Ham on Rye - web comic (1 Viewer)

Hi Guys, I've been working on a comic book version of "Ham on Rye."
I'm a wannabe illustrator and its been great practice for me, picking my favourite chapters and trying to translate the story to picture form. I read the book when I was 19 and thought about doing this for a long time, just got the motivation in the past few months.
You can see the comic book so far here.
Any feedback or comments would be more than welcome.

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bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I really like it. I think that it is very well done. Have you talked to the estate about publishing it?

I love Henry Sr's teeth.....
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Great stuff! I like it. Please make some more, and you should try getting it published too.
Welcome aboard!
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
nice work, kid!

i bet the "old alley cat" himself would've approved.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
holy synchronicity erik!

it did bring to mind maus but not in that way...:DD
 
Thanks so much for all the positive comments, it really means a lot to me. I haven't really shown this to many people so having Bukowski fans enjoy it's great.
I wouldn't really know where to start to get it published, maybe once I've got a few more chapters done I'll give it a go.
I haven't read Maus but I'll check it out. I had Robert Crumbs style in mind doing this, for some reason I felt a connection between him and Bukowski.
I'll give you all a heads up when I get more work done on this mutha.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I know some publishers... Getting permissions would be the tough part, though.

The one critique is that the fonts are a bit different from panel to panel. Maybe they are slightly resized and that is causing them to look different. Is the plan at some point to hand letter? If not maybe change the font?

And we hate most adaptations of Bukowski's work so the fact that you have so much positive feedback should mean a lot. We not pushovers for sure...
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
that's the only criticism i would make as well - hand lettering is the way to go.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
you can do that by hand, just vary the size and style.

i think it looks too mechanical compared to the hand-drawn illustrations.

johnny 2-cents has spoken...
 
Yeah the writings not great, its better then my serial killer handwriting. I'll look around for a better font at some point or maybe look for somebody to do it by hand. I wanted an old school typewriter font for the captions which is why the speech is different.
I'm at the stage where I'm going back to redo some of the frames, I think about 30% need redrawn. Thats the beauty of photoshop, I can just paste them over the top.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
I wanted an old school typewriter font for the captions which is why the speech is different.

that's a great idea, you just need one that looks more authentic "old school" style.

there's lots of examples on the web -

typewriterfont.gif
 
Hey good people. I've been working on a graphic novel of Ham on Rye for a while now, I just finished a new chapter so I thought I'd give you all a heads up. You can see the story so far here.
I posted on the new blood section a little while back (threads now merged, ed.) and got some great feedback, one of the things people didn't like was the font. I'm using a new one for the captions which I think looks a lot better but for the life of me I can't find anything better for the speech bubbles.
I'm at the stage where hopefully I can go back and improve some of the other chapters, loads of the drawings are pretty crappy so all going well its going to get marginally better.

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bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I think that the typewriter font is perfect. The speech bubbles look really nice too. Maybe you can find something that works better, but these seem to work.
 
It's shit.
We get comic Shakespeare and comic this and comic that for students-it is shit too-good for you for having a talent but it is shit-create something anything that doesn't suck off someone else's work.
You ever read that quote about having your ladder against the wrong wall???
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
how about if Hank always wore the same shirt, which would be different than his friend's, so we could spot him. Something with stripes or a logo? Or a different nose. Just a thought... I like the style very much. Profile shots are great.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Well done, Big Tiger! It should be published as a graphic novel one day. If I were you, I would shop it around to the various comic book/graphic novel publishers once you have enough material for a first volume (it'll probably take more than one volume making "Ham On Rye" into a graphic novel).
I like the comic book style font in the speech balloons. I think it would look nice for the narrative parts too, but I do get the point of using the typewriter font.
 
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bosprss, erick: Thanks, I'm happy with the caption text and the speech font will do for now
short bus: I'm happy to get some critisism but struggled to understand what you are saying, is it just the concept of doing a Bukowski comic you hate? I'm an illustrator, not a writer but I can't really take the heat for other adaptions you hate. A Shakespeare comic does sound shitty though.
black swan: yeah you've got a good point, I think I'll make bigger differences to the characters as I go on
Jordo, Bukfan: thanks guys, it means a lot to me

I've got a new chapter up, although its now chapter 2 of 6, I'm not working in sequence. In this tale Harry learns the facts of life in the same way we all did. Check it out

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I've been working ... its been great practice

It all depends on the purpose of this project. As a hobby, I'm all for it. Pay homage, share it around, establish your rep, stay inspired, introduce people to Hanks work. But as a professional product you'd be pissing up the wrong tree. I don't feel that anybody should make money collaborating with someone that ain't collaborating back. There's no negotiation, which is why what you're doing, if you're doing it for professional product, amounts to sucking
off someone else's work.
- not just any someone, either, but a dead someone of all things.

Or maybe Short Bus is just jealous, and he secretly loves your skill and wants you to illustrate his work instead :wb: ... But then, like everyone else on this thread, I agree that your talent is tops man. Just don't forget to use it on with people who are alive and can suck back. :cool:

You ever read that quote about having your ladder against the wrong wall???

no but i heard the one from sac newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
It all depends on the purpose of this project. As a hobby, I'm all for it. Pay homage, share it around, establish your rep, stay inspired, introduce people to Hanks work. But as a professional product you'd be pissing up the wrong tree. I don't feel that anybody should make money collaborating with someone that ain't collaborating back. There's no negotiation, which is why what you're doing, if you're doing it for professional product, amounts to sucking - not just any someone, either, but a dead someone of all things.

Where to start... If he gets permissions from the copyright holder, do you approve? If he publishes this without permissions, he will get sued. Do you oppose all posthumous work? Some Bukowski treatments are pretty offensive, but not only do I like this one, but think that Hank would like it too. The only way to know is to ask the estate. If they approve, then that is as good, really, as Hank approving.

