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