MadInkBeard by DerikBadman

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Colletta Suite I-VI

My story was selected as a “Notable Comic” for the 2014 edition of Best American Comics.

These six comics (of which the above is the sixth) are all redrawn appropriations from a number of Vince Colletta drawn romance comics (most from Charleton) accompanied by text copied and edited from various sources. I was trying out a strange 9 panel layout, designed as a set of 3 groups of 3 panels, that is partially an attempt to confound a normal reading path.

The comics are found in the Comics as Poetry anthology. It was compiled and published by Franklin Einspruch, and, besides Franklin and myself, includes work by:

So, there’s a lot of good work in there. Order it from New Modern Press.

Here’s a little something I wrote about the process of creating these pages:

As I work on these comics, I’m finding it hard to evaluate them. As I move further away from narrative and from really strict structures (such as I used in Badman’s Cave), it is harder to tell what is working and what isn’t, beyond some basic visual elements like layout, color balance, and composition. The text is based on procedural limitations (in this case, it all comes from paragraphs in The Tale of Genji where the word “letter” appears) which remove me from normal modes like story/narrative as well as from a more general personal expression (I’m not attempting to say anything about myself through the words). So the “writing” is very much a process of intuitive selection and arrangement. I grab a bunch of phrases that sound interesting, then I rearrange and edit them (slightly) into something that might work with the images (these recent comics have been done images first, then text). In the end… I’m not sure how to know if it works at all. I just stop when everything seems balanced (I think balance ends up being the main factor). Some of the later ones became a little more geometric than the previous pages, as I’m starting to think about how I create my comics digitally and there are some medium specific elements I can make more use of (why should I necessarily try to make my images look like they weren’t digitally drawn?).