And not sure how making money especially if royalties are paid to the estate is offensive. This seems to be the same tired, old argument that Bukowski just wanted to write and drink and hated the idea that people made money off his writing ("he was just about the words, maaaaan...") It is complete bullshit. He understood that it is a business and that it afforded him and now his widow a comfortable life.
 
It's shit because it isn't your idea-all you have done is take someones else's work and drawn cats with words-thats it. They may be very nicely drawn cats. I like cats-but are you seriously without some originality are you afraid to sweat? Saying your just an illustrator doesn't let you off the hook for using work that isn't yours to promote your work. You can of course and people may like it-people liked Vanilla Ice when he used the Queen riff. So yes you have a goal. Be Bukowski's Vanilla Ice.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
you're shit, because your generic criticism isn't your idea - all you have done is take some trolls' comments on comics message boards and reposted it here - that's it.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
things that are shit, according to short bus:
crumb's illustrations in 'bring me your love' and 'there's no business'
crumb's 'the book of genesis'
johnny cash's cover of 'hurt' by nine inch nails
moebius's art in 'the incal'
jacques tardi's art in 'west coast blues'
anything loujon press ever did (it's just bukowski's words wrapped in a fancy package)
etc.

you can minimize any adaptation with the same line ("all you did is....") - and if your argument is that adaptation is a worthless art form, then you aren't worth arguing with.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I'm with jordan here. Big Tiger is an illustrator, there is no implied 'collaborator.'

my favourite edition of Moby Dick is the one with the Rockwell Kent illustrations. Melville didn't collaborate on that edition, probably because he was dead for a long time. but whoever owned the rights (is that the proper term?) to Moby Dick signed of on it and I'm glad they did.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Funny, I don't recall anybody being upset when Schultheiss illustrated a bunch of Bukowski's short stories (or when Crumb illustrated some of Kafka's stories). I don't see anything wrong with an artist illustrating somebody else's stories. If that's wrong, then it's also wrong to make somebody else's story into a movie.
 
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mjp

Founding member
If that's wrong, then it's also wrong to make somebody else's story into a movie.
Well...it is wrong to make someone's story into a movie, if they (or their heirs) didn't sell you the rights to that story or agree to let you adapt it.

You can't compare Big Tiger's work to the Moby Dick illustrations or Crumb's illustrations of Bukowski's work because they aren't the same thing. All Big Tiger is doing is what the kids who "write" music around Bukowski's words are doing. Hitching a ride on someone else's creativity.

My argument with this type of thing has never been that it isn't valid or doesn't have any merit (especially in music, where cover versions have a long and respected history that started before modern recording methods existed), but rather that it's lazy, and more than a little parasitic.

People are looking at and commenting on (and coming to virtual blows over) Big Tiger's drawings because of Bukowski's words. Take those words away and the interest in the cats is nil.
 
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jordan

lothario speedwagon
it's not lazy if you add to it or develop it in some way (especially b/c big tiger said up front he was doing it as more of an exercise and not because he wanted to publish it). i haven't read the whole thing, so i guess i'm not defending it as much as i'm taking issue with the fact that decrying that "it's shit" just by virtue of the fact that it uses bukowsi's words makes no sense.
 
Where to start... If he gets permissions from the copyright holder, do you approve? If he publishes this without permissions, he will get sued. Do you oppose all posthumous work? Some Bukowski treatments are pretty offensive, but not only do I like this one, but think that Hank would like it too. The only way to know is to ask the estate. If they approve, then that is as good, really, as Hank approving.

And not sure how making money especially if royalties are paid to the estate is offensive. This seems to be the same tired, old argument that Bukowski just wanted to write and drink and hated the idea that people made money off his writing ("he was just about the words, maaaaan...") It is complete bullshit. He understood that it is a business and that it afforded him and now his widow a comfortable life.

he understood that it's a business but i think he also managed to transcend that business aspect of it because of how much substance he had and how much knowledge and skill and chops and experience and sensibility. But I don't think that what I'm saying is the tired argument that you reference here at all. I'm saying that there are some principles at play here. i know that they're not the end-all be-all, but then neither is whether it makes a buck and/or looks cool.

and i think that the 'Hank would've liked it' argument is garbage. first of all he was a fickle fucker (maybe i'm projecting, just my opinion there), and secondly he's dead. i always hate when people say 'oh so and so would LOVE this' ...

I've been taking other parts of your post to heart though and Jordans too and even though i'll bicker about the subtleties, I am changing my mind about the end result. It is a bit like like taking his poems and making the into a song, as MJP said, but if the estate is cool with it, nuff said. I was probably projecting some marxist anti-commodification/exploitation crap and its high time to get over it. bottom line, if somebody published these renditions with the approval of his heirs, I'd buy it up and tell my friends to buy it too.

back to the objection from Hooch, though, anybody who wraps their work around somebody elses work is either collaborating or stealing/tainting. i guess i'm using collaborating in a broader, metaphysical sense here, the sense in which old ben kenobe and young skywalker collaborated on taking down the death star. saying it's 'just an illustration' makes it seem like the 'illustrator' isn't altering the presentation of the work, which he is. after reading the comic, nobody will read the original the same, there will be this little picture of a cat in the back of their mind. so it's a big deal and thats what got me going hard to the hole about it in the first place.

but then just cuz its a big deal doesn't mean it shouldn't go down. The world is changing, Hank seems to me to have seen that, and even though we can't say whether he would have liked it or not, i think he would have at least understood why his heirs should see fit to approve this project.

sorry so long:nw: now back to my regularly scheduled program of ... crafting a 3-d version of the mona lisa from lincoln logs and play dough :p
 

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