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Author Topic: K-Metal Preview: "Hidden Gold"  (Read 11511 times)
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Great Rao
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« on: November 28, 2005, 05:36:57 AM »

If you've read through the article explaining how we are putting together Siegel and Shuster's lost "K-Metal" story, you know that only 10 of Joe Shuster's original 26 pages are known to be in existence.

Since we don't have access to the original artwork, Angel Criado is redrawing the Shuster pages using the copies that we have as reference.  Then Bob Rivard is inking and coloring Angel's pages.

I just received their completed page 5 and am completely blown away by the absolutely incredible job that they're doing.

As an example, here for comparison is the sixth panel from the original 1940 Shuster page as it was reproduced in Alter Ego #26:



Keep in mind, this is only one panel from an 8 panel page.

Here's the same panel from Angel and Bob's completed page 5.  This is before I've added the dialogue, and the full-size presentation here really lets you see the amazing amount of detail work they've done. (As usual, click to zoom-in.)



There's a lot that I like in this panel, but the main focus for me is the painting, which Bob has done a fantastic job on.

But just wait until you get a look at their Lois Lane!

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2005, 06:10:04 AM »

I hate to criticize such an obviously worthwhile project that all involved seem (deservedly) passionate about, but the newly-drawn,  color-ized version of that panel eliminates all of the charm and storytelling power of the original.

The most colorful aspect of the panel is now the painting.  Its microscopic detail is glaringly at odds with the simplicity of the forground figures.  The people who are having the discussion and carrying the story forward are eclipsed by this giant painting, which is described adequately enough in the original word balloon (charming and effective in its own right).

Again, this is a great project, presenting a free, readable, complete version of this "lost" story from the Golden Age of Superman, but I won't be raving about the "improved" Shuster studio art based on this sample.

Call me Mr. Crusty Curmudgeon :cry:
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2005, 09:47:27 PM »

I partly agree about the painting, but I think its a relatively minor thing.

But I don't think it will be a problem in the completed piece as a whole...I can't wait until its done, its a cool project and I thank everyone who is putting in all the time to make it a reality...it rocks...  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2005, 10:19:19 PM »

Thanks, Tenzil! Smiley  We're all putting in a lot of work on this thing!

Sorry you don't like the painting, Telle.

One of the reasons I posted this particular panel was so that people could get a glimpse of the detail in the finished artwork.  Once all the dialogue is in place (and if it's anything like the original artwork, that means that about half the panel will be covered with dialogue balloons) and once the page is shrunk down for online presentation, most likely all you'll be able to see of the painting is a smudge of color.  So get a look at it here while you can.

Quote from: "Telle"
Its microscopic detail is glaringly at odds with the simplicity of the forground figures.

One of the points that Scott McCloud makes in Understanding Comics is that if you look at something like, say, Tintin (probably my all-time favorite comic book series), you'll notice that the characters are surprisingly simplistic and cartoony, but the backgrounds are incredibly realistic and detailed.  This has the effect of helping the reader to indentify with the characters and also places them in the environment, smack-dab in the middle of all the action.

But that's merely an intellectual point raised on my part in response to your statement.  I don't think it even applies here.  Like I said, once the page is done I don't think the painting will stand out so much.  In my eyes that would be a loss and I hope it does stand out, because it looks great!

Angel made this point, and I agree with him on it:
Quote from: "Angel Criado"
I stand behind Bob's choice of making Hidden Gold a painting without ink.  It was a good call, and in the context of the page brings the action into the figures, not the background.  Shuster would have likely made the same call too with the technology we have available to us today.

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2005, 03:52:02 AM »

Thanks to both Telle and MatterEater for their comments, opinions and support.  I am very happy to be working with Rao and Bob Rivard on this and am very excited to see my dream on this become a reality.  When I envisioned this project some time ago, my 1st impulse was to do this  because I sincerely admire what Rao has created here, and I wanted to do something worthy of this site.  I mean, this is the only site with an original Maggin story, and with on-line comics to boot.  I think this site, out of all the Superman sites there are was one of the very few that was willing to stand up to a corporate giant and keep the pure idea of this character alive.  I was brought up on Supes, Pre-Crisis and the period as a whole carried with it a magic and innocence that I feel I can only get glimpses of since, but I get it in spades here.

I remember when I 1st found this site, I spent hours upon hours reading everything I could find on that site.  So words are difficult to express the appreciation I have for the work done here.

So - thank you all for continuing to frequent this site and making it a cornerstone of the web for Superman.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2005, 04:01:40 AM »

You keep flying, Angel baby! S!
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2005, 04:04:59 AM »

Thanks!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2005, 04:21:06 AM »

Hey, nobody's more old school than me, so I don't do the effects lightly!  I thought that since the painting represented another medium, an artsy style would differentiate it from say, a photograph or drawing.  Besides, the art critic goes on for half the page about how kitschy and amateur it is - I figured gaudy was called for.  I haven't seen the whole script yet, but I presume the painting actually is a story point, so a little attention to it also seemed called for.
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