Friday, 30 November 2012

The Fair - Observer/Comica competition entry

 Click to enlarge, and please leave honest comments as I've not shown this to many people yet. I think it was a bit ambitious, and maybe not super clear in that it may need re-reading a couple of times. It's based on the premise that every fairground has a bunch of bloody art students spoiling it for everyone else.


Dave Shelton said...

That's wonderful, Jim. I think I might have needed multiple readings without your brief word of explanation before I read it but it's great stuff. The photo of the students with the policeman is a nice touch and your usual ability to depict modern youth convincingly is as enviable as ever. Top work.

Alex Potts said...

I think it's fantastic!
I didn't need to re-read it, I got it all right away, apart from panel 4 on page 2. I'm not sure I would have understood that they were art students if it wasn't for your introduction. Nice one Jim!

Jim Medway said...

Thanks Dave, much appreciated.
Alex, cheers too. That panel isn't so important - just retrieving lost items that were centrifugally pickpocketed.

Jim Medway said...

From my Dad-
Some of your most ravishing images, not least the beautiful colour -- more striking than I recall in any others of yours. The images repay repeated close looking -- which perhaps readers of this sort of thing in a newspaper aren't in the habit of giving. I would love to see the full-size version.

The problems were ones that were intriguing because they were soluble (part of the problem might have been that I wasn't seeing the images full size as I would have in the Observer):

(1) it took me a while and non-casual looking to realise that there were two separate groups of characters and that one lot were arty students -- at first casual, non-styles-aware sight like mine (am I a typical Observer reader?) they were all dressed like 'youth';

(2) not always clear what the characters are doing in an image -- e.g. what's the girl student in the blue cardigan doing in pages 1 & 2? I'm sure the answer is that if you watch people just being themselves unselfconsciously they do do things that seem hard to explain and that also tell you who they are (those are arty postures) -- not the things normally drawn in cartoons. I.e. the beauty of the work is in recording observation that cuts through visual stereotypes.

I think it's terrific. Perhaps it needs to be in a book where people will take it more seriously -- or just presented as 'images from fairground observation: kids and art students'. It will be interesting to see what others think. I suppose you don't get any feedback from the judges. Do you even know who they were?

My reply-

Thanks for your comments. I know one of the judges, but don't think they could give individual feedback on every entry.
Had a few comments on the blog which were similar to yours.
Just seemed like there's never a fairground without a photographer, like Disneyland is crammed full of academics and those 'studying the phenomena', and never entering the spirit of the thing or place. Thought it might be interesting to use the students photos as panels in the story, so differentiated them with white borders and different visual slants and effects like blurred backgrounds. I think the main problem is that there are two opposing 'experiences' of the fair - the kids and the students - but I've woven them too densely and made it a bit too rich. Maybe it would've worked better over 10 pages, or in black and white possibly. I was also being pretty ambitious in hoping to tell 2 overlapping stories together without the use of speech bubbles (bar the last panel) - I've seen it done by others, and realise now how difficult it actually is.

vollsticks said...

Hahah very cool! Coulda won but there was some stiff competition this year wasn't there?!? The Steve Tillotson Yeti comic was brilliant, if I had my way yours n' his'd be sharing joint first prize......

Jim Medway said...

Thanks Vollsticks, you are too kind!