The Bad Bad Book- sketches and such.
Well, that’s that then.
After Malta, Thought Bubble, the Mega City Comics signing and The Cartoon Museum event, I think we can say that the Bad Bad Place has been thoroughly launched. It should be available from all decent comics boutiques and sales sites seviced by Turnaround distribution. And is purchasable from Soaring penguin here:
At the Cartoon Museum launch myself and Mr Hine gave a little presentation about the book, its genesis and themes and such, with a slideshow, and I thought you’d like to see a bit of it. Here’s my first sketchbook pass at Ned;
One of the things that became clear upon riffling through old sketchbooks was how concurrent the conceptual phases of Lip Hook and Bad Bad were. Pages of character designs for both books were thoroughly mixed up under the same covers, to the extent that a couple of cast members seem to have starred in both books. I now think of them all as bit players, like Peckinpah’s regulars, ready to be called upon for the next book. Ned pretty much pops up in Lip Hook with a hook on his hand. I like to imagine in his time off from featuring in our books he runs a junk shop in hastings specialising in maritime antiques and curiosities.
Here’s a misnamed Malise, amongst others;
The sketchbook phase is often done without much knowledge of how much each character will actually feature in the story. Ned’s parents only get a few panels, Malise takes quite large role, though not often looking quite as she does here….
Bit players; Bradley Clamp, a snot-nosed boy and a whole lot of ink:
Freehand dip pen scribbles that slowly evolved into an actual character, in a style that doesn’t really resemble that used in the finished book much. The episodic nature of the Bad Bad Place‘s construction meant that I didn’t know, say, Bradley’s role in the whole thing. I wish could have another crack at the framing of those damn council meetings , looking back. too manyclose ups and mid-shots for my current liking. Bradley’ gammon face was alaways a pleasure to draw though…
Here’s a skew-faced Serena and , uh,…siblings:
There are a few key differences between Lip Hook and Bad Bad, despite their entwined conception. for a start, the new book is much more condensed, with the 10 page chapter constraints, (which we broke a couple of times,) meaning that we had to exercise a lot of control to fit the story in to the required space, it’s also a bit broader and more out there. Lip Hook takes place in its own little world, but it could all take place in ‘reality’, just about, given that a trippy fog hangs over everything and some of the cast are prone to visions. It’s like a story that takes place in mine and David’s memory of rural areas in the 1970’s and thereabouts.
The Bad Bad Place, on the other hand, has your actual supernatural craziness happening in the story, there’s weird creatures and a Brigadoon style apparitional house and strange business happening underground and a whole Lovecraftian flavour that would have been wildly out of place in the earlier book.
I love the tone of Lip Hook, but damn, those beasties is fun to draw.
Here’s some inks, first page of chapter eight. Hope this doesn’t give away much for those who haven’t read the beast:
The bit before the colouring and lettering, and after the thumbnails and pencils, obviously.
Loved drawing these two characters interactions, kind of sad to give them up. One of the effects of the book’s looong production is that I actually spent a lot more time on the pages of this than anything produced on a tighter deadline. I like this dip pen and brush wonky lined look I’ve ended up with right now, but it’ll evolve into something else eventually.
Thanks to John Anderson and Tim Pilcher of Soaring Penguin for making it happen, and the fine folks at Malta, Thought Bubble, Mega City and the Cartoon Museum for all their gracious help.
Haven’t scanned them yet, but all the pages, both pencils and inks are for sale, should you wish for anything.
Get hold of me via Twitter and Instagram as @marxtafford
Hope you like the book.
And, importantly, buy the book.
And then post about the book saying how damn fine it is.
So that other people buy it.
That’s all for now.