Black Crown, an imprint at IDW edited by Shelly Bond, which will be publishing creator-owned works, holds a virtual happy hour every Friday at 4pm PST. During this time, they post details and elements from their upcoming books, and in this case, it’s October’s Kid Lobotomy, written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Tess Fowler.
In previous weeks, we’ve learned more about the geography and location of the virtual Black Crown Pub, which ties together the street positions of bricks and mortar shops and venues that tie to comic book titles in this line. Kid Lobotomy is set in a hotel known as “The Suites” and is easily accessible from Black Crown Pub, for instance.
This time, on April 21st,we learned that the imprint has added a colorist, Jason Lewis, and consequently, he gets a CMYK themed cocktail. It promises to make you “see stars in technicolor”. That seems likely!
Alongside this announcement, we get a big reveal of artwork for a new character in Kid Lobotomy the hotel receptionist at ‘The Suites”, Gervais:
He’s described as “dashing, delicate, dubious” and for a title like Kid Lobotomy, a dark tale where guests check in but don’t check out, that seems like a must. Dashing enough to lure guests in, dubious enough to turn a blind eye to what’s going on in the establishment.
But in tradition of these happy hour sessions, we also get notes from the editor’s desk. The first of these is really interesting for comic fans, who may have never seen this kind of process page before.
It’s a sketch page that shows Tess Fowler’s original pencil drawing for a page of the comic, and onto a copy of that page, balloon placements have been drawn also. These placements show where speech is going to appear in the finished comic, and the attention on placement helps make sure that readers can follow speech bubbles in the right order, and without missing any detail in the art that might be covered if a speech bubble or caption is placed without enough planning. Alongside that, we have Shelly Bond’s notes about the pencil drawing and page composition. This is a really key stage in the development of any comic, but not one that’s usually shown to the public.
Bond also comments on the “left to right” composition Fowler is making sure to use for conveying her visual information to the reader. In European and American comics, we read a panel from left to right, so the “first” character we see and interpret will be on the left.
Here are those notes:
In it, we also see the “family dynamic” emerging of Kid Lobotomy, his sister, and their father, who is “King of the Bank”.
Lastly, in our happy hour sessions, Bond launched another volley at Peter Milligan in their ongoing banter about his bad behavior and unpredictable scripting. Here, however, Bond is pleased, if perplexed:
Well, that post-it note speaks for itself. Also check out the red inked note to the right–Shakespeare references in a dark drama? How appropriate…
Tune in next Friday, April 28th, for the Black Crown happy hour and more reveals.