THE MAP SELLER
(Pencil on 116mm x 154mm cartridge paper)
THE ROTTING CORPSE INNE
(Pencil on 123mm x 192mm cartridge paper)
Normally, I wouldn't put such pieces up on this blog as these. They're older works, done in the latter part of 2000 and early 2001. I thought I'd lost them, but found them last year when doing a bit of clear out. They were meant to be a spoof of the old Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that were popular during the 1980s, and I had the idea of doing more of them, but must have gotten side-tracked by something else and completely forgot about them.
But it wasn't the theme of them that struck me as interesting, but more the battle of ideas that took place within them, which I was unaware of at the time. The idea of skav art was struggling to rise against the dominance of traditional art processes. If you look at them, you'll see it for yourself. They're both under A5 in size, I used no reference when working on them, and I wasn't too concerned for the odd mistake I made (The area under the map should have been in a darker shade, and yes, those fingernails do need cutting, don't they?) But that didn't matter for what they were.
However, the old art processes repeatedly stamped on it at every turn. The work had to be done with decent cartridge paper - 135gms at least. I used more than one grade of pencil for background and foreground. I even remember doing some quick pre-concept thumbnail sketches (especially for the pose of the corpse in the second one). But the final killer blow for the desperate idea of skav art was, of course, the ruled line around them both. Such a shame. It put up a good fight, but just wasn't strong enough. I've probably done other pieces like that before and after these were done that had the same struggle going on, but these two are a good example. I've added the final pages below, with their text, to show what I was going to do with them. I could finish the project off with skav artworks, and I still might at some point, but I thought it was a good idea to show them now. The one thing I did do when I found them was laminate them with the words: "Not quite skav!" written on the back of each.