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Thomas Campi p2

Artist Thomas Campi, who illustrated The Joe Shuster Story, mentions some of his favorite books...

Thomas Campi had a few of his books on the table, including a work in progress called The Awakening. The story concerns a young man who is afraid of the outside world. He meets a girl, who brings him out of his shell but then disappears. He visits patients in a hospital, including an ex-prostitute. She advises him to go looking for the girl.
Mr Campi had drawn several pages for this story. He used A3 pages, manufactured by Fabriano. These pages came with blue lines to use as guides for drawing the panels and pictures of the comics page. PIctures, panels and text had been added, but he’d stopped writing the text by hand, he said. He was going to add the text later, in a specially chosen font, by computer. The drawn A3 pages are then scanned into a computer, and colored in something like Photoshop. These pages are reduced in size for the final comic book, or picture book page. Text is added to the word balloons.
He also had a book called Nocturne, which consisted of pictures he’d drawn at night. He said they were stream of consciousness pictures. He would be listening to music or watching the tv when he drew. “Whatever the mood was, I was just trying to express it,” he said. He said he was “dreaming but I was still awake”.
Mr Campi’s favorite books were Cathedral by Raymond Carver, which is a book of his short stories, featuring his minimal prose style.
He liked Persepolis which is an autobiographical comic by Marjane Satrapi. It tells the story of her life growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution.
And he liked Ian McEwan books, like In Between the Sheets, which is the second collection of short stories by Ian McEwan, published in 1978.
He also liked Black Dogs by Ian McEwan. This was a 1992 novel set around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The narrator is fascinated by his parents-in-law, and their relationship over five decades. Their extreme ideologies make it difficult for them to live together.
He had also read a lot of Jung, and his interest in the subconscious is reflected in his artwork, as well as in his interest in the surrealists. One of his books is called Magritte. Ceci n’est pas une biographie. (a reference to the Magritte conceptual art painting This is not a pipe.)
Check out The Joe Shuster Story, The Artist Behind Superman, by Julian Voloj and Thomas Campi, published by Super Genius books, New York. See also thomascampi.com.

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