Look at What I Found

I have a few favorite bands, but there are probably just two that I am obsessed with.  R.E.M. is one of those bands.  I try to track down as much of their music as I can.  Sure, I have all their studio albums, live albums and all that, but I love tracking down random songs that popped up on soundtracks, b-sides, demos and alternate versions of songs.  I have a ton of R.E.M. stuff.  I love finding a “new” song that was left off an album.  Some of those outtakes are some of my favorite songs by them.

As a cartoonist, I’ve always identified with musicians about the creative process and how they look at their work.  I felt very much like a musician this past week when I unearthed an Uptown Girl “outtake”.  In 2012, I published ‘Uptown Girl – Little Adventures’.  It collected about 30 short stories.  Some of the stories were a page long, some were much longer.  I had a lot of fun working on it but I was excited to start the next book, which would become ‘A Long Forgotten Fairytale’, which is out this May.

I had started a story that I expected to be around 40 pages or so.  I had completed 9 pages of it before I set it aside and moved onto the next book.  The other day I was going through some older artwork and I stumbled upon it.  I was struck by how different the artwork was when I compared it to the page I had finished the night before.

This drawing is taken from the book I am working on now, which should be out in May of 2015.

48And this is a page from the story I found:

3The difference in the pages are pretty extreme.  I had started to play around with a new page format, and the older story stuck to the standard panel format.  I also did the older page on a smaller scale than what I work with now.  The older story’s original artwork is about half the size I work with currently.  There was also more crosshatching and I wasn’t doing a highlight in Uptown Girl’s boot (see the first panel in the first drawing).  I was also using a brush for the spots that would be all black, whereas these days I rely on Photoshop.

I thought about redrawing these pages (or re-recording them if I were a musician) but I decided to keep them as is.  I’ll finish the story using the same techniques, style and size as I did a couple years ago.  I think it might be fun.  I am probably wrong.


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