is a page missing - did you notice?!

Yes its is the first page, which I said I would leave to last as it would mostly be a lo-fi computer composition rather than hand drawn...

So okay, its lo - lo fi - but I think it works in the context of what we have already seen and that's the most important thing?

Speaking of what we have already seen - having now finally finished re-drawing the entirety of Outland what do I think of it, what have I learned and what's next?

I recently described Outland as being like a series of the best perfectly posed and rendered movie posters you could ever imagine

Think Star Wars

Raiders of the lost ark (yeah I know the irony is not lost on me I know Sternako worked on this film)

Blade Runner The Final Cut

James Bond

all of these share similar art aesthetics to Steranko's Outland - essentially each double page spread being a combination of a movie poster and a series of movie stills

For those a bit younger there always used to be 6 or so still photos from the movie just below the poster outside the cinema to give you more of an idea what the movie would be like (this was way before the internet!) - movie stills - for example this one from Rocky

The thing here with all this imagery is the pose of the characters, the combination of the characters posed together, the size of the characters, their expressions and stance - the way that the posters and still are designed to convey what to expect in terms of a story, what tone does the story have, is it exciting, is it adventure, is it romance - the poster has to convey all of this in a way thats eye catching

And Steranko hits a perfect bulls eye with each and every single double spread each of which could stand completely on its own as a legitimate poster of art

And below each of these master poster shots are placed smaller panels (the stills i suppose) where the narrative and the sequential telling of the story happens with text acting as a counter balance to secure the reader in the plot - the plot to a degree almost being an abstract to the art

It makes for a totally unique and masterful piece of work

For all the de and re construction I have done the only real question I have is why was the movie of Outland treated to such a depiction

As the story just doesn't carry such a depiction very well at all, the movie is okay but nothing spectacular or ground breaking  - and the holes in the story - well okay I think I probably spent too much time on those already!

I do wonder for example what would it be like to have applied this stylistic discpline to a movie like Terry Gilliams Brazil or possibly Twelve Monkeys - I suppose only Jim knows!

What I have learned is something I am thinking about at the moment, I suppose I am still too close to the project to be able to think about it that abstractly - 

But I think its reasonable to say that choosing to blog on each and every stage was possibly a bit much as there was many times when I was just vamping in terms of what I was typing in the blog - which accounts for the idiosyncratic nature - and I was rarely planning ahead - it was literally whatever popped into my head at the time I was posting the blog

So I guess if I try something like this again, I will try and limit myself to posting only when I have a finished drawing and just comment on that?

What I think of my efforts - now that is definitely something for which I will never be able to look at with  enough detachment, all I see are mistakes and how things could and should be a lot better, that is good in a way as maybe I will learn from these things, but overall I will say it is for anyone who has been reading this blog to say what they thought of the recreations be it bad or worse (okay maybe someone might mention good, who knows?)

What's next? I am tempted to say rest and lots of it - It will be a least a short while before I decide what to do next in terms of a bigger project, if any of you have any suggestions or requests,  please please post a comment or drop me a email and I will do what I can to try and make it happen

It did occur to me that maybe I could try (emphasis on the word try) and do Kirby's 2001 to bring this whole thing 360 back to where it started- but I would like to see a show of hands - if enough people are interested then I will give that a go

But for the time being - I am going to do a number of one off drawings - starting tomorrow with some Luke McDonnell and Steve Mitchell - can anyone guess what this is going to be a drawing of?


  1. Congratulations on reaching the end. I've been following along and it's a hell of a trick you pulled off. Oh, and consider this vote one for Kirby's 2001 adaptation, which should pose you a whole new set of problems!

    Thinking about it, it seems to me that Kirby would have been a better fit for Outland, and Steranko for 2001. Kirby's dynamism is entirely at odds with the cold aesthetics of Kubrick's movie. Sure, there's spectacle, but it's a spectacle that is very deliberately controlled (like the Steranko spreads)...

  2. Hey Douglas

    Thanks very much -tune in on friday and I will discuss your comment then!

    Drop me a email if you would like to get a hand drawn original of your choice by way of thanks

  3. My vote would be for you to do that series of Steranko Marvel covers from 1969. It would include Nick Fury 1-7, Captain America 110, 111 and 113, Hulk Annual #1, X-Men 49-51, and the rejected Tower of Shadows #1 and rejected Captain America 113.

  4. Hey Tony - Thanks that's a great idea - Have a look here on Tuesday!

  5. I've really enjoyed this series as well, so add my voice to the chorus of "good job"s. For the next thing, how about some Frank Miller? I think it would be interesting to see his earlier, Daredevil-era stuff in your sharp, high-contrast black and white. Not necessarily a whole issue's worth, but a cover or interior page or two would be cool.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  6. Hey Matt - Thanks for the very kind words - and cool suggestion - check out the blog for today, 1st June 2011