THE PUZZLING PIPES OF PAN
The last of my genuine album length stories with Woody Woodpecker was set around 'The big Woods', from where my Gnuff dragon family also first appeared. The problem of society destroying nature for a short term profit was a theme I would get back to in different ways all through my career. My last attempt in this genre is a Gnuff album with a monster made out of waste from our civilisation dumped into the oceans. I know Carl Barks were there earlier, but I built a whole album length story around it. It will be published next in my Gnuff series.
The presentation of this particular epic on nature was from the start in the monthly magazine, so it had to be divided into chapters that could be read separately. I had also used those terms as best I could with my former story, 'Journey to Ramashanka' to be seen elsewhere in this column.
A new matter this time was my use of mythological elements. I had always been fascinated with the figure of pan being a cross between a ram and a human. I wanted to tell a story where a rural god displays the connection between basic nature and the civilized human society. A pan figure would do just the trick in that context.
As the Woody Woodpecker stories were never presented in the USA, I redrew the second half of this story with the Gnuffs for Critters. Ultimately half of this story with the pan figure did hit print in English only it did not happen with the Woodpecker.
The colouring in this album is done with hand separated colours. A method commented upon in another presentation in this column. Only this time the colour indications were presented by myself on separate sheets delivered prior to the making of the printing films. There were a restriction to the number of colours that could be tolerated – a matter of costs actually, but I figured, that those colours could at least be harmonic ones, so most of them are blended from all three basic printing colours, not only using one or two of them as were normally the practise.
The printing format in the albums is somewhat larger than in the comic books so the benday points are larger than usual, but I have tried to handle this in the adjusting of the scans for this presentation, so they come out looking satisfactory.
In the last panel on page 11 Woody meets a truck driving away from ‘The big Woods’. That is the Gnuffs leaving for life in the city as shown on the first page of the first album in that series.