Argyle City

Those of you that have read the book, or my amazon author page, saw the line about working hard on my graphic novel Argyle City. You probably asked yourself what it’s all about. Is it zombie? No. Is it horror? No. It’s a dark comedy if it must be categorized, but like just about everything I do it is more than that. This is my magnum opus if you will. I have two actually. One which is a deeply complex fantasy novel and the other is Argyle City. The former is something I’ll probably work on for a very long time, and after gaining some momentum post Creepers it took a back burner again. Argyle City is something I’ve been working on in between everything. I forgot about it for a long time after graduating college. Well, that isn’t exactly the truth. I never truly forgot about it, but I forgot about art for almost six years and concentrated on writing. As a way to get the rust worked out I came back to it. I wrote the script, most of which had been living in my head for years, and once that was done I got to work.

It started as something so simple and silly back in college. A cigarette as a character. Yes, I was a smoker at the time, so that had a lot to do with it. I think it was an 8 page comic project or something close to that. I’ll have to dig it out of the archives so I can embarrass myself at some point. But back then, Cigman as he was dubbed by my friend Pete, was born, though, he did not really have a back story, or a reason to exist yet. Somewhere in between I read a lot of Raymond Chandler and Michael Connelly and Cigman became Cy. A gritty living cigarette detective, but that didn’t make much sense at all. Those influences did give him the fedora and tie, but his real background would come a few years later.

In came Butterfield Buddha and he became the reason for Cy’s existence. You see, Argyle City is the city away from home for so many strange beings: gods, goddesses, creatures beyond the capacity of the mind, and whole bunch more. Like all cities it is not without incident. Cy was once human but he was murdered as part of a deeper plot, but his killer did not know that Butterfield had a lesson lined up for his lifelong smoker friend, and so our smoky hero is born. But it was only supposed to be temporary, a mere lesson, but then Butterfield was taken out of the equation as well. I’ll leave the explanation there as I do not want to spoil the story.

So here you have the culmination of all of that: Issue 1. This is all pen, ink and brush (windsor newton series 7 #0). This is not the final product, not even close, but I wanted to share it with you all to give you an idea of what Argyle City is. It’s a rare glimpse into comics. There are plenty of errors, some of which have been fixed with white out, but I have yet to scan them in and really go to work. I didn’t even erase my pencil marks yet. This is about as raw as it gets. I have not settled on the design of Cy’s partner in crime, Twenty Big, her design is something I’ll probably fight with for a bit longer. So that is why she looks different in every panel she appears in. I just can’t make the transition from her image in my mind to the paper. It’ll happen eventually, but for now you have a generic placeholder. I used these pages to get back into the thinking of comics and to start working on my figure drawing, which has been sorely lacking for almost 8 years. This is but a glimpse of the project. I hope to share more with you in the future. First is the Creepers sequel though, and I’ve been cranking away on it.

I will update the Argyle City stuff as I make it, and I’ll even share some sketches and more the background work as I have time. I always want to know how people get to the finished project. Sometimes it’s more fascinating than the project itself for me, even when the final is amazing. But a lot of artists and authors don’t show that side. They don’t want you to see the flaws and how they hid them or changed them. I’ve decided I don’t care about that anymore. Each piece is a journey, each word, each page, each line and brush stroke. They are all parts of the whole and I think it’s fun to see them add up overtime. You can see all the pages by clicking the Argyle City link on the right.

Thanks for all your support.

Norm

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3 Responses to “Argyle City”

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