The Rock

The Witch gouache painting by Maggie Umber

Storyboards

Apr 4, 2018

This week I've started a new comic for my graphic novel collection Chrysanthemum Under the Waves. It's called The Rock. After finishing the labor intensive penciling and painting of Chrysanthemum I wanted to loosen up and go cartoony. Simple shapes, very reduced, a speedy process. I plan to do direct-carved woodcuts - meaning no transferring of the image ahead of time. I started a new sketchbook for The Rock and I'm doing brush pen experiments in it.

I bought a bunch of Shina Plywood from McClain's Printmaking Supplies for my woodcuts. I ordered ten 4" x 6" 3/8 (so I can carve on both sides) and a Shina Grab Bag which is 20 piece mix of 1/4" Shina Plywood and 3/8" Shina Plywood in sizes from 2" x 2" up to 4" x 4".

After I received my order I was worried the blocks were too small for The Rock. However, now I'm happy because small means I can work fast. Even though I'm doing woodcuts I can experiment, work direct, and make mistakes without it being a huge loss of time and money.

Apr 9, 2018

Throughout this week I prepped two test woodcuts for The Rock. First I stained two Shina plywood blocks with sepia colored waterproof Sennelier Shellac Ink. Then I decided to draw on the woodblocks with my Sakura Pigma Micron Pen brush pen, using my sketchbook as reference. Next I honed my Power Grip Carving Tools with my Flexcut Slipstrop. Then I carved my blocks! I got a new bench hook (Martin Universal Design Carving Block Holder) right before I moved to Chicago. I got it because it's larger than my other one and it has a nice v-groove. You can use it to hold your block at an angle while you carve. I use the toothbrush to brush all of the wood I carve off of the block and later into the trash. Super handy! I'm new to woodcuts so I don't have a lot of knowledge about how deep to carve. I'm not sure how much noise will show up in the areas that I carved away when I print. We shall see!

Press

Feb 9, 2019

This week has not been as productive as I would have liked... Unfortunately having to go back to the ER made me super anxious. In response I overworked myself and then partied too hard, then overworked myself again. I got a super sore neck from headbanging at a dance party which spread into my right rotator cuff from too much carving and animating. This put me out of commission.

A chunk of my time off ended up being spent promoting stuff on social media. My comic The Rock went up on Spiralbound magazine on Wednesday. I also promoted Chrysanthemum being in NOW #5 and There is Water being in BOMB magazine since I was too sick to do promos when they came out.

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The original version of The Rock appeared in spiralbound magazine, edited by Edith Zimmerman and published by medium.com, in 2019.

Mirrored, Muted & Mis-registered: Printing The Rock Woodcuts for The Man in the Blue Suit. Medium.com. 2019.