The Experiment Has Begun

Twelve student prodigies...
One national science fair...
No chance of survival...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Page 75

This is the last of the "freestyle" pages. After this every page got penciled first, so you will notice the art becoming a little more defined. I think one of the driving reasons behind this decision was my unhappiness with that last panel. I couldn't seem to recapture the look of determination Rick had in my draft sketch  I hate when my final art can't compete with a preliminary sketch.

Page 74

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Page 73

page 72

Since my old scanner is not an option, I tried using the photocopy machine on scan mode. I think it looks pretty good. Those faint vertical lines in the bottom two panels are really the only artifacts. Otherwise its a pretty good copy of the image. (My old scanner certainly wasn't any better than this!)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cover design

I have actually given a lot of thought as to what I might want to do for my cover. Initially I was thinking about creating a 3d diarama of the chase scene (from page 45) and photgraphing it Mental note: Re-draw page 45 to show Stuart and the machine in the same shot. The diarama figures would basically be paper dolls arranged on a painted set, so it would still look like my artwork, but would just have this weird psuedo-3d look.

I am not totally quitting that idea, but I am also thinking now that I might like it to look like an 80s movie poster, something like a poster by Drew Struzan, John Alvin, Noriyoshi Ohrai, Richard Amsel, Matthew Peak... but still somehow incorporate my artstyle into it. I'm not sure how that would work... I have looked at a lot of movie posters, and I think the ones I gravitate toward have some sort of action going on, rather than carefully posed/static floating head/body collage that Struzan often seemed to favor. Here's a few examples that I like:

New workflow

I've modified my workflow (again)

Old workflow: Pencil Draft page --> Paint the borders and frames  --> Paint the art.
New workflow: Pencil Draft page --> Paint the borders and frames --> Pencil the final art. Paint / ink final art line work  --> Paint in greytones using inkwash techniques.

I know this will sound ignorant, but I didn't realize penciling my pages prior to inking them would make such a big improvement. In the past, I just sort of freestyled it, using my draft sketch as a guide to copy off. I thought it would help me work faster, but ultimately it paralyzed me for fear of doing it wrong.

This new workflow allows me to get it to look pretty much the way I envisioned it, and it might even be faster than the old way.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled comic book

This thing is becoming the comic book equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever. But I'm back on track for realz this time. See this page? That's page 71. It picks up right after page 70. (Last posted  January 28, 2011.) The entire comic has been roughed out, and now I'm doing final art. I have created a spreadsheet to track my progress. As of today, I have painted up to page 91 and am averaging about 3 to 5 pages a week. At this rate, I will be finished sometime in March 2017.