Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Murder Can Be Fun (Revised)

This is the original art, and the published version of the 5-page comic Dylan made for the Murder Can Be Fun comic book, published by Slave Labor in February 1996. It was based on a true story of The Great Train Wreck of 1918, the deadliest train accident in U.S. history.

He used an experimental approach on this one with loose (for him) inking, sgraffito (such as where he scratched out the words "Oh Jesus H. Christ," and using a thick application of pro-white to paint over certain areas. The areas of black and white were inverted before it was printed. I thought he was nuts when he was drawing this, and I still think it is not entirely successful. For example, we disagreed about his use of vernacular language for his characters here. But my opinion on it has changed through the years, and I have grown to really like this comic. The art is so expressive and beautifully loose. Sadly, though I have stored these pages well, the lettering has begun to fade and migrate through to the back of the bristol paper. Download a pdf of both the original and the published artwork here.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing the comic as right now I can't remember it at all. I definitely remember this style though and was planning to write something about it myself (the way he was attacking the page & taking away black, instead of adding black - a very painterly approach, I guess - almost violent), because it was so different than anything I saw other cartoonists trying to do at the time. If I remember right, the whole second issue of the Crime Clinic was done in this style (there was a second issue, right?).

  2. I'll dig out Crime Clinic #2. I remember it being in a variety of styles. That was a year of real artistic exploration for him.