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Black Hole by Charles Burns

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Post #2

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Final Sketch!  I decided to only ink in some of the details, since I want to put it into illustrator as soon as possible.  I just did half of it to see how it was looking, and I liked it! Here it is:

Vector version coming soon!

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Post #1

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For my project I chose the graphic novel "Black Hole" by Charles Burns.  A big reason why I chose this book is because I like horror and sci-fi - especially the monsters, mutants, and aliens in these types of stories - and this story is all about human mutation.  Also, Burns' drawings are absolutely stunning and make the story so beautiful and creepy.  I am definitely taking direct visual inspiration from his drawings.

A short summary:  The story is set in the suburbs during the 70's, and follows a group of teenagers after a mysterious STD called "The Bug" has started to spread through the teenage population.  This disease causes strange physical mutations which are unique to each person who contracts it.  The mutations range from small to full-body, and subtle to overwhelmingly grotesque.  The book is about these transformations and how many of the characters have to learn to live life as social outcasts.


My inspiration:  Many scenes throughout the book take place in the woods, and for me the leaves and branches are a beautiful element that holds a lot of meaning.  Early in the book the trees and shrubs are the background for parties, but later more and more kids end up living there once they contract The Bug.


In my designs, I started with leaves and branches and added in other objects that show up in the woods throughout the story.  I wanted to include common objects (bottles, broken glass, a joint) alongside more creepy ones (a doll's head, bones, a severed arm).  The first sketch has these objects filling the shape.  The second sketch is a variation, making a sort of vignette with an empty B shape in the center.  I'm imagining the background colored black, to make the B shape become a "black hole".

I like how both of these are looking, and I'm not sure which is more strong at this point.  When I was drawing these, I was placing the objects kind of randomly as I went, and I feel like that shows.  When I redraw them I'm going to focus on placing the objects in a way that directs the eye around the design better.

What do you all think?  I would love some constructive criticism on these designs.  Please feel free to speak your mind on how these can be improved - it's much appreciated!

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