Here’s a roundup of all my redraws of the Bob Lubbers’ “Robin Malone” strip. I saw the originals when the comics reporter site posted a link to http://allthingsger.blogspot.com/2015/06/you-are-not-malone.html . I thought it would be a good drawing exercise, and I’ve enjoyed it when other cartoonists like John Porcellino or Kevin Huizenga have redrawn comics.
A few random thoughts from the experience:
Even though I tried to blast these things out quickly, there’s no doubt that Lubbers’ was working even faster creating the things than I was copying them. And he’s a lot more tidy, accomplished and detailed than I am while likely working twice as fast. (In my defense, I was cramming this in between working a day job).
It was instructive looking so closely at his work while copying it. A lot of great little details that you might think extraneous if you had to draw a daily strip, but he still does them. The pose of Robin’s assistant in the background of the first panel of strip 3, doing some light filing. Or the production team in the background of the third panel, the guy has some card in his pocket, he’s holding a baton. Lubbers’ clearly took pride in his work.
Besides forcing you to imagine different ways of composing, different perspectives of scenes, re-drawing is also a negotiation. I had to constantly check myself to neither mimic Lubbers’ too slavishly, nor veer completely into my own style and use his strip as a script, essentially. I wanted to attempt the gestures Lubbers uses without creating some ungainly hybrid. Lubbers draws extremely articulated hands, and I deferred to that because I thought they were a strength I might learn from.
On the other hand, his faces are kind of dead to me, they’re in the Rex Morgan style that I was bored by as a kid and only sort of interested in as an adult, so I didn’t mind jettisoning that and imposing my own hyper cartoony faces on them. Trying to keep the whole thing from looking freakish was a good challenge.