Sunday, December 5, 2010


I've started coloring now, and it's a bizarre process. Coloring is boring and tedious, and the main problem is that I know enough to know that I don't really know what I'm doing. I have a vague idea of what colors I want to use, and even less of an idea of how shadows work. So I muddle through at a pace of about two pages of coloring a day. I'd rather be writing or drawing.

Colors make a very real difference, mainly because I drew the comic with colors in mind. For example, here the heroes have entered an inn/tavern.

That looks alright, but as usual, it seems like I had trouble deciding on intriguing angles or a complex background design.

Looks pretty flat. But when you add the intended color, those lines in the background attain their true purpose.

When you pull back, the whole scene becomes richer.

The color really makes the scene, but it's a pain to put in there because I feel like someone else could do a better job. and do it more quickly.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pacing Problems

I stepped away from the comic for a few days. When I came back I noticed a pacing problem. Things started out fine at four panels per page. Nice, relaxed, calm. Room to breath.

The last page I'd drawn before leaving, though?

That's nine panels. Yikes. Much too fast. Short, quick panels should be for comedic or action moments set around punchlines and impacts, not for the introduction of a major character. Part of the problem was that I was drawing at a size larger than the comic will be reproduced at, and I just forgot that this will all be smaller in the end.

I slowed the pace up in the following pages. I don't know how to fit the amount of story I want into the number of pages I am aiming for, but there's only one way to learn.

-10 pages penciled/inked

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Detail Difference

I talked about this earlier, but I just wanted to explain how the extra effort in backgrounds, something I never did and am fairly bad at, keeps providing surprising results.

Here is a panel from Page 5 as I initially drew it. The only point of the panel was to show the knife being handed back.

What I would normally have done in the past was add a quick bunch of squares for windows and then a line here or there to imply the outline of a separate building, and then hope that the coloring process would cover up the laziness.

Help me, colors!!!! This time, though, I picked an actual window for reference and then measured out...everything, and used perspective, which is a pain. Rough draft:


Worth it. I mean, it took a long time, but it really does look more professional. Or just professional.

-6 pages penciled/half-inked

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Art

Coming along, coming along. Below are some recent images that I like.

Here are some panels from page 3, reduced by more than 50%:
Here is a comedic panel from page 4, reproduced at 100% size:

I love the look of inked sketches.

-5 pages penciled/half-inked

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Emperor's Treasure: Page One

I'm pretty happy with the art for the new comic (The Lost Explorers: The Emperor's Treasure) so far. I've felt more confident in what I'm capable of depicting, and consequently I've increased the level of detail in comparison to previous attempts with these characters.

Here's how things looked last summer in a short 13 page comic that has seen the light of day basically nowhere:

Here's the first page of the new attempt:

The eyes are now enclosed, not just dots on the face, and the background isn't just a monochromatic color and a few lines. Blogspot won't let me post larger images, but a lot more work went into the detail.

One thing I'm trying out is extra texture where shadows will be when the image is finally colored. I can't think of other artists that do this, which means it might not work or be worthwhile in the end, but there's only one way to find out.

-2 pages penciled/half-inked, still

Here's What I'm Doing...

Having produced daily newspaper comics and daily webcomics, the process of creating a new graphic novel submission seems mind-bendingly slow, labored, and protracted. Hopefully this blog will make me feel like I'm actually producing something. And keep me on a good schedule.

-2 pages penciled/half-inked