Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Revisions & some Finished Pages!

While penciling Part One of the story I'm also scanning, halftoning and lettering the Intro. I made the mistake with the first book to wait until all the pages were inked to start halftoning...and man, that was too much halftoning at one go. 60 pages at once? No thanks. This time around, I'm going to intermingle halftoning with other steps of the process so it won't be so cumbersome at the end. Here are a few panels that are ready for the book! (I know, no words. You have to wait for that.)

Tools: Epson Scanner Photo 1660, Adobe Photoshop, & Adobe Illustrator

Another inevitable step of the comic-making process...the editing! As I'm coming to pages of the written script to thumbnail and pencil...I'm discovering things that I want to change; things that I think will strengthen the theme of the story. This is my rewrite. It occurs on the page, as hand-written notes and dialogue. As the tangible script is what I'll use to letter the pages...not the digital Word document.

I'm moving right along with with the pencils of Part One...currently penciling page 16!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beginnings of Part One

A couple of things I've done...
I just returned from SPX early this week...and it was a blast! The Ghosts of Pineville and the associated mini comic The Cherished Collection of Emily VanWart were both well received! Great crowd. Outstanding creators. I'm sold on the convention. Good, good time.
I also had my second meeting with Megan who has completed her script and is now thumbnailing her pages! The conversation with her combined with the remaining high from this weekend's convention totally geared me up to keep working on the second GOP book!!

Penciled the first couple pages of Part I of the book! Doris is introduced!

Using the script (of course) and some preliminary sketches of the kid's new hangout!

AND...I finally inked the first panel (on the first page) of the Pineville city scape! I'll be adding more dimension once I enter the half-toning phase on the computer.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First batch of inked pages

Moving right along...

I've managed to ink 7 of the 9 intro pages. Haven't had the guts to ink the first page yet. The panel of the entire town scares me. I will tackle it next week before penciling anymore pages though. At least I have some significant progress to show Megan next week!

Tools: Super-fine and Fine Zebra brush pens 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This week - 8 years ago

It was this very week, 8 years ago, that I declared I wanted to make comics!

I remember because it was the week after my 2nd wedding anniversary. We had spent the weekend in Washington DC doing the tourist thing, but it was the long, 10 hour drive that solidified the decision. I spent 20 hours looking at passing scenery and mentally writing the story that would be my first comic: File 49. At the end of our drive I said aloud, to a very surprised husband, that I wanted to draw a comic. Up to this point I was not an illustrator. I did not draw or sketch and had never (before this) expressed interest in drawing. And...I didn't read comics. This is perhaps the reason my husband's first response to my declaration was "Why?". At the time I was offended by his reaction, but looking back I understand. I graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts a couple years before this...from a university where comics and cartoon illustration weren't considered "high art". This is why I was met with similar reactions from artist friends when I shared (what I thought) was very exciting news. 

I've started drawing a comic!

What kind of comic?

Science-Fiction, Drama, Adventure!!


All I knew was that I wanted to tell stories...and comics suddenly felt like the puzzle piece I had been missing for so long. The entire week after our trip (this week 8 years ago) I did nothing but DRAW (And listen to Interpol's - Turn on the Bright Lights...which listening to that album now still fills me with the same excitement I felt then). It was amazing...and challenging...and I was surprisingly horrible. I didn't know what I was doing, what tools to use, how to set up a page, letter, ink...Not to mention I had no drawing skills. So, my style was nonexistent! But by the end of the week I had 5 finished pages (that I redrew a year later).

The point being...I'm still doing comics! I still love it. I mean...LOVE IT! And today what seemed to be an awkward & sudden declaration doesn't seem so strange because I meant every word. I want to make comics!

ps. I don't think it's a coincidence that Interpol's 4th album was released today. A small reminder of how exciting things can be.

Intro Penciled

Totally inspired by meeting with fellow, local comic artist Megan, I've managed to pencil my entire intro for the second book...all 9 pages! It felt good. I felt focused. And I'm really pleased with how they came out.

Over the last couple years I've written all my stories in 3 parts: the Set-up, the Climax, the Resolution. Pretty standard stuff. Plus, it helps me organize story flow from synopsis to final script. For the Ghosts of Pineville stories I've started to include short intros. Their jobs being to place the characters situation and environment...and subtly touch on their upcoming struggles.

I think I will go ahead and ink this batch of pencils before moving on to pencil Part 1 of the story. I will update the post with inks when they are finished.

Along with perspective work on the first page being a struggle for me...I've thrown in some other elements that are out of my normal, comfort zone to draw......for the intro it was a pack of dogs. But again, I'm pleased with how their appearance turned out.

Super jazzed. Super motivated to continue making progress!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Script to First Pencils

I was able to start penciling the Ghosts of Pineville today! I had been procrastinating this inaugural event because the very first panel, on the very first page is a 3 point perspective of the town of Pineville. Which didn't sound so bad while I was just typing the script. Though, I'm glad I didn't bail on the idea once I began to draw...which is so easy to do sometimes. I took on the challenge and kicked it in the face! No. But really...It did take longer to pencil but I am happy with the results. Perspective doesn't always have to be scary...and extra time can sometimes = success, I suppose. 

I was able to fit in the town theater, gas station, courthouse, library, police station, hardware store, church, diner, park, and some other little places!

Tools: Blue lead pencil (for first lines), graphite pencil (for final lines), eraser, 18" ruler, and a pad of smooth 11"x14" Strathmore bristol.

During the production of the first Ghosts of Pineville book I began inking my pages in batches (as opposed to directly after the page was penciled). So, the final inks for these pages won't be done until the first third of the comic is drawn. It will have to wait.

I pencil my pages from a script I've typed in Word. Before I put pencil to page I have written my entire script, breaking it down comic page to comic page, including full dialogue and basic panel descriptions (when I visualize them). I know it's not how a lot of comic artists write, but I'm not a fan of thumb-nailing. If I'm going to draw something it might as well be the usable page, in my opinion. I spend about 2 seconds on each thumbnail. They're basic scribbles to symbolize shapes, shapes to signify people, places and things. I sketch these directly before I start penciling that page as not to forget what the shapes signify. 

Another Note: My scripts are very basic. Each bullet = a panel. I've been doing comics long enough to know how much I can personally fit on each page. This dictates the page's pacing. I don't spell check my scripts. I don't proof them for grammar mistakes. They are merely a template for future pages, a guide to help direct the story.

Getting Started...

So, I've decided to start a Blogger page to share the steps of creating my next comic - The Ghosts of Pineville - Book 2. As of now I have the complete script written. I know it will be 80 pages. I want to have it finished by April 2011. This blog will be my kick in the pants to get the art started. 

If you want to read the first Ghosts of Pineville you may do at Ghosts of Pineville!