Thursday, January 31, 2013

City of Cards C3.41: HERE!

And hey, someplace new, sorta. The Park family restaurant and Xander and his cousin, Sun, for whom I deeply apologize. Apparently I decided the foulest mouth of my characters should belong to a fourteen year old girl.

Actually, that makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, Xander's existence right now mostly proves that getting mixed up with Plato isn't always a good idea.

And, well, crap Emerald City is close. You can locate my table at H-04 (sweet placement, really). I'm going to be working my butt off from now on trying to get production together and generally try not to freak out while getting Chapter Four started.

Here's a preview of another Pokémon button, Lampent:

One more button to color, a bunch more to get together, and a whole lot of printing, trimming, and stapling to go.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

City of Cards C3.40: HERE!

And on that sappy note, we end the boy's part of Chapter Three. There are three pages left in the chapter, bringing back one old character and introducing a family member. Things seem fairly calm right now, but I promise that the next few chapters are going to be pretty intense.

Speaking of intense, have you read Look Straight Ahead? Because you should be. Elaine will also be tabling at Emerald City this year so please, go check it out and buy copies of her work.  She is by far one of the most amazing comic artists I've discovered and deserves all the support she can get. I hope to do a proper write up on it when I have more than a few minutes to sit and write.

As far as being on schedule for the convention, I've inked most of the mini, buttons are coming along, and while I haven't been able to dedicate any more time to edits I'm almost done with the last page of Chapter Three and have sketched a character image of Candy for the backcover so that should be easy to pull together.

I've also pencilled the first four pages of Chapter Four, and am hoping to have about the first twelve or so pencilled by the convention (we'll see how things go with printing and driving and all that stuff).

So yeah, madly trying to get stuff together for ECCC. Here's a button design I did of Litwick (I've been playing a fair bit of Pokémon Black 2 as my downtime activity):

I've also drawn Lampent and Chandelure so I'll be getting those together as a set. I also want to do some lucha buttons and maybe, if I have any time left, I'll draw the Ghastly evolutions as well. It seems fitting, and I love ghosts.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quick Post

City of Cards C3.39: HERE!

I can complete relate to the desire to just want to chill for a bit. Unfortunately, that is not what is the cards for me.

Also, quick congrats to Elaine M. Will on the Bleeding Cool piece about Look Straight Ahead! It's a comic you should be paying attention to, especially as she prepares for print.

So, quick update on ECCC progress:

  • 11/12 pages pencilled (thought I was finished, overlooked on page, need to consider how I want it to look)
  • 5/12 pages inked
  • 3.5 pages colored
  • Circle cutter and corner rounder purchased (thank you 50% off sales)

And man, this mini is looking different from anything I've ever done. I'm using this as an opportunity to play around with shapes and colors and abstract representations to create a different kind of feeling. I think once I have it all colored I'll make super small thumbnail previews so that people can kind of see what I'm doing.

In contrast to that madness, I finished page 3.41 and posted my process:

CoC C3.41.1 Final
I'll have a lot more to say about Xander, his home, and his family once those pages are posted, and as more of his background is revealed. Of all my characters, he and Rick are the two for whom family plays a hugely significant role in their identity. This isn't to say we might not learn more about other characters' families, but when I think of what someone's motivation for what they do is, there is no doubt for those two.

I'm going to try to write more about what I'm looking forward to and what people should check out at Emerald City, hopefully next week as things are getting close.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Emerald City Prep Part One

City of Cards C3.38: HERE!

And in a weird sort of way, because of all the fiddling I've had to do to the first chapter you basically get an extra page this week (yes, an entirely new page, not one that ever existed before or contains any content that or edits of content that existed previously):

City of Cards C1.14.5-15: HERE!

I spent a good deal of time on that page, not out of any real difficulty, but simply because it just wouldn't let itself get done. I've drawn the pencil edits for pages fourteen and fifteen as well (and sixteen 'cause why not) but I just haven't had time to get to them.

