The Cask of Calumbo (pp. 1&2)

 - - click images to enlarge

Launch Date September 2001

Background I don't really know where this idea came from. I'm a big fan of Columbo. I've always enjoyed Poe, and Mark and I have been talking about Poe stories of late. Anyway, the premise of every Columbo episode is that we already know who the murderer is and how they did it. The pleasure comes from watching Columbo take the evidence and figure it out (in his own inimitable way). Somewhere it clicked in my head that several of Poe's stories work like the first part of a Columbo mystery--the murder itself. What was needed was for Columbo to come in and clean up the mess. Looking over Poe's stories, The Cask of Amontillado seemed to work well because it was pretty straightforward and it was likely a story with which people were familiar. There are a couple of details that make it difficult, but with some "artistic license" I could gloss over them just as I would make Columbo into Calumbo. Given that I don't make any money on this, I suspect that the lawsuit will be nothing more than a "cease and desist" case.

If you aren't familiar with The Cask of Amontillado, this link will let you read the story.

Original Sketch I found some pictures of Peter Falk/Columbo on the Internet and made some sketches of him. For the storyboards, I just started laying out images that I thought would be necessary to convey a mood without too much action, since this strip will get a lot wordier in future pages.

   

Layout I went with half pages partly for fun, but partly to get a certain look. It probably won't make a difference to the reader, but the shorter pages help to develop a cramped, crowded look which is appropriate for a dungeon or a villain about to be caught.

Inking This is a combination of pen and ink and brush. I'm trying for a lot of large black shapes to make up the images, but I still have a hard time giving up all the little lines.

Lettering This time I did the lettering on a separate sheet of paper, cut out the ballon and then pasted it on the page. On the positive side, I think it looks a lot crisper (because I was able to throw out the bad copies); on the negative side, this process takes a lot longer and the little pieces of paper can leave a shadow if they don't paste down completely.

Ultimately I have the script mostly written and the next 4 to 5 pages figured out, so hopefully I can complete this thing.