I create RED LIGHT PROPERTIES using an all-digital process that combines vector illustration, digital collage, 3D modeling and digital painting. This video interview done for the RADAR series about my inspiration and process is a good show-and-tell in under 5mins, though this was shot as RLP started, and my workflow’s really evolved since:
The Origins of RLP
I’d spent the last seven-odd years creating several timely political graphic novels and in the end I just didn’t care enough about the Great Beast to circle around and fling another 200pg arrow at its black heart again. To me, politics is a low-level manifestation of a greater humanist struggle to better, ugly instead of sublime, and in the end I was kneeling down to the sewer grating shoveling fuel into something I didn’t fucking believe in anymore.
This time out, I wanted to reach for the stars, do a series about finding the sublime in the gutter, the love in a world of hate, the meaning of life and death from the weird spaces in between. I’d been holding on this series called RED LIGHT PROPERTIES since I wrote the first draft in 2001, but I was a different Dan Goldman then and it’s grown up a lot along with me:
Back in 2001, I was living in this cheap-ass house on a not-yet-gentrified street in Brooklyn with my brother, where we’d built a creative space upstairs to dream up many wonderful comic ideas together. There was another resident though; I could feel him in the twilight hours when I was sliding towards sleep, lurking around and watching. After a few months of catching someone out of the corner of my eye from the drafting table, I asked some “lifers” on our street about our house’s previous residents. Annette-from-a-few-doors-down told me that back in the ’80s there was an artist couple there, and that Charlie, a middle-aged painter, died in the upstairs bedroom (mine), and his wife moved out shortly after.
Charlie’s name immediately sank into my subconscious like an anchor. A few weeks later, I was snoring on my futon when Charlie leaned into my head and introduced himself properly with a “hello” that came from between my eyes and sounded as though it was played through blown speakers/eardrums. I sat up bolt-upright; of course the room was empty, but my sweat was cold. I went downstairs, heart racing, to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water from the kitchen sink… and by the time the water reached my stomach, there was something else there. A cast of characters, years of history, echoes of terrible things in the walls of buildings, and a realty office named RED LIGHT PROPERTIES.