Friday, August 10, 2012

Hey hey! It's the tenth...time for me to unveil some of the shit I've been coyly hinting at.

Bonus material for Star Power is coming in the form of sketches and process work as well as pinups from (so far) seven different awesome artists! A few other people have asked for a couple more days to finish their pinups in, though, so I'm pushing the print date forward a couple of days.

What this means for you, in addition to just getting some awesome bonus material, is what was going to be a 32-page staple bound comic will become a bona-fide 48-page perfect bound comic book you can sit on your bookshelf with pride! More updates on that as the situation progresses.

In the meantime, I'm exhausted. Had a minor scare earlier this week. My landlord, who had promised me I'd be able to renew my lease for two more months suddenly went back on it, saying I could only renew for a full year. I had a panic where I thought I'd have about eight days to find a place to live and move out. Not very good timing. Fortunately, I worked things out. Found someone looking for a place to live, so I'll only have to stay here six more months, and I have someone to share rent with in that time. ANTHROPORMORPHIC JELLY DOUGHNUTS FUCKING. That probably woke up those of you put to sleep by my housing woes.

I'll do that entry on paste ups I promised next update if no one minds. In the meantime, have some pictures of the pages I'm toning:

Generally when I tone, I consider four major things, in this order:

1. Consistency (Whether someone's hair is the same shade it was in the last panel)
2. Storytelling (Is the focus the point of highest contrast? Do lines point to the focus? To they direct your eye through the scene? Are important elements covered up at all?)
3. Composition (Are the values all balanced, or deliberately unbalanced? Is it aesthetically pleasing?)
4. Mood (Does the scene feel like it's in a dark room, or outside? Is it mundane or fantastic? What's the emotional tone, and how should the values of the tone reflect this?)
5. Lighting (Does the light source make sense?)

Consistency is at the top simply because it's the easiest to notice when you fuck it up. If someone's skin changes color from page to page it takes you out of the story. You can see where the artist made the mistake. It's also easy to determine whether you're doing it right or not, as opposed to some of the more subjective things below.

That aside, storytelling is always the most important thing to consider in comics. It trumps everything else. If the lighting makes no logical sense, but serves the story, you're doing it right. If the composition is jacked up in a way that serves the story, you're doing it right.

Composition and mood switch places for importance sometimes, really. It depends how important the mood of a particular panel is. If it's a big dramatic moment, or an emotional moment, or a breath of fresh air after an emotional moment, putting mood over composition aesthetics serves the story.

The lighting being logical is the absolute least important part in my mind. Sure, put it in there if it doesn't conflict with the story, mood or composition, but it's the first thing to be sacrificed when more important things come up.

Awright, that's all for tonight. Get some sleep, darlings, and let's all be glad we have homes and comics. The two most important things in life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Photos are back, bitches!

Phew! Hello again, everyone! Got two good pieces of news for you today. Here's the first one:

That's right! Now that everything but the cover is penciled, inked, and lettered (I left the cover for last in part so I'd have something to work on while my beta readers worked their mojo) all I have left is the toning and then it'll be ready to send to the printers. My goal date for that, as mentioned before, is the 10th. I'm a little uncertain as to whether I'll be able to hit that, or whether I'll be a few days late. (Lettering took much longer than expected.) But hopefully it won't make a difference for the final ship date.

My worry about the 10th is twofold--one, I'm guessing it's going to take longer to tone than I expected it would. Two, I'm going to need a little extra time to finish gathering bonus material. ...I've got a third piece of good news there, but I'm going to hold off announcing til it's official.

Second piece of good news: I have a working computer! Meaning I can upload all the damn pictures from the last few weeks! So, what has happened in that time?

I drew some strippers

 Shocking, I know


Isn't it glorious? It's also for storage and some other things, so it gets messy so easily. 

I carefully measured out panel borders.

 Caring way too much about layouts.

 Making ugly, ugly sketches


Naw, seriously though. I'm currently reading All Men Of Genius by Lev AC Rosen, a fun little steampunk story with intrigue, transvestism and purdy words. I also recently got my copy of Distillum Vol 1. It's handy to have a friend publish a lengthy comic right before you. Pickles is just packed full of advice on self-publishing.

Oh, but the best is yet to come. Look inside.

HELL YEAH. She asked what the sketch should be, and I told her to draw Sidney getting a private dance from a Star Power stripper of her choice. Best. Sketch. Ever.

