Thursday, August 11, 2011
I DETERMINED TO RECOMMENCE MY TRAVELS...
Here's your page of the week. If you've been following along, you will know why these pages of the Frankenstein story are simplistic black and white cartoons. If you're lost or curious, look at the past couple entries and you will be caught up to speed.
After a few months break from illustrating Frankenstein, "I determined to recommence my travels" or by notification of the editor I was able to continue my work. This segment of Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is the part where the creature is telling Victor Frankenstein his story. This has been broken up into four chapters. The first chapter is told in stark black and white cartoons. The second will represent an evolution of the creature's development by adding grey tones. The third will introduce color. And the fourth, the creature will see things as everyone else, by representing the artwork like the illustrations in the rest of the book.
In order to break the text down into a silent treatment, yet flow smoothly, some ideas had to be cut and others had to be tweaked for visual esthetic. For example, the illustration above will differ in minor details. The point is to get the story across which is passage of time, change of season and individual growth.
You can compare the text below to the illustrated page that represents this text. The best way to portray snowfall graphically is white on black. To do this, I changed the creature's travels to night. Or at least his day's travel ends at early evening. Not only does this clarify the white landscape and snowfall, but it makes an obvious passage of time from when he leaves the forest to when he arrives at the village. With this change, the shepherd's meal is no longer breakfast but dinner. Also, when the creature sets out again and it is daylight, the average reader will interpret that he spent the night in the cabin.
More to come.
"...wrapping myself up in my cloak, I struck across the wood towards the setting sun. I passed three days in these rambles, and at length discovered the open country. A great fall of snow had taken place the night before, and the fields were of one uniform white; the appearance was disconsolate, and I found my feet chilled by the cold damp substance that covered the ground.
It was about seven in the morning, and I longed to obtain food and shelter; at length I perceived a small hut, on a rising ground, which had doubtless been built for the convenience of some shepherd. This was a new sight to me; and I examined the structure with great curiosity. Finding the door open, I entered. An old man sat in it, near a fire, over which he was preparing his breakfast. He turned on hearing a noise; and, perceiving me, shrieked loudly, and, quitting the hut, ran across the fields with a speed of which his debilitated form hardly appeared capable. His appearance, different from any I had ever before seen, and his flight, somewhat surprised me. But I was enchanted by the appearance of the hut: here the snow and rain could not penetrate; the ground was dry; and it presented to me then as exquisite and divine a retreat as Pandæmonium appeared to the dæmons of hell after their sufferings in the lake of fire. I greedily devoured the remnants of the shepherd's breakfast, which consisted of bread, cheese, milk, and wine; the latter, however, I did not like. Then overcome by fatigue, I lay down among some straw, and fell asleep.
It was noon when I awoke; and, allured by the warmth of the sun, which shone brightly on the white ground, I determined to recommence my travels; and, depositing the remains of the peasant's breakfast in a wallet I found, I proceeded across the fields for several hours, until at sunset I arrived at a village..."