Monday, November 14, 2011

Attribution, Sprite Comics and Collage

I often wonder while making Dwarf Lover whether or not I should be making mention of every place I take a picture or every artist I can find that created the pieces I'm using. I imagine at some point I'll go through the comics one by one and try to remember all of the sources. Sort of like a director's cut except over here instead of over there with the comic.

And since I'm on the topic of using other art to create a comic, I thought I'd define Dwarf Lover as I see it. It often gets called a Sprite Comic which is both a neutral general term to describe a comic that doesn't use original art (usually a sprite comic because it uses the graphics from a video game) and in a derogatory sense because, well, the comic doesn't use original art.

Dwarf Lover, as you may have noticed, does not use original art. Well, not true. It generally doesn't use original art. My art is peppered through the comic where needed but this comic, The Journal of Kohk Korunch, is completely my work. Except for the initial hand.

But Dwarf Lover is also not a Sprite Comic. It's more of a collage. It takes images of every kind from many sources. The web, comics, gaming manuals, video games, movies. And the majority of the scenes and characters have been painstakingly reworked. All of the major characters have been pulled apart, torn limb from limb, and rebuilt so that I can move their parts around and put them in whatever poses I choose. Most of the backgrounds need to be turned into a blank and each individual set piece pulled out so that I can manipulate it to my will.

It takes a lot of work to put together an action scene in Dwarf Lover.

In the beginning, I wrote a lot of 'talking heads' episodes because it seemed easier. It was also boring. So I began writing the comic without thinking about the effort each page would take in Photoshop. I found I liked this best of all. Sometimes I wouldn't notice how difficult a page would be to shop until I started the actual work. But often, I'll write a page and just shake my head, thinking, "How in the world am I going to put THAT together?" And then I do it.

But since it still isn't my original art, it will always be looked down upon by the jerkier nerds on the internet. If people can look past that aspect and realize what I'm doing is art in and of itself (yes, art can have dick jokes), they might be pleasantly surprised at the story taking place on this obscure little place on the web.

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