Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tiny Giants by Nate Powell

When I was an intern at Soft Skull Press in 2003 one of the tasks that I (and various others) had to complete was scanning the huge stack of large hand-drawn comics that comprise the pages of this book. Each page was done in two parts, due to the size of the scanning bed. Then someone else would digitally merge the two halves together. This process was rather time-consuming, as each scan would take several minutes to complete, due to the shitty equipment and the fact that we were scanning at 1200 dpi. Halfway through we realized something was wrong with the scanner and had to buy a new one and start over. I remember there was much rejoicing after I announced that the final page had been scanned (a month behind schedule). Such are the tribulations of small presses. When I flip through the book I'm almost in disbelief at how good it looks.

When I look at Tiny Giants I always think of how I actually held the original drawings and had a (very small) hand in the creation of the final product, which is a collection of the works of Nate Powell, a young comics artist who has also played in various bands. He has since published several books on Top Shelf (which is probably better for him in the long run, as they are strictly comics publishers and know the medium).

His storytelling is poetic, blending reality with dreams, with hints of existentialism. As Frank Miller says, he employs "observant, intimate cartooning anchored with a nice punchy use of black."

This page seems particularly sad as we had to do this to one of our goldfish last week.

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