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You know that scene inPleasantville
where Bill, the
puppy-dog-eyed soda-shop owner, wistfully explains to David that
the one part of each year he looks forward to is the bit where he
gets to decorate the front window of the shop for Christmas?
I have my shop window as well: the special banners that
appear every year on Hallowe'en, Christmas, and Valentine's Day.
I do so look forward to creating these banners, on which I
often lavish an unnecessarily huge amount of care. Though I
don't really believe in going back and hashing over past plotlines
and/or psychoanalysing myself in comments posted beneath every
comic, I am not averse to indulging in a bit of musing over these
banners and what I might have been thinking when I created
All the banners are collected on the Miscellaneous page
page, on the
other hand, is devoted exclusively to Hallowe'en (I'll do the
Christmas and Valentine's Day pages around Christmas and
Valentine's Day). Below please find the Hallowe'en banners
thus far, as well as my comments on them.
This was my first "special" banner
ever. As such, it contains a certain...lack of creativity.
I do quite like the way the letters are apparently so
saturated with blood that they seem about to melt into puddles of
gore. Any moment now, a woman willscream, and something
will pop out of the bathtub.
Thisis still one of my
favourites. It is a truth universally acknowledged that when
you have a blond(e), a brunette, and a redhead all together in the
same comic, you will not have a hard time finding properties to
parody, and Casey, Barbara, and Marie really do fit the
Freddy/Daphne/Velma bill, with Rahim tagging along as a rather
reluctant Shaggy. This comic took me a while to put together,
but I got to play around with gradients and make gentle fun of Scooby-Doo, so that was a win-win
right there. This was before I discovered how to create
little globes of radiance around light sources, a skill I will make
use of below.
Marie and Casey were at odds when
this banner appeared, so I decided that he wouldn't feature in it.
I believe I had this idea late and instituted it out of
desperation, but I quite like the way it turned out. It may
or may not be apparent by this point, but Barbara is kind of my
hero. I approve of the way she is always sneaking up on
people. Also, there's something about drawing the split
second before everything descends into screaming horror and
possibly ends in a smashed pumpkin and some well-aimed punches that
appeals to me.
I have made no secret of my feelings
about the Twilight series.
I think possibly one of the movies had come out relatively
recently when I went to draw this banner, and it seemed quite
naturalto mock sparkly vampires and everything they stood
for. If I were to do it again, I would find some way of
making the red lettering easier to read. However, I do
approve of Barbara's torch. I frequently have problems
drawing fire. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.
This banner came out a couple of
months after Casey's disappearance. I could have left him out
of the banner again, but I preferred to include a ghostly,
mysterious Casey barely illuminated by a single candle. If
you don't count the background of the Scooby-Doo banner, this was possibly
the first WoB strip,
panel, or banner in which I bothered with even rudimentary shading.
I did learn some things while working out the effects of the
light source. Oh...and I created a light globe for the first
time ever. This may be the spookiest of the WoB banners thus far.
Considering Marie's recent obsession
with Doctor Who
, as well
as the fact that many of my readers had theorised that Casey was a
Time Lord, 2011's banner seemed inevitable. It also echoed
the comics, in which Casey and Marie were attending the Davies
Hallowe'en party as the Doctor and River Song. Barbara's red
hair made her a natural Amy, and Rahim's cynicism and job as a
nurse propelled him into the role of Rory. As far as I'm
concerned, the most nightmare-inducing monsters Doctor Who
has ever produced are the
Weeping Angels, and the most nightmare-inducing moment in any
Weeping Angel episode is the one just before the light goes out.
I fiddled around quite a lot with the shading in this banner
because it simply looked better when I did. This banner may
just tie the 2010 banner on the spookymeter...for viewers of the
show, at least. It also ties the Scooby-Doo
banner for pop-culture
referencing. If you click on it, you can see a bigger
I'm not sure how it took me so long
to do a header based on The
Nightmare Before Christmas, but ah well: I got to it
eventually. Marie is usually just about as confused as Jack
Skellington, though she's probably less in danger of kidnapping
Santa Claus and inadvertently terrorising all the children in the
world. Then again, who can tell?
Comics copyright Kari Maaren 2006-2011