the Concord Magazine

Jan/Feb 00
The Ezine for and about Concord, Massachusetts

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A Fine Art Comic Book

By Daniel Ferguson, a Concord resident who attends Oxford University, England. He would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding his work. His e-mail address is chucklesf@hotmail.com. This graphic novel was the result of his Senior Project at Concord Carlisle High School.

I have always been an avid fan of graphic novels and other sequential art forms. However, I was never able to pursue this interest within the confines of a traditional art background. I made half-hearted attempts at my own graphic novels, but I was never able to fully utilize my fine arts instruction. The typical results were very stiff, emotionless line drawings. I never attained the elusive richness and fluidity in these early works.

I finally came to the realization that I could create a graphic novel that did not resemble a stereotypical one. I incorporated the various techniques and media with which I was familiar into a cohesive body of work. I aimed to create a focus in which each piece, as well as the entire body, feels unified stylistically, thematically, and compositionally.

The choice of media in this project was very important to its final outcome. Being familiar with printing, I felt it lent itself best to the graphic result I desired. However, I did not want to be constrained by one technique for the entire project. I used monoprints, linoleum prints, oil ink paintings, and collaged and modified monoprints. This wide range allowed for ample freedom so as to prevent boredom, but it prevented too much digression.

I was particularly affected by the art of Egon Schiele during the creation of my project. His exaggerated, expressionistic figures are evident in my art to some extent. However, his influence is greatest in the compositions. He was able to create narrative art in one painting, with one subject. I attempted to tell a story with each panel that I completed.

The work consists of three levels: the individual panels, the individual pages, and the entire body. I wanted each level to be able to exist independently, to convey a story independently.

As the project progressed, the art became much less stiff. The first pages rely heavily upon conveying an objective image, using carefully placed lines. Towards the end, the images became much looser. The features of the faces are lost in favor of patches of lights and darks. Both early and late styles have narrative effects, but one is an objective compositional narrative while the other is a subjective, emotional narrative. The art has evolved and progressed within the initial parameters I set for myself, allowing for unity while preventing rigidity.

Text and images (including the background): ©2000 Daniel Ferguson


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