This graphic novel started out as just an idea for a story that I was developing in my head, about guy who, while fishing, has a change of heart about killing animals. After a bit of thought, I was discarding the idea when the metaphorical lightning bolt of inspiration struck, and brought the idea back to life... or undeath. And so, I was inspired to draw my first ever pencil-shaded, wordless story. The majority of my cartoons thus far had either been drawn in pen and/or coloured using a computer, and were about talking animals and pop culture references. But THIS one would be arty and deep.
Well, as arty and deep as a story from the mind of a cartoonist whose work so far has consisted primarily of wacky adventures with talking animals and pop culture references can possibly be. The challenge was to pull the reader into the world of the Fisherman so that they wouldn't laugh out loud too hard when the true genre of this comic reared its ugly head halfway through the story.
On December 30, 2003, I began drawing the story of the fisherman, at a rate of one page per hour - almost exactly, to my surprise. Although it could have been an amazing "24 hour comic", I stopped for the day just after the halfway point. On December 31, it was mostly finished. On January 1, 2004, I draw the last page and made a title page. By now I had decided that this was more than just a "comic". It was perhaps worthy of being a "graphic novel". I showed it to nobody, explaining that they would get to see it in all its glory when I had published it.
Later in January, I discovered that my scanner was not sufficiently grunty to cope with some of my more subtle strokes of the HB pencil, and all the pictures were somewhat washed-out after scanning them into the computer. So over the next couple of days I went back and touched up thepictures using an arsenal of darker pencils. My scanner still couldn't do justice to the result, but the repencilling had added a lot to the original, making it more dark and brooding in the appropriate places, and bringing some nice stark contrast to other places.
Jason Lennie, a fellow cartoonist who was studying graphic design at the local polytech, kindly gave me access to the polytech's scanner, and soon The Fisherman was ready to go to the printers. However, due to his workload and my commitment to various distractions such as writing music for shows and drawing cartoons for the university (cartoons with wacky talking animals and campus culture references), we didn't get around to printing The Fisherman until the end of the year.
And so, on November 23, nearly a year after it was initially pencilled, The Fisherman was finally turned into the graphic novel that it was supposed to be. Not merely photocopied onto standard photocopier paper, but lovingly laser-printed onto the paper of choice of polytech graphic design students. Oh yes, look at the pages. See how the black shines. See how the grey looks as if I had pencilled my artwork directly onto the pages that you hold in your hands now. Rub your hand across that smooth page. Feel that? That is not the rough, crude feel of normal paper that degenerates with the ravages of time, gentle reader. Oh no, what you are feeling is high quality paper, with high quality printing, of which only a high quality graphic novel is worthy. A high quality graphic novel worthy of a high quality reader.
Thankyou for being a high quality reader. I hope you enjoy The Fisherman!
I am currently a 25-year-old 25 year-old animation student at the Freelance Art School in Auckland, after residing six years in Christchurch, NZ.
I have been making cartoons for magazines and the Internet for a few years now, and am just discovering the magical world of do-it-yerself computer animation. When I grow up I would like to be an astronaut and make animations for my millions of adoring fans (at present my adoring fans do not number in the millions). I have a student loan the size of a really big thing that isn't small, and am currently halfway to becoming insanely rich in order to pay it back. (All I need to do now is achieve the "rich" half.) If I ascribed to Astrology I would be a Sagittarius. I like pasta and zombies, and not necessarily separately. I also draw cartoons in exchange for money.
The TmsT Comicpage - where I keep links to all of my online comics.
"Goodbye, Cruel World!" - A huge comic series about the wacky adventures of talking animals, and pop culture references.
Ignatius "Iggy" the Incinerator - Comics that I made for the University of Canterbury Students' Association, promoting and developing their new dragon mascot, Ignatius (a talking animal).
If you'd like to order more copies of this book, please email me.
Price: NZ$6.00 + Postage/shipping (Hey, if I charged any less, the NZ comix industry would collapse and implode due to my CRAaAaAZY, LOW-LOW PRICES!)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, altered, remade, digitally remastered, adapted or resurrected in - or to - any form or medium without prior official consent from the author and if you do then he will track you down and draw a funny moustache on you while you sleep, or in the case of you already having a moustache of any degree of funniness, he will draw something embarrassing on your forehead in permanent marker.
(C)MMIV, MMV Andrew Kepple
Too Much Spare Time enterprises