Thursday, December 11, 2008

Die Drei Paradoxien Cover

Here is the cover for the German edition of The Three Paradoxes, from the initial original art to the final stages before printing (the lettering on the back cover was just to indicate placement and was to be hand-lettered later by the publishing house). The half-toned "Paul" on the right of the front cover was inked on an overlay, and the non-photo blue "Paul" on the left went through an arm adjustment when I realized it could be construed that he was reaching for a paw full of his neighboring Paul's crotch.

The arm revision says something about how I work. Probably it's over-thinking, possibly no one would read that from the image. Who knows. But it's one of the things I do each day: I look at what I'm doing and try to interpret it every way possible, especially from the viewpoint of the uninitiated, anyone unfamiliar with my work (which I assume to be the entire population of the world) or comics in general. I'm constantly inserting symbols that I know no one will find, not even on a second or third reading, and I'm always surprised what I find in the image that is unintentional. I'll often find something disturbing or overly revelatory in an image and just leave it in for someone else to potentially discover. Implanting or accidentally creating those little layers – those mental mine fields – is one of the great joys of drawing, though I often lose sight of it.

So this errant arm was one interpretation I came up with, thought it best to avoid in this case (since that's not at all the nature of the book this image was covering (or is it? Maybe I should have left it in)), and made the revision. I'll leave it for psychologists to dissect what exactly that means: a meta-fictional version of myself gratifying a fictional version of myself.

Hello, therapy.


Martin Magdalene said...

Maybe blue "Paul" noticed that neighbouring Paul's fly was undone, and was doing it up to save neighbouring Paul any embarrassment... wouldn't this be a perfect metaphor for your correction process?

Paul Hornschemeier said...

That metaphor might be too scarily accurate for me to fully consider. Well done.

Tim said...

Going slightly off topic here, but I just read The Three Paradoxes for the first time a few weeks back and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Paul Hornschemeier said...

Thanks, Tim.

I have to ask: is your picture the Hulk's hand holding a Captain Kirk doll?

Tim said...

Ha ha ha, almost!

It's a birthday card that a mate of mine made for me a few years back - my head stuck on the body of a Captain Kirk doll, being held by the big green hand that grabbed hold of the Enterprise in the episode 'Who Mourns for Adonais?'

Paul Hornschemeier said...

That's far better than a boring ol' picture of the Hulk holding a Captain Kirk doll. That's some friend. Hats off to the artist.