Sounds of the Past – now in colour

Another mini-comic back from the printer today. This one is a colourised version of ‘Sounds of the Past’ from 1988. According to my records, it was published in Phil Elliott’s Gag magazine #7.

This is one of those one-off fable type stories where the characters, Douglas and Mary, never appear again in the Pinsent “universe”. Douglas is a mad scientist who becomes convinced that inanimate objects are talking to him. He is oblivious to how his marriage is falling apart. In fact, looking at the story now in 2024 I’m touched by how little real communication there is between man and wife. Except for the tear-jerker ending, where Mary finally opens her mouth to speak. As mad scientists go, Douglas is a bumbler with little understanding of what he’s doing, and not doing very much with his discovery except following the same line of enquiry several times over, letting it lead him into ever-more unlikely places. As if often the case with me and my stories, I’m sure it’s all a metaphor for something else. The technology involved (reading inscribed grooves on objects in the hopes of uncovering hidden audio information) is apparently a genuine theory, but it’s not the point of the tale.

This time I’ve used all four colours (previous minicomic The Lion Sleeps Tonite used only red and yellow with black). The addition of blue has allowed for some pleasing turquoise, violet, and purple hues. I steered clear of green, unless it was necessary. My laborious method of applying these halftones / screens / dots is starting to come together; I thought it would take me weeks of work, but I completed all six pages in two days. The drawing style of 1988, lots of thin pen lines, loose edges, incomplete shapes and “splurgy” brush marks, seems to lend itself well to my coarse-cut screens. Maybe it’s just me, but I think these dots introduce more “air” and “space” into the page; I’ve never been keen on completely flat colour in comics, no matter how accurate and subtle the shades may be.

Another colour mini-comic is in preparation at time of writing. Again, available from me if you visit me at a comics fair.