Thursday, January 31, 2008

Drawing talk

No artwork this time, but I have been working, inbetween sleeping, not sleeping, taking Olivia out (had an utterly awesome day out in the park early in the week, bright clear day, Olivia's first go on a swing, lot's of smiles and giggling. A memory to treasure.) and reading.
I'm struggling at the moment with a layout problem. Back when I first tried drawing comics I used to mess around with layouts quite a bit, diagonal panel borders, splash pages, inset panels, over lapping panels and all that fun stuff. As time's gone on I've dropped a lot of that flashiness, it's fun to see other people do it, but I generally prefer simple to fancy nowadays. The trouble at the moment is due to the format I have to work in and the shape of the last panel on a particular page I'm stuck with what could either be awkward storytelling (a big no no) or something slighty flashier than what's preceeded. What to do.....
Sorry if this musing on blog is dull BTW!
Far more interesting comic musing can be found here. I've been a huge fan of Brian Ralph since seeing his work in one of the SPX anthologies, 'Cave-In' was beautiful and I loving 'Daybreak'. Ralph's 'how to' is invaluable, and sadly it took me a long time before I came round to a similar way of thinking. A long looong time.
You live and learn.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More silly pictures

I'll not say much about these in an effort to retain some sense of mystery. The two scans are both for different ideas and although the drawings aren't properly rendered I'm pretty happy with the look of the various characters (apart from the unfinished one of the girl, she's the wrong age and I really need to check out what sort of clothes are fashionable, in a nonjudgemental old sod sort of way) Although it's pretty obvious the drawings here are more the style I prefer to work in than the previous post they are slightly different to my usual methods and I intend to go further with that.
As always, feedback is welcome, and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some silly pictures

Been meaning to post something for a while now, but I haven't done anything worth posting. However, after a much deserved prompting here's some scribbles.These are for vol. 3 of Best New Manga. First up is some thumbnails, the blank bits are where I have no idea what to draw, on page 2 it's because I've not designed a big tanky robot, and that's much the same for page 4. I'm trying to be 'proper' here doing everything in stages, I do usually draw thumbs, but they're never as complete, organised or as legible as these.... assuming you can see what the hell is going on!
Second is the rough pages 1 & 2. Spending a bit more time on the thumbnails is paying off, as at this stage I've usually redrawn each panel a dozen times and the results look like a mass of scribble (really, I often manage to tear though the paper) These pages where penciled in very rough shapes and a tiny amount of detail then I went over them with a grey marker. Next I'll go over the grey line with black pen adding a little more detail (lets face it, I'm not really into lots of detail) and making things clearer. After that I'll enlarge the pages (these are drawn same size as printed), tape them to the window in my front room slap a sheet of bristol board on top and copy the final pencils onto it altering and tightening as I go. My pencils are so scribbly and messy even to my eye that I never pencil directly onto nice paper.
Lastly is the design for the main character, and you just might notice a retro look about him. I don't really know much about this sort of stuff, but I knew I liked the look of the older stuff better than the high tech fancy stuff.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ideas n stuff

Thanks for the comments of the 'Cryptic' post. I've tried hard to come up with some workable ideas and come to an interesting conclusion. Ideas = work. Even though I spend my spare time doing creative things I obviously still see it as a magical act, producing something when the mood's right and the stars are in alignment. I clearly think that the initial idea that starts the whole thing rolling is a bolt from the sky (I'm mixing metaphors like mad here!) Because I've really had to come up with something, and in a short space of time, I've not had the luxury of waiting for the idea to make it's way to me, and as a consequence I've found that I can come with ideas and they can be pretty good, if I say so myself. Maybe I was lucky, but as I came up with a couple of stinkers, maybe not.
At the moment I've got four (count em!) ideas which I like enough to develop, one of which is a slightly expanded version of 'Astrodog', a couple of you will be pleased to hear, the other three are new. In fact, whatever happens I think I'll try to turn all of these into finished comics, along with something else I wanted to work on.
I'll post a bit more about this Fantastic Four, as I go, be quite good that as I haven't posted any artwork for a while.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I want to do a comic, but I don't know what to do. Seems like an ongoing problem for me, I'm just not a flowing river of ideas like some people. At the moment I've got a couple of things I'd like to do this year, but I need to start doing something pretty sharpish and it none of my other ideas are right.
Anyone else have this slow flow of ideas problem or is it just me?
Anyway, apologies for this random and odd post, I'm just sort of thinking out loud.
Less cryptic than that is the pretty spiffy news that 'MY robot!' has found another home, better yet I've been asked to expand it, and as I had an idea that sort of fitted alongside it (not after, sorry, he's really not coming back) I decided to go with that.
Better get thinking.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One week in

One week into 2008 and the 'new me' gig is proving hard work. Unsurprisingly.
The diet side has been tough, it always is. But at least it's going in the right direction. I've started excercising too, which isn't as much fun as remember, but then I'm not in as good shape just yet.
I've started writing again too. Because it's been a while since I wrote prose I'm over deliberating a bit at the moment, once I get into the swing of it I'll loosen up. It's good to try and write good prose, but I think it's best for me to just get something written and redraft. Anyone interested in reading what I'm working on will have to sit on their hands rocking backwards and forwards impatiently waiting, I'd like to get a big chunk written and have a stronger idea of the whole thing. The last novel I tried to write faltered because I didn't have a big enough picture and I don't want to make that mistake again.
There's not been much drawing so far, but I'm gearing up to that with a bunch or roughs and scribbles that I need to sift through. I did have a go on a friends 'Comic Life' art package and have decided I don't like it. I'm sure it's good for some people but it's not for me. Seeing printouts with computer lettering made me feel slightly ill. I'm just not a fan of computer lettering and it looked so dead and lifeless. Still, it's been a help in laying this comic out as there's some pages that have a lot of text so I now have a better idea how much space I have to add artwork (not enough in some places to be perfectly hones), but the sooner I hand letter the final art work the better.
Mainly the week seems to have been spent on mundane, but important, things like moving furniture, cleaning and the like. Basically so far feels like preperation, the fun stuff's next.