SOMEONE ASKED ME why I decided to do a superhero comic in scratchboard. The question behind this question is why do I think a scratchboard superhero comic book will be successful?
The French philosopher Michelle Montaigne wrote that to be successful you need to write in an established genre but in a new way. This idea is the guiding spirit behind the Subterranean project. I can't remember having seen a superhero comic done in scratchboard, so it seemed like a good opportunity to test Michelle Montaigne's idea.
Scratchboard is also the technique I originally made successful in the early days of my illustration career. It's the artform with which I have the most proficiency. Sometimes it's not a matter of doing what we desire but expressing the form that finds us. And whether we like it or not we have to be true to our gifts.
With scratchboard I found an ease of execution I never experienced with other drawing media. In scratchboard you explore and discover the surface of the form almost like sculpting. It is also a method where you start with black and work toward light, the opposite of conventional drawing, and more harmonious with the way my mind works.
If you've never experimented with scratchboard you may have missed connecting with the unique way your mind works. And when you discover that unique connection you will be more able to express your inner vision.
(Note: I currently use a digital version of scratchboard but with a little practise it is identical to the conventional medium.)
Brad Teare June 2012