My original line artwork for The Someday Funnies was returned to me this week. Federico Fellini and Mike Weller were the only two contributors who drew their pages double published tabloid size, according to book's creator and editor, Michel Choquette.
Also returned was smaller gouache painting Mick made to assist printers select mechanical colour for reproduction.
Choquette, on a visit to UK and Europe - is returning originals to writers' and artists' families and estates. Those still living are signing their printed contribution in a unique copy of book Michel worked on for over forty years. The ballad of The Someday Funnies keeps singing.
Painting (above left) was completed before electronic print. As well as its time-capsule content Choquette's book is a record of print technology for producing visual poetics of cartoon art. This forty-year old painting was used as guide to assist Choquette's Canadian colorist Max (Salgood Sam) Douglas to work on my line original. A young man called Mick began the analogue job. An elderly man named Michael signed the digitally published result.
Mike Weller photographed by Michel Choquette, July 2013
Earliest crayon sketch detail from Beat generation Ballads (Veer Books, 2011)
Fantagraphics, the US comics publisher who first discovered Michel Choquette's five decade hoard, didn't have resources to actually publish the book. They were unable to offer complimentary copies to all 169 contributors. Abrams took it on, delivering a copy to every living contributor - family and estates everywhere. Cities, towns, rural backwaters. Even Penge. The book is being bought by libraries.
But Fantagraphics are getting there fast. They are publishers of both 2009's Abstract Comics poetics and The Last Vispo Anthology mentioned here in an earlier post.