The Watchman

(PG; Literature/Social Commentary) Comics adaptation of a short story by Frank Kafka. A child runs across a bridge of silent authority.

Story Notes

I drew this as an art student in 1985, in an attempt to drive the superhero genre out of my head. I was researching for my Senior Degree Project on the history of international comics. Between that and the rise of Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Maus, Raw and Love & Rockets, it looked like mainstream superhero comics were finally going to die. Oh how naive we were!

I wasn't ready for autobio or topical stories yet. Luckily I just read a ton of Salinger, Kafka and Doystevsky that year. "The Watchman" was short enough for me to adapt.

In an effort to modernize the story without wrecking it, this adaptation takes place at the Boston Public Common. Merging real details with surreal emotion ain't as easy as Salvador Dali makes it look.

The drawings are done with pointillism an crosshatching, a time-consuming technique I abandoned right after this story. This web comic edtion uses a font in place of my hand lettering, which was substandard even in the '80s. The original art is beautiful, even now.

Tools and Materials

  • 10" x 15" live area on 14" x 17" bristol paper
  • Higgins Black Magic india ink
  • Speedball nib #512 and Rapidograph technical pens
  • Short-handle round #4 sable brush (spotted blacks)

Dave M!, classing up the joint for a change.

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