Saturday, August 11, 2007

This page took me twelve dang hours to ink

To start off this missive, I did a picture of Dean Trippe's Butterfly. I was reading Drew Weing's Journal Comics (somewhat famous in the comics world for being very good) for the first time (I'm late to everything) and Dean was in them here and there. That reminded me that I'd been wanting to do a butterfly drawing for a while now. Here 'tis!

Man! Cartooning has become REALLY hard and stressful over the past few weeks. I'm doing that "try and make everything as perfect as possible" thing with my pages, and as a result they undergo a ridiculous amount of revisions. If the speed at which many of my friends and contemporaries work is to be the standard, then I work very fast; this page (well, the last panel), however, went through no fewer than a dozen significant changes and redraws, and rather than finding myself occupied for the usual hour or two of inking, I've been at it for nearly a half-day, from 11am this morning until 10:30 tonight. This is in addition to the hours I've spent thumbnailing and planning said page, so all in all this is probably a 24-hour panel. Disappointingly, though, it seems no more special than any other panel I've done, though I suppose that is good; I wouldn't want it to stand out and pull the reader from the narrative. The final page looks as you see it here, though the last panel has four layers of glued paper and a LOT of white acrylic paint slathered on, and all of these additions have been drawn upon, in many instances more than once. Anyone who thinks me infallible (no one comes to mind) would have their faith sorely tested by seeing this collage of inkwork.

Here's the page, though without the first panel. Though satisfactorily completed, it gives away a plot point better kept under wraps, and remains hidden lest your future reading experience be marred by knowledge of things to come.

I find myself continuously tweaking the dialogue, rearranging phrases, removing words, taking things in a slightly different direction, eliminating unnecessary information, and other steps of that nature. As panels and pages must be redrawn to accommodate these changes, it is harder and harder for me to jump into the inks, knowing as I do that they will likely be but the first of what should be a one-time exercise. So I'm trying more and more to tighten my thumbnails.

For those of you who don't like shop-talk, sorry for such a boring and indulgent entry! Here's another drawing to make it a little more worth your while:

It's the Captain Alatriste character I mentioned in the previous blog.


Joe Karg said...

Hey man! We met on Thurs morning at San Diego with Shawn. I really like the feel of your stuff. Tons of freedom in your lines and layouts. Really great pirate stuff. Anyway keep it up man.

NolanWoodard said...

Are you spending more time doing thumbs with dialog then? Should help plan out everything quicker. That Tec-C pen you are fond of would be perfect!

Did you ever post that awesome Harry Potter commission? Show off your color work!

Adding you to my links. I'm really proud of what you've done here.