Lucky Seven: The Dee Brown Incident
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Recreating the afternoon of September 21, 1990 Wellesley Hills 02481 presented unique challenges. Getting the surface-level items correct was relatively easy, thanks to Google and Boston Globe articles. Building visual details, logistics and overall atmosphere was a lot tougher. What did Jill Edmondson (Dee's fiancee) look like? How did the characters express their words? Which version of the incident — Dee's or the Wellesley Police Department's — was the most believable? Even locating the South Shore Bank was made difficult by 20 years of bank mergers. A detailed account of how these and other challenges were met are on this detailed blog. In summary, getting all the facts took a lot more time than orginally budgeted.
Working within the editoral process of the The Boston Comics Roundtable of submitting a visual script, the Harvey Kurtzman Method. This means each page is a tight thumbnail layout with complete script.
At the time this story was approved, I just finished teaching my first semester of Art of the Comic Book, and couldn't decide weather to make the art digitally or traditionally. Before this, I'd been making comics digitally for almost a decade. As the deadline loomed, I went with traditional. This decision forced me to retro-fit my studio with a drafting table, Mainline and taboret. I became a regular of art supply stores for the first time in decades. Anything that the Boston area stores (the elusive Speedball B-6 calligraphy nib) were bought online.
The art was rendered in the Summer of 2009. This was my first new story since 2008's "The Null Device", and my first complete traditional ink-on-paper comic since 1991's "B. S. Bach - A' Runnin' from A Gunnin'". The transition was tough at first. The process of producing each page gave me more confidence. One of the larger challenge was hand lettering, which I never did properly in the old days. After a decade of doing comics digitally, returning to traditional tools was a welcome, refreshing change. With no digital "zooming", my linework was more consistent throughout the story. Keeping track of details was easier. The process was so enjoyable I never went back to digital comics. In fact, my next project was to finish "School Fight!".
Tools and Materials
- 10" x 15" live area on 14" x 17" Strathmore 500 bristol paper
- Speedball Super Black India Ink
- Short-handle round #4 sable brush
- Ruling pen (borders)
- Speedball nib #512 (straight lines, details)
- Speedball B6 and B5 (lettering)
- Ames Lettering Guide (3.5/even-spaced calibration)
- Adobe Photoshop CS3 (production, corrections)
So now you know probably more than anyone needs to! Hopefully reading all this will add to an already enjoyable reading experience. If you like Lucky Seven, The Dee Brown Incident, be sure to thank Cathy Leamy and Samantha Milowsky for suggesting I put all this extras stuff on the bottom.
David Marshall, still bricking free throws after all these years.