Are You Lonesome Tonight (Color)

Hey, remember this comic? I recently tabled the second annual Chicago Zine Fest, and I wanted Are You Lonesome Tonight? to be one of the comics available. (I also sold a considerable number of Dock Ellis comics, bike accident comics, and Motion Sickness posters.)

But, since I hadn't yet produced a nice run of Lonesome Tonight, I thought I'd add some color before doing so. Furthering my intimate relationship with color copier color separation, I experimented with paper towels, a pencil, and a light table to create textured, two-tone washes in the background of the comic.

The whole comic fits on two sides of one page (I drew it on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, but printed this run on a 11 x 17 sheet). I wanted to have two overlaid, misregistered washes of color on each side of the original B&W sheet, so I had to color in four different paper towel overlays, two for each side. I laid the original sheet (not seen above) on the light table with a clean towel on top, and used a soft graphite pencil to color around the Elvis impersonators and their word bubbles. While I was drawing each two overlays for the same side, I didn't compare, preferring to create the shapes from memory, and contributing to the inexactness of the shaded areas once the overlays were combined. You can see in the second picture above that the drawings do not perfectly match.

The other advantage of drawing this way on paper towels was the texture from the quilted pattern.

After I finished shading the paper towels, I took them to the color copier and made a photocopy of each, setting the printer to 'single color.'

You can see how the texture of the graphite and the quilted towels made its way through the copying process, ending up looking a lot like crayon drawings.

Finally, I copied these differently colored overlays onto my original B&W photocopied pages of line drawings. I placed the blue and green layers together, and the red and magenta layers together as well. Because I couldn't decide whether I liked the combination of red and magenta or red and yellow better, I made half of the comics one way and half the other.

A lot of people at Zine Fest told me they were impressed with my crayon drawings. I didn't know it would turn out with that identifiable of a texture, but I think it's pretty cool and it works well with the weird, melancholy attitude of the comic.

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