The First Page is the Hardest

Extra Credit

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 08:00 AM

Last December, Charlie Capp, an artist looking for full-time work in Seattle, resolved to create a comic book adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Charlie planned to create an illustration for each stanza, for a total of about 150 pages.

February Update

The biggest challenge of the project so far has been building up the courage to put the first lines of ink on the paper, making the drawing essentially “permanent.”  I'll be incorporating digital tools into my process later so the ink isn't absolute, but I'm really focusing on making each page a stand-alone image that's interesting and readable even in its uncolored state. From the very beginning, I was worried about the debut of the ship and felt like I was procrastinating a bit. Once I just went ahead and inked it, I was really pleased with how it came out.

(Scroll down for a slideshow)

I've also been trying to increase the speed with which I can make the drawings, since I've still got a lot of ground to cover.  Over a month into the project now, it's been very satisfying to see the work take form and see the pages gradually accumulate mass.  I've been putting them up on the living room wall as I've completed them, but now the wall is becoming crowded enough that I need to figure out a more long-term storage solution for the inked pages!




Slideshow: Work in Progress

Charlie Capp

Page 1-2
After being stopped by the Ancient Mariner, the Wedding Guest tries to explain that he's a very busy guy with places to be. Meanwhile, the Guest's two friends leave, leading to one of English literature's great questions: what kind of friends abandon their companion to be accosted by an old man on the street?

Charlie Capp

Page 1-5
The Wedding Guest is compelled to listen to the Mariner's tale. 

Charlie Capp

Page 1-6
The vessel of the Mariner's tale makes its debut! 

Charlie Capp

Page 1-7
Days pass as the ship and the Young Mariner sail south.  I don't quite know what sailors did in the Age of the Sail, but I'm certain it involved a lot of pulling on ropes.

Charlie Capp

Page 1-8
As the tale continues, the Wedding Guest becomes distressed as he realizes the ceremony is beginning.  He was really looking forward to the bassoon. 

Charlie Capp

Page 1-10
Despite his desire to attend the wedding, the wedding guest cannot part himself from the Mariner's company.

Charlie Capp

Page 1-11
Rough seas strike and the ship is driven southward by the storm.


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Comments [2]

Jenny from Studio 360

Hi GravelGertie --

The story you're looking for is here:


Feb. 26 2013 12:29 PM
GravelGertie from Barrington, NJ

I'd like to get a copy of the scifi story that was read the week before Christmas, 2012. It was about an alien sent to observe the people of earth. He was here for centuaries, forgotten by his people. He was finally discovered by a scientist working around alaska. It seems he is the basis of Santa. I was delighted by the story. And would like to add to the list of stories we recite yearly around the holidays. Thanks so much for this delightful tale and for always having great programing.

Feb. 24 2013 01:41 AM

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