06 May 2007

Aside from the convenient procrastination I’m commonly susceptible to (aren't we all at times?), I must admit that when it comes to my comics pages – I just have to make sure I get it looking the way I want. Even if that means re-doing pages.

I know, I know….. the notion of “That’s good enough” should be the end of a page when I think (and that’s the real ‘trick’ word here – THINK) the page is completed.

For those unfamiliar with my methods of working – I past up everything onto a wall as I go.

This helps me see it the flow & sequence of it all. It also helps me identify if anything isn't working or sticking out like a sore thumb.

Below is a typical example of ‘never being satisfied’, which would cause many people to slit their wrists, if not for the fact that I LOVE writing & drawing comics so much that I would end up thinking – “But if I’m dead, then… how will I be able to draw comics?”

The following is the opening page to a chapter of my current project that introduces the main character & his environment, so I had to make sure it encompassed a few things & REALLY set the ‘mood’ for the reader.

(You can click on any image to enlarge it.)

The protagonist’s city is gloomy & grey, so the image had to have ‘punch’ to compensate for the ‘blandness’ of his environment. How?... well there’s nothing more that I love in B&W comics than mood. That means (more often than not) lotsa ‘black’. Needless to say, I have a fetish for buying nibs & ink.

This was my intitial finished page.

It was ok, but not 'exactly' what i wanted for the reader to 'get' as their opening notion of my story. I didn't say much with the image. I just went for execution.

I stuck it up on the wall and got on with the next page. This method works for me in that I can see (as a whole) the entire sequence as finished sequential pages. The more I look at them, the more ‘wrong’ sections stick out for me. The ‘editor’ in me simply loves that. Because of the largely ‘grid-like’ fashion that I construct my pages, it’s not too much trouble re-doing one panel (here or there) without it messing the whole page up.



The more the days wore on, the more the opening page looked ‘ok’, and not good to me – so I decided the scene should be more of a 3-dimensional ‘landscape’, than a simple 2D perspective shot.

This is what I came up with, and how it developed:

The intial blueline pencil drawing.

The intial inked lines. (mostly thin)

More detailed inks.

Blueline contrasted out & inks sharpened/cleaned up.

Now, I wasn't that satisfied with the sky at this stage. It looked nice, but not bold enough - so I decided to draw darker clouds as an overlay. I put another sheet of paper over the top, and drew different clouds...

While i really liked the clouds as an inked piece, it made the page sway a little too much into the 'cartoony' category. That is - lighthearted or child-like.

So I added more texture to the clouds which gave it a better (more serious) effect.

Which I then added to the page, cleaned up strays, and added my 1-colour greytone as a slight nuance.

(Hopefully, I stay happy looking at it on the wall as i do the forthcoming pages). -lol


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