SPIRITS:THE CLOCK STRIKES…COMICS, CINEMA AND FILM NOIR

SPIRITS:THE CLOCK STRIKES…COMICS, CINEMA AND FILM NOIR

CINEMA | FILM NOIR
Graphite and collage on plywood board
27” x 34”

Back 2012 I was asked to be involved with a new comic featuring the first ever masked hero. Before Superman, Batman, the Spirit and a long list of crusaders against truth and justice was the Clock, possessing a complete absence of super powers (unless you count his ability to swiftly don a mask and shoot people) and an intense dislike of villains he was the first, sort of, superhero.

Created, written and illustrated by George Brenner in 1936 the Clock is now a public domain character, which means that anybody can use him without fear of copyright infringement reprisals and that’s what John Short, publisher and proprietor of Kult Creations decided to do. Apart from being a jolly nice chap John is a writer rather than an artist..actually he’s an artist too, but he felt his style was too cartoony for the grim noir look he had in mind for the Clock’s grand return and so he asked me if I’d do it. Easily flattered and lured with the promises of bags of silver I agreed. I also thought it would be good fun, which it certainly was, although it was also more time consuming than I imagined but I was proud of the final work and with the story being set in gangster era America I wanted it to have a film noir feel, which i think I managed.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking; what’s all this got to do with fine art and and who’s the dame in the artwork? A friend and fellow member of the art group I take part in (the meetings of which tend to amount to slightly drunken chats in the pub about how we’re going to get people to see our artwork and take us seriously before discussing the hilarious time that we were supposed to be going on a tour of the York art galleries and spent the entire afternoon in the Black Swan) suggested that we create a series of artworks based on the theme of ‘cinema’ and then use actual cinemas to exhibit the work. Brilliant idea (clearly our meetings are occasionally productive) and we each have to approach the theme in our own way so I’ve been researching ideas and reference material. After much hunting around the net and getting distracted with articles about Star Trek and James Bond I’ve decided upon using film genres as my subject and one of those is film noir.

At this point a small light went on in my head and it occurred to me that I could use my involvement with the Clock project and create a dual theme piece that would use the Clock as a springboard for my first cinema piece. I had a trawl around Google images to see if I could find someone that had a look of the character I’d drawn in the Clock and also had a connection with film noir. And there she was: Lauren Bacall.

Although the Spirits project doesn’t usually involve recognised people (unless I’m doing sketches to promote blog posts) I think with the cinema theme it works well.

I was pleased with how this turned out and as I intend to do at least half a dozen pieces for the first exhibition I thought I’d crack on with the next one, which is based on Marilyn Monroe’s Niagara.

I’ll post the pencil drawing for that with my next blog entry (although I’ve also started work on some York themed pieces so one of those might happen first).

Original Artwork : £290.00

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