Oh also I drew more pages you guys

I got a little antsy about posting spoilers here, so there's a lot of sketchy stuff and out of focus stuff. But I was pleased enough with this next page to give you a nice little sneak peek

Some pencils...Next post I'll talk about paste downs. Got photos of them too, but this post is long enough as it is and I'm so very tired. Night night <3

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hey gang. Got some bad news about updates in the near future---the usb drive on my computer is shot, meaning no scans and no pictures for a while. I'm waiting for a replacement part to get in, which hopefully will come in less than a week. The good news is I've been taking snapshots and the like in the meantime so I'll give you a nice big imagedump soon.

Here's some more good news:

Almost done with the pages! Got a little clean up and toning to do, and some bonus material to get together. But my goal is to send it to the printers by August 10th, and I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll hit that date. Since I'm a little ahead of schedule I'm making room for a couple extra pages of porn to squeeze in...but I'll show you those when they're done. In the meantime, back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The last few days have been a bit off for me. My very close friend lost a very good job, and the result is we're going to end up moving back to Chicago a lot sooner than we thought. Kinda shook me up. But. Still getting pages done!

 It's weird how you can get stuck on something. I spend most of today struggling to finish inking one page. Then, after setting it aside for a moment, I penciled and inked an entire page from scratch in a fraction of the time I spent wresting with the other one. Granted, part of it has to do with content and how some pages are more challenging than others, but part of it is just needing to take up something different when you've hit a wall.

I've been feeling a little leary of posting too many images of the pages I'm working on, mainly because I don't want to spoil all the stuff you'll be getting in the actual book! Though I suppose if you don't want spoilers you could just not read the blog. Still...some of you might want to keep up with how my progress is going. Hmm. Well, if any of you have a preference for what you do/don't want to see on this blog let me know in the comments and I'll try to cater!

And then Sarah drew strippers as evil mermaids for reasons that were confusing even to her.

The neighbor's dog has been whining all night, poor thing. That high pitched little sound cuts through me like a baby crying. It finally died down, though. Maybe its owners finally let it sleep on the foot of the bed or whatever it was making noise about. Well, good night to you all, then:)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On page 19 on inks and pencils and about where I want to be schedule wise. I'm finally breaking the "page a day" pace, though some pages are obviously faster and others are slower.

Got a side commission to do more paper dolls through Star Power and had some fun making their costumes today. If I do a little on them each day I think I can work them in without knocking Star Power off schedule

I think for the most part I'll just have pics on this blog in the future, but here's a peak at how I do perspective: I.e., a completely stupid way I wouldn't recommend for anyone.

Easy way to find the center of something--draw an X from corner to corner and the center will be where the lines meet.

 If you have a fetish for screaming women this is YOUR PAGE.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Since a couple people asked for pictures from my studio I'm doing that today. What kind of studio do I work in? The messy kind. I'm lucky thought to have a room that's not used for anything except artmaking and storage, though. It helps focus me on the work a lot better.

Here's a shot of page 11! Haha, these photos are all a little old, I'm on page 15 right now. Maybe I should make updating this blog a nightly thing for after I'm done working, rather than a "when I feel like it, dammit," thing.

I love this brush. Every morning I go over to my eraser stubb covered drawing table and brush it off with this. It's so simple and so handy, and technically an heirloom...sort of (my grandfather used it when he was working as a draftsman, and when my mother was cleaning out the house after he passed, she found it and gave it to me.) Hmm. That's less an heirloom and more of a hand me down. Whatever.

Man...I...I love you man...this is...where are my pants?

Skeleton! His name is Timothy. He belongs to my massage therapist roommate, she got him while she was in school. The skull on top of the bookcase is mine, though. ...My roommate and I like bones.

I do clean this place, I swear. Just not when I'm busy.

Hey, huh huh, I said my roommate and I like bones. Huh huh huhuhuhuh....

Friday, June 22, 2012

This page was a fun one. Just after Delilah appears, she tempts the girls from Clipper with the images of the bodies they might have. Still going to have to tone and letter it. Also going over some of my lines to adjust the weight.

Working out the basic composition in pencil was the hard part, filling in all the little pictures was surprisingly much quicker. ...Also. I had planned to put in a bunch of parodies of Cosmo article titles, over the top, silly things, on the magazine. Then I looked at a copy and realized there's no fiction I could make up as ridiculous as the truth. Everything but "IS HE CHEATING? (yes)" is a real article title.