Comic Strip Dots

June 29, 2014

Yesterday Richard and I went to the ASU Art Museum to see some new Andy Warhol prints that are on display there. They were okay, but R and I both agreed that Warhol the person is way more interesting than his work.

Luckily they had another exhibit going on called Funny Papers that was really cool. It included prints from many 19th century political cartoonists like Damuier and Nast (the guy who basically designed Santa as we know him).

There were also a ton of original early American comic strips such as “Blondie” and a bunch of others that I had never even heard of before. I loved looking at those because you could see where the artists had put white out over their mistakes, and you could also see where they had applied Ben-Day dots onto certain areas, such as a piece of clothing.

Looking at all the different comics displayed next to each other, I really noticed how much more realistic the figures look in the dramatic strips than they do in the funny ones. There was a panel in one particular strip that I couldn’t stop looking at, because the artist had done a really good job of capturing the posture of a boxer resting against the ropes in a boxing ring between matches.

So while I was there I attempted to recreate that panel. Then when I got home, I remembered that I had a sheet of “Maxon Comic Strip Pattern” that an art store was giving out for free at a special event I attended last year. I had been saving that sheet for something special (translation: I was too lazy to try to figure out how to use it) and decided that now was the time.



Basically this stuff is a sheet of adhesive paper with a halftone pattern printed on it. You cut out the shape that you want, peel off the back paper, and apply the pattern to the section you want to have the halftone. Then you scrub it with a burnisher. Or in my case, the handle of your scissors.

My halftone experiment was a little sloppy because I did it hastily on a cluttered desk with scissors too large to be precise. But I really like the effect, and I am glad that I finally gave it a try.

I am definitely going to incorporate this technique into more of my stuff, but next time I intend to execute good craftsmanship by taking the time to trace the area accurately, and cut out the pattern with an exacto knife rather than a clunky pair of scissors.

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