Where does it come from, Where does it go? Part 4
When I was faced with the task of creating a black and white comic, I was both excited and somewhat daunted. Without color on the pages, my drawings would have to look complete in black and white as never before. So, I cast about for ideas and inspirations for how to approach a satisfying black and white look. I started with the work of the illustrators who had always been my strongest guiding lights, and whose work , whether in color or black and white, always looked complete, full and satisfying. But I also knew I wanted to “simplify” my work, to reduce some of the rendering, the sheer number of lines I was habitually using in my work.
Help came with the appearance of Love and Rockets from Los Bros Hernandez. It had recently arrived on the comics scene, and it hit like a breath of exhilarating fresh air, particularly the clean, crisp esthetic of Jaime Hernandez. The mountain of critical praise and awards that Love and Rockets has gathered over the years has been well-deserved.
While in many ways the sensibility of L&R was the polar opposite of “mainstream” action and adventure comics like Trekker, the clarity and efficiency of Jamie’s line work pointed me in a direction that felt right for Trekker. It took a while for any of that economy of line to make its way into my pages—the “linework rendering habit” was pretty deeply engrained in me – but gradually, by the time of the stories we are getting to now, it began to make a welcome appearance. While I never hit anything like Jamie’s elegance anymore than I did the deft mastery of Williamson or Wood, some touch of his vision helped to guide the look that I tried to develop with Trekker.