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.

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