I’ve been fairly jammed up lately with trying to catch up on a backlog of requests and work and some other tasks. Here is a recent BW illustration of gambling adventurers… I wonder what the stakes are?
More work in progress.
Been a while since I updated. Still working on variations of the ink technique. The above illustration would probably be reproduced in grayscale (see below), but I still think it is interesting to see the color version.
The above drawing is a revisit of a similar drawing from years ago:
Got back to Detroit on Tuesday… have been trying to do a creative reset since meeting lots of interesting people and seeing lots of inspiring things at GaryCon in Wisconsin last week. Above is the best thing I’ve done recently. The white space in the upper LH corner is for text.
Over the past several days, I have posted updates on my ‘The Yellow Sign’ comic (here and here). Here is a further explanation of my methods. For the rough layout stage, I am using a wacom tablet and Clip Studio Paint. Eventually I plan to print them out large scale and ink them.
Stage 1: I layout the page according to my outline, just trying to get a basic idea of what happens where on the page, what happens on this page as opposed to the previous or next one, etc. The text is placed so I can kind of work the illustrations around it although my plan is to complete the artwork and then add the ‘final’ text. In previous comics, I have hand-lettered the text digitally after the artwork is complete and that is what I think I will do here.
This is the start of the story. Richard, the artist, is in his studio and Tessie is modeling for him. He goes to the window and sees a figure in the churchyard nearby that disturbs him.
Stage 2: After doing the whole book in that very loose style, I go back and rework the pages… revising panels that I am not satisfied with. On this page, I revised the panels extensively — I decided I wanted a series of more interesting angles that would show more of the environment that the characters are in. Other pages will (hopefully) require less revision. This isn’t done — it’s still early stages. After I finish this part, I can finally print out and ink the pages.
Q: What have you been drawing lately?
A: Just some guy with a soul patch being killed by a woman and her magical snake. The woman has magical powers, by the way.
If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen the above — a small section of a larger page I am currently working on for my “The Yellow Sign” comic. Please excuse the quality – it’s a screen capture of a picture from my phone (the original is being drawn right now). It’s a bit of a departure of what I have done before so I am sure there will be frustrations and challenges. I inked part of page 1 but think I should hold off until I get more of the rest of the layout in a more finished state.
I started by reading the original Robert W. Chambers story several times and then I created a written outline. There was a lot I had to (reluctantly) cut from the original story… going from text based fiction to comic book is a bit like going from a book to a movie… the medium changes the story. The original was written in 1895 and what was considered modern behavior and values at that time served as one of the themes in the story. I didn’t want to do a comic set in the late 19th century — I felt the modern viewer would see the story as having a sense of nostalgia that Chambers would not have intended, so I am setting my interpretation in a non-specific “modern” era that might be today, might be 20-30 years ago.
At this point, I have roughed out the pages to (hopefully) get the rhythm of the story and where events occur paced in a way that feels right. This consists of drawing really rough versions of how I imagine I will lay out the pages in a digital program (I plan to do the final art with pen and ink). So at present the pages look like this:
My next step is to go through and revise/refine the layout, eventually working my way (in 2 or 3 passes) to the point where I can start to do final inks. This is a much more deliberate method than I usually employ… I’m trying to learn from past projects (both successes and failures) and applying lessons learned.
Hopefully, with the many projects I currently have in the works, this will all end in a finished comic before Gencon 2019 in August.
This one is done for now.