Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Word Balloons

As I digitize the latest round of inked pages I've noticed some things. I say this because as I was penciling AND inking...nothing appeared odd or awkward. I believe most artists and writers make a lot of decisions for their story on a subconscious level...but WORK despite the lack of mindful intent.  In my case it has been the placement of word balloons in certain panels.

For example: in this panel. I placed one balloon behind the other...then both behind the speakers heads. In the context of the story the words of this conversation aren't what's important...it's the interaction. It's merely to show two characters bickering, as usual. And what do people do when they argue? They talk over each other. They interrupt each other. And they don't really pay attention to the other person's opinion. Which is why I think the balloon placements really work in this panel! I also like how placing so much of the word balloon behind Chopper's head, making it almost impossible to read what he's saying, makes it seem like he's walking too fast for the balloon to keep up. His words are throw away. They are behind him...yet still dominating Glory's.

In this panel placing the word balloon behind both character's heads serves another purpose...secrecy. By being slightly obscured it offers the feeling of hushed voices, speaking behind someone's back...which works for this panel!

I'm not sure how many other times I've done this in my story. I'm suddenly conscious of the device and how it can appropriately and inappropriately be used in comics storytelling.

The Gang - Trading Cards

I've recently started creating trading card size (2.5" x 3.5") drawings of various characters...my own and characters that are not my own. The exercise of trying to capture the likeness of people/characters you've never drawn before is a bit of a challenge...not just in the facial features but the clothes, the expression, the attitude. It's a great way to flex the ol' drawing muscles. I think this going to be a trend I follow through 2011. More on that in the near future...as I've got several to share already.

But first...Here is the Ghosts of Pineville Gang: Hank, Chopper, Glory, Lucy, Doris, and J.T.

I like the way they are all looking at the same thing...and it must be horrifying.

Strathmore Bristol makes packs of 20 trading cards are that ridiculously cheap at DickBlick...and come in a variety of paper types. I've just been using the smooth Bristol...as it suits the pencil and ink fine and it's what I use on my normal comic pages. Eventually I would like to explore the watercolor paper...though I don't consider myself a painter. It could be fun! But like I said...more on this new little project in the near future.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I did it!

40 pages penciled and inked before the end of the year! The last 14 pages are shown below. Now only 40 more to go....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pencils and Environments

My goal is to finish 40 pages be the end of the year. That will be half of Book Two - finished. Am I there yet? No. But I'm close! I am currently penciling page 36. Those are just the pencils though...not the inking, the scanning, the halftoning, the lettering. The goal is a challenge. Even if I don't meet it...I know I tried as had as I could.

One of the reasons these latest pages are taking a little longer is...environment. I'm focusing on fleshing out the characters environments or the sets they live in. This is somewhat of a challenge for me...as I am much more interested in character interaction and expression. It's so easy to fill each panel with talking heads because it's fun to draw wild, emotional expressions. In these pages though I've included set designs for the Pineville garage/gas station, library and courtyard.

The library "set" was the most challenging. I knew going into these pages I would be using this environment in multiple points of the story. This is when I decided to utilize the program Google SketchUp. This program allows you to create 3D shapes and view them from any angle. So, I decided to create the basic shapes of my library in SketchUp allowing me to view it from any character's perspective, allowing me as the story's "director" to frame any panel with ease! I've been really thrilled and would highly recommend the tool and the resource.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Two!

The Ghost of Pineville Book One will be wrapping up at the end of 2010...and Book Two is ready to start updating right away! Beginning on Jan.10th pages of the second story will be posted, twice a week, on ghostsofpineville.com   

Here is the teaser image (as it is now) for the new story!