Images of Frank Thomas
In the text of Frank Thomas, there were two images of him, both in which I wanted to incorporate into my work. I didn’t want to just print them off then stick them in the zine at any point in the story, I wanted it to have a part in the story and also have a part with the design. Photography at that time wasn’t very advanced and it was all still film photography. I had the idea of using Quick Off – a chemical used to transfer images – to transfer the image onto a piece of card. When you transfer an image onto a piece of paper it can create a grainy effect which I thought would work really well with keeping in the style of photography in that time.
I didn’t get quite the effect I wanted. Usually when I do image transfer, it comes out grainy but still clear enough so that you can see the image but I found with these, I couldn’t see it straightaway and had to look at the photo a while to see what it was. Though it wasn’t what I was expecting, the enhanced grainy look really worked and I found that it would work alongside the typography work I had done because it fitted it with the ‘rough’ aesthetic I had going on with my screen prints.
Once they’d dried, I then added the text onto it. With the image of Frank Thomas being old, I thought that would be a nice way end the zine with a quote of how it thought about the war in the end. I felt the image showed him looking back on war and who he was because he is wearing his army hat so I found this would be fitting with his words ‘I realised the old age idiocy which is war’.
With the image of him in battle, I wrote the story of him having the little taste of fame he always desired but never got. Once I’d written it, I wasn’t sure whether the image was clear of what it was. I could see that it was Frank Thomas with a rifle but I wasn’t sure whether I could only see that because I had looked at that same image several times. With no one around to ask for advice, I decided to trace the image of Frank Thomas as a line drawing and have it lying on top. The idea is, is that after seeing it as an illustration on a piece of tracing paper on top, when you lift the paper up to see what’s underneath, the eye would make you see the man in the blurry pattern.
Looking at the image again now, I can still see the man really clearly so realise that having the illustration on top may be pointless but I like the minimalist effect it gives so will leave it there.