Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adventure Time: Hydro Corridors and Urban Wastelands

A couple weeks ago I went location hunting around the York University hydro corridor, to look for references to use in my Red Queen comic. It was cold and I was sick, so I bundled up, packed an extra box of tissues, and headed off to explore the vast fields of urban wasteland that surround the GTA.

I was supposed to go exploring back in August, but the weather was hot, school resumed, and I started making excuses when I really should have gotten it out of the way. The hydro corridor is isolated and difficult to get to, and the whole area is so depressing that I really had no motivation to go there. It's so ugly that it drains you of all inspiration: the kind of place that personifies the bleak existence of those trapped between urban waste and suburban decay.

I've gone hunting for reference photos before, but my trip to the corridor was the first time I've ever done any serious, in-depth documentation for the setting of one of my comics. I usually set my stories in futuristic or historical landscapes, but as there's a strong streak of realism in my current comic (and I want to keep that realism as authentic as possible), I had to find live sources.

I've got to hit up a couple more locations for photos before I really buckle down and illustrate, but as the hydro corridor was the most isolated spot on the list the others shouldn't be too much of a drain. Also of note: I've also discovered that I prefer black and white references over color (when working on comics). I'm finding more and more that monochromatic sources help me to visualize narrative compositions.

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