Symbolism used to be hard, references used to be hard. Hundreds of years ago, it used to be the big game maker for a work of true value and art. You had to be ridiculously well read to know the meanings behind meanings, to catch the little things. You had to sort through books and books, and if you're lucky there'd be an index or a card catalog to aide you. There wouldn't often be a handy all-in-one guide to symbols either.
Symbolism today is hella easy. Which flowers, which animals mean what? Open up google search and go. If you really wanna get fancy, go to the bookstore and get a well-sorted all-in-one guide. Symbolism is still held to be an pinnicle of art, but two-bit hacks can look up a few things, graft it to an otherwise shallow work, and think they've said something deep.
So when I say I made a symbolic intro page to my new comic, um, yeah, I feel somewhat guilty about it. Symbolism is cheap and easy, except for the context-specific kind, like in Watchmen. My first chapter of Devil Dreams of Card Games is pretty much Generic Shonen Battle #8 billion, so the symbolism might seem like the graft-y type. Or maybe it is just the graft-y type and I'm in denial. ANYWAY.
This was still an important and fun project. It helped me get together and solidify the art style I'm going for. A cartoony, bright style. And a bit more American that my typical art. This piece helped me work out the colors, FINALLY solidify Ken's design, work out the lines, and especially helped me determine the style of the backgrounds.
I hate backgrounds. Grrr, backgrounds. Never know if I'm doing them right, never know if the characters are getting lost in em.