Dan Zettwoch’s Birdseye Bristoe: A Preview

I'm pleased to present an eight-page preview of Birdseye Bristoe (coming in June from Drawn & Quarterly) by Dan Zettwoch.

Dan Zettwoch's work occupied a unique space in comics -- they're ingenious contraptions that show precisely how things (mechanical, social, geographic) work, and spin out narratives from those demonstrations. His first graphic novel, Birdseye Bristoe, is about the construction and destruction of an enormous cellphone tower on land owned by an old man known only as Uncle in the titular town. It is also about, of course, invention, the midwest, family, and corporations. According to Zettwoch, "the premise came from a mini-comic idea that had been stuck in the back of my head for a long time. I'd think about it as I drove the lonely stretch of I-64 between Louisville and St. Louis, which I've done hundreds of times. The construction stuff, fold-out, maps, homemade shrines, decrepit roadside Americana stuff, I tried to engineer a story around stuff I wanted to draw."

And the drawings in this book are gorgeous -- they are Zettwoch's finest work to date, marking a turn towards a more organic style. The artist reports that "the pages are all ballpoint pen, colored pencil and white-out pen on tan typing paper. That's how I'd been working my sketchbook, liking the results and also the speed at which I could crank out finished pages. (If I was going to have to go through the pencil>ink>computer color process there's no way I would ever finished.) I also liked the idea of the color being more involved with the act of drawing - be able to color over ink, white-out over top of that, etc."

So click through and enjoy the scenery.


7 Responses to Dan Zettwoch’s Birdseye Bristoe: A Preview

  1. Chris Duffy says:

    I’m really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the preview.

  2. patrick ford says:

    I’m sold, just placed an order. Story sounds and reads great, the artwork is fabulous. Nice to see beautiful colour.

  3. Paul Karasik says:

    Sold, sight unseen.

  4. Paul Tumey says:

    Can’t wait! I first discovered Zettwoch’s comics on a business trip in St. Paul. I found some terrific self-pubbed zines in a comic shop there. He had a distinctive voice in both his visual style and subject matter. Have been a fan ever since. I am so happy this book is being published. I like the line he gets with the new ball point pen approach and his low-tech (non computer) coloring methods, as usual are both artful and stand out from the pack.

  5. DanielJoseMata says:

    I’m more than a little surprised that it has taken such a long time for him to get a publisher and a book out. The guy is AMAZING. D&Q should do a reprint box of his minis. Lovely stuff. And maybe a handsome, FAT collection of his and Huizenga’s Leon Beyond…?

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