To further clarify, the reason this new page needed to exist is because without it my page turns are completely out of order and the chapter is now at a convenient 32 pages, a number that divides nicely when preparing for print. It also gave me a chance to make Plato angst a bit more while hopefully showing off a bit of the city environment to help better establish it in the early pages of the book (this is something that had been mentioned in long ago critiques and I've been working to fix that ever since).

As for page C3.38, it's a bit of an odd page, trying a technique that I'll be using a lot in Chapter Five. There is a reason I'm doing it and when I get a chance to do the final updates to Chapter One it'll help tie things together. One of my goals with this comic is to create a substantial side-cast of characters and part of that is going to be making sure every time one of them shows up that they're consistent and distinguishable.

Emerald City Update:

Here's a little bit of what's going to be happening. First, Plato's wrestling backstory minicomic is coming along nicely. I finished the cover design and the first page of inks/color this weekend. Here's the cover:

CoC King of Hearts Mini
I'll be tabling with my buddy Jamie Fahlgren and you can check out her fantastic work here. She recently got an image published in the Japanese illustration magazine Small S:

Globe Girl by Jamie Fahlgren/Cloverfirefly
More updates to come as well as recommendations of people to check out and further updates about what I hope to be bringing to the show. Oh man, it's crunch time.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: DO IT

City of Cards C3.37: HERE!

So after this there's only six more pages in this chapter to go. Crazy!

All the pencils are finished, and just for the record, the last three pages of this chapter bring back someone that hasn't shown up in the comic October of 2011.

What does that tell me? It tells me comics take way too long and I gotta figure out a way to make this go faster without losing any quality. Isn't that the ultimate goal, though?

Which reminds me, there isn't going to be a 2012 retrospective on this blog. I feel like I reminisce enough as it is and this upcoming year is going to be me working hard towards whatever my next goals are going to be. Actually, I know what they're going to be but I need to gather myself a bit before taking this next crazy steps.


In the mean time, let's look at some of what I can talk about. First, shout out to the awesome people at Comic Rocket for the great work they've been doing lately and here's a link to my page there where they were nice enough to give me an announcement space for my upcoming convention dates. And here's another peek at my upcoming mini comic that's going to be released at Emerald City:

CoC KoH 9
And I'm still doing the whole get the first two chapters up to par thing which has actually been a lot more re-inking than it has been anything else. Here's a comparison of the page I just uploaded and the original:
Updated C1.17
Original C1.17
As far as what was changed, a lot of what was done was re-inking the second panel and doing some minor art adjustments. I didn't have the hang of doing the perspective in quite the way I do now so I wanted to go back in and get Ace and Plato to scale with the picture, fix the room a little bit, and also because I've learned a lot about how to shade my comic I changed that.

The other thing that's noticeable is just the line quality. My old lines were very heavy and rough and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like it visually hindered and muddled a lot of my art. My pencils are usually really clean and tight (they've gotten even moreso I've noticed) so I think the way I ink now is more reflective of the kinds of pencils I'm doing.

My goal had been to be done with Chapter One fixes by Emerald City. I'm partially readjusting my goals. I want to spend some time on Chapter Two, so right now I'm just going by priority. Chapter Three needs to be finished and Chapter Four needs to be started. Whatever shape the first two chapters are in at the time of the convention, that's what they are. When I get ready to do the big print collections, by that time I'll be where I need to be on these chapters and have been able to go over the third chapter a little bit.

I tend to ramble on about my plans in this blog, adjusting them each time, but it's a good way for me to clear my head and do a check up on my progress. Back at CCS I had the benefit of friends and classmates and advisors who gave me checkmarks and deadlines to push towards. When you're out of the structured studio environment you have to build that system for yourself.

Here's hoping whatever you hope to accomplish in this upcoming year you get at least a little bit closer. Hard work and dedication are key, but it can happen.