Posts Tagged ‘Comics and Art’
I have a handful of outstanding commissions, some of which are quite old, which I have not completed, usually because I’ve received either no guidance or at best vague suggestions. Some of these commissions are from backers of the Suburban Jungle Kickstarter, others are charity auction winners, etc., and so I realize that the recipients of said commissions might not mind that they’ve never actually received ‘em.
However, having them sit there on my too-much-to-do list for years is starting to poke at me. So as of next Saturday (April 6), I will be going down my “to do” list and marking any and all outstanding commissions as “completed.” If you feel I owe you some art, please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP and I’ll make it good, whether via art or refund.
Just a heads-up, all you happy people! I will be running a “Penciling 101″ panel on Saturday, April 6, 4:30 p.m. at Fur The ‘More: Time Traveler’s Party in Baltimore, MD. This is the first outing of a brand new furry con! It should be fun.
The panel will cover some basic artistic concepts, including thinking in shapes, the magic grid, and dynamic posing. I’ll also do my best to answer questions and offer specific tips as needed. Hope to see you there!
Expressions, round two! I’ve reached the point in the new comic where Tanya shows up, and it’s time to get her appearance hashed out.
I love Tanya, but she’s tough do draw.
Verity exercise here: http://the-gneech.deviantart.com/art/25-Essential-Expressions-Verity-348688888
Original exercise sheet here: http://napalmnacey.deviantart.com/art/25-Essential-Expressions-55523083
I made this for my and my colorist’s reference, but it also makes a nice teaser for the new comic. Here are the updated incarnations of Verity and Tanya, together for the first time in their new context and with character designs complete.
Verity’s a bookish nerd with an affinity for gadgets; Tanya would kick butt and take names, except she doesn’t actually give a damn what your name is. Both of them have to make their way on a future planet that’s made of crazy.
Tentatively scheduled to launch this summer. More details as they get ironed out!
Both characters copyright ©2012 by me (John “The Gneech” Robey), all rights reserved.
For all my skill at prose, I always have a problem with plot. I want something that’s a bit more sophisticated than “Triangle Man hates Particle Man, they have a fight, Triangle wins!” … but when it comes to actually think up what happens, I tend to just stare at the screen (or paper) and go “Uuuuuhh… I like pie.”
This is why I like to come up with an “elevator pitch” for my stories, especially episodic things like comics– so that if I get stuck, I have a roadmap of what’s important to the story and what I should be talking about. Unfortunately, it’s very often not until you’ve got a significant amount of stuff already written on an item that the themes really start to become visible. Alas, that’s not much help when you get stuck near the beginning!
So at the beginning, or at least in the rough draft stage, it’s often handy to lean on an already-established plot, or even just lift some other story whole cloth. “Um… so we’ve got these lions, and… uh… what do they do? We know we want to have some kind of thing with the hero and his father– I’ve got it! Let’s riff off Hamlet!” But I always have trouble letting go and doing that, I think at least partially because my studies in English lit have enabled me to spot it being done so often everywhere else! And my ego resists.
But y’know, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to use an existing idea as a framework. I know my new comic has a kind of “Mad Max meets Alice In Wonderland” vibe going on, so why not use that to my advantage? Could my comic benefit from a Cheshire Cat analog? How about a Red Queen or a Mad Hatter? (And have you ever noticed the parallels between Alice In Wonderland and Wizard of Oz?)
These are things I think about when I’m noodling around, fishing for plot ideas. Sometimes it helps! Sometimes it just makes my ideas even murkier. But if nothing else, at least it keeps my thoughts moving and prevents my brain from going into the vapor-lock it always leans towards at this stage.
One of the things I always regretted about my previous comics was that I never really put a lot of the professional-level homework into them, not the least of which is an expressions sheet. So for my current one, I decided to remedy this. I grabbed this template for the task: http://napalmnacey.deviantart.com/art/25-Essential-Expressions-55523083
Holy cats, this is a lot more work than it looks like. But on the upside, I now have a proper expressions reference for Verity. The hardest one to settle on was actually “flirty,” as Verity is not exactly a seething cauldron of self-assurance and social adeptitude. (Is that a word?) So I went with “giggly and embarrassed” instead, which is pretty much how she’d react to anybody she really found attractive. “Fierce” and “rage” were tough choices as well, considering how neither of those things Verity tends to be.
I’ll need to do one of these for Tanya too, but I have some time before that since she doesn’t actually appear until about 5 pages into the comic.