Hi there! I promised I’d post about things earlier and now I’m back so here’s a post about the comic, what I do and what I’m planning to do with it!
As I mentioned in a previous post I’d recently shifted over from a lifetime of an inked and toned art style to one that is pure painting- one where I draw up my sketches, paint out silhouettes and paint in my values from there without using an inked line layer. This helped sharpen things by removing the black lines between broad tonal shapes but it also ended up taking me more and more time, as those black lines were no longer there to create visual breaks defining shapes I had to paint in the contrast manually. As much as I liked the results it produced the time it took to put strips together became unsustainable so I’m making a switch to a hybrid of the two approaches; using outline again but not using it so much. I am hoping I can knock out a page a week again at the very least, and I’ve said this in the past before (countless times) but I wanted to present a substantial gameplan for how I plan to do it. I have an old .gif I made of a previous page where I documented my process hour-by-hour to show how a page grows from beginning to end and since I’m talking about process I have posted it above! That’s roughly what I’m gonna be doing more of, though the painting will be a lot sharper. I hope you like it!
As far as time invested into making comics goes I’ve recently taken up a couple of side projects that have demanded their own time to finish. I did a three-page comic submission for Evan Dahm’s upcoming Hail Stan zine, which is going to rule. I’ve also been doing work making game art for an independent game in progress by Eric Wheeler, who is building the engine from scratch and documenting the whole process here: http://superobelisk.blogspot.com/ If you’re into programming, coding or game design that is a very informative blog and one you should follow, plus you’ll get to see my art creep into a working video game! I’ve got other work in my back pocket I can’t post about yet but that’s all kept me busy.
I don’t want to lead anyone to believe I am losing interest in or burned out from making my comic- which is an understandable fear when an artist slows their output- so I want to say that I’m not going anywhere and I’ve got a plan to do things better and faster, and here’s how. Thanks for sticking with me and thanks for reading.
cozycatastrophe asked: Just read strip 513... amazing work! I don't know if anyone has ever said anything, but I LOVE the expressions in Monday's sunglasses. Always and forever. And when Monday asked about Liz's father, I got chills, because I suddenly remembered Monday's true storyline. Love it. Can't wait for more!
Thank you! I strive for the best in all things. u__u
Hi guys, remember me! I made another comic for you. You can read the whole thing here: http://deadwinter.cc/page/513
Today is my birthday (happy birthday to me) and to celebrate I’m going to type up a big ol’ thing about my game plan for shifting the comic’s art style to speed up production. I’m gonna type that up later, because right now I’m going to bed. Thanks for reading!
diloolie asked: I'm a loyal reader. We always get so much substance in each update, I'm happy with bimonthy (as seems to be the pattern of late) updates... though of course, I prefer every 5 days as it used to be! :P Either way, thanks!
I want to knock it down to at the very least a weekly update. I am hoping after this page is done (which will hopefully be before my birthday (May 23rd)) I can commence the new approach and knock them out quicker. I’m mega-aware of where my shortcomings are right now and doing the All-Painting Mode has taught me a few things, I think pulling it back will be a boon in the long run.
My old, old old approach I used to take to drawing, back when I was in college, was to do very tight pencils, “lift” them off the paper with Photoshop selection magic and paint colors underneath them. My earliest comics were done in a similar manner, only the tight pencils were a Photoshop brush layer. The way I evolved to doing things has been to do my sketches, ink a tight ink layer, create a flat-tone silhouette underneath and ctrl+click the flats layer so I can’t paint outside the lines and tone it out. The current process has been to do a sketch, paint the silhouettes over that and work in the internal “lines” separating major shapes and value fields with painting alone, and I’d put a silhouette outline around everything afterwards. The upside to this is few black lines muddling up detail, but the downside is I’m finding the painting process taking a lot longer without lines as a guide. I’m actually much faster at working this style when I use color because I can use hue and saturation to create contrast whereas black & white depends solely on value contrast to simulate everything. I appreciate hearing the process outline, though, as I always love those!
And thank you for the kind words! I hate making people wait, which is why I’m gonna re-work my approach. I’ve done this probably a dozen times over the course of the comic, it’s all part of the evolutionary process or whatever!
Hello! I just wanted to take a minute here and share my current comic state of affairs with everyone on Tumblr. Over the past few pages I’ve been trying a new approach to making comics- where I largely did away with the inking and outline phase and went all-in on painting- and while this has made the comics look very sharp and cool it’s taking me forever to do and not updating as often is killing me. So after I finish the page I’m working on I’m going to readjust my process and work a compromise between the old ink-and-tone style I used before and the current all-painting approach I’ve been noodling with this year and find a sharp-looking in-between that goes much faster to paint. Also I should be reaching a point where I don’t need to travel every weekend and I can finally settle down and work those three days as well. Sorry for all the delays and thank you for your patience, I’m gonna rekajigger my process to resume a semi-speedy deliverance of comics.
A friend of mine has begun work on a song inspired by the first car chase scene that starts back on Page 228. I’ve often drawn on Rock and the Blues for inspiration when I’m writing action in my comics and this captures the feel in my head perfectly. It’s the first instrument of a full track and there’ll be more versions later but this is just so cool I couldn’t not share it here!
This was a heartfelt question that popped up today and it is in reference to this post on Formspring: http://www.formspring.me/rallyyy/q/435682501797634196 and I guess the long and short of why that element has been ambiguous so far has been the nature of the story hasn’t left a moment to explore certain themes yet- the comic to date has mostly been a goofy on-the-run survival adventure thing- and over the past few years I’ve been steering it towards a little township setting where things are more stable and I can explore other stories and themes, and I’ve arrived there now. I’ve had a lot of ideas for angles, scenes and side bits I’ve thought about including in the comic over the years but the momentum of the story hasn’t given me a chance to open them up yet, but I’m at a point now where I can start fleshing things out in more other directions. As it stands now Alice and Liz have the closest relationship of anyone in the comic, and so far it’s been a sort of Thelma and Louise sort of bond- with all the subtext that implies- that’s suited the nature of the comic up to where I am so far, and changing the nature of that relationship in canon is a very sizable plot undertaking which deserves careful consideration, and I haven’t hit that point in the story yet.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a cop-out answer as it’s a very hard question to address- evolving relationships are an important part of telling a human story and I want to do that element justice, I just gotta move the story to the right place to do it.
Stumptown is next weekend (April 27th-28th!!) Look at all the swell people who are going to be in the back of the show!! Most importantly, Sfé and I are at TABLE D7. COME SEE US!!
(oh gosh I hope I didn’t miss anybody I know on this list I’ll feel really bad if I did!!!)
I’ll be haunting around this corner this weekend! Come see everyone, they are all fantastic.
Hi there, long time no see! I got a comic for you: http://deadwinter.cc/page/512
I had to take some time to get work done on Another Obligation and I think that added a week to my production time for this strip, my apologies. I’ve also been experimenting with painting softer light backgrounds- I’ve always had a problem where my backgrounds had the same value range as my foregrounds so characters would get lost in the noise and I’m trying out ways to keep the background detailed without losing my focus or sense of depth. There’s a little art update from yours truly.
In other news, I’m going to be at Stumptown Comic Fest in Portland, OR this weekend! I didn’t get a table this year but I wanted to see my friends on the west coast so I’m making the trip over as a little me-time. If you’re coming to Stumptown I’ll likely be hanging out with the other webcomics folks, I’ll reblog a post about where to find them after this one.
Thanks for sticking with me, and thanks for reading!