Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Adventures of Doctor Flagellus Hurt

I've just finished what I consider to be my first "real" comic, and I'm pretty darn proud of it. This has been a three-week assignment, so here's the finished product, followed by the process.

So there's that. Ha ha penis.

Character development was the first step. We were given prompts in class to create a doctor character, and of course my brain screamed PIRATE, shortly followed by SPACE PIRATE, but then just back to PIRATE. Here's mine, the unfortunately-named Doctor Flagellus Hurt.

Then at the end of class we were told that our assignment was to write a comic about the character interacting with their worst nemesis, or someone that they could not stand. That's where the beefy fellow on the right comes in. I really like his name and I'm kind of disappointed I couldn't shoehorn it in to the final comic.

Next was this super-rough Photoshop sketch to get a feel for the layout and the story:

After receiving helpful feedback on the rough draft, the next step was making a tighter sketch. Unfortunately I haven't done math in more than two years, so I mismeasured and this is a good deal narrower than 6x9, meaning I had to re-draw it before I could ink it.

After more feedback from class and teacher, it was time to move on to the final.

I don't know what I'd do without Photoshop. This was only part of what was scanned in. I wasn't happy with the first panel, so I didn't finish it and instead redrew it on another piece of paper. I did the same with Flagellus's poses in panels 3 and 4, and cleaned up the smears since I make such a mess with ink and yet insist on using it anyway.

I called these pages "Flagellus bits" which sounds dirty. Basically this is where I redraw the stuff I'm not happy with and then insert them into the original.

I cleaned it all up and started to digitally color it, but decided I didn't like the look of flat digital color. So I made the process even more stupidly labor-intensive by markering in sections on a separate sheet of paper and scanning that in too.

The texture on these was a bit too streaky and distracting to use on their own, so I compromised and used them as a texture on the digital color, which I think I like.

And that's about it! Hopefully as I learn more about making comics I'll figure out how to do this in a more efficient way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Darker and edgier!

As an assignment for Illustration II, we were asked to create an illustration based on the style of another illustrator. I chose Sam Bosma because A) monsters and B) he has very detailed and helpful process posts on his blog, and I knew I could learn a lot about digital coloring from him. It's the first time I've allowed myself to directly reference another artist - certain decisions like "How would Sam Bosma draw pants?" were drawn directly from his work posted online. Thanks to him I tried a much grittier linework style than I tend to do, and also discovered the magic of texture brushes.

Here's the final piece. Honestly, I'm not 100% happy with it, especially the background, but it was a cool experiment. I call it "Final Boss."

And my final spread for Book Illustration based on my character sketches! I went with druggie rock star Hook and got very attached to him. I've been obsessed with shaved heads and haggard profiles lately, so that worked out.

Clearly there's a Sam Bosma influence in this one too, since I was working on them at the same time. I'm pretty happy with it.

More to come, probably later this week, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hmm, observation

Wow three new posts in a little more than a week! It must be your birthday.

Just some observational sketches here, which is not something I do naturally but was required to do for a class and is probably good for me.

Creative writing sketches

Sketches while watching The Darjeeling Limited

Kitty sketch

Sketch of the kitchen, please ignore wonky Russian nesting dolls

Sketch of the tabletop

Bandy hands.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

He was never more sinister than when he was most polite

Our Book Illustration assignment is to reinterpret a well-known character in five different ways. I chose Captain Hook, for a couple of reasons: one, he's a complex and interesting character who was treated appallingly in the Disney adaption, and two...well, pirate.

The essence of Captain Hook is that he is a grown-up, and the ticking crocodile of time is chasing constantly after him, and he can't delay his end forever. This is why he hates Peter Pan, the epitome of youth and cockiness and childish joy. A gentleman though a scoundrel, he is classically educated, a snappy dresser, and obsessed with "good form."

"...he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently, his mind was no longer with them; it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago, or being sent up for good, or watching the wall-game from a famous wall. And his shoes were right, and his waistcoat was right, and his tie was right, and his socks were right.

James Hook, thou not wholly unheroic figure, farewell."

If you only know Captain Hook as the buffoon from the Disney adaption, take my advice: pick up the book.

Here are my sketches:

"Captain Hooker." Clearly my first idea, since the second place my brain goes, right behind "pirate," is "prostitute." She's an aging stripper who is jealous of the young, pretty, girlish dancer who is winning the hearts of all the patrons. Not afraid to fight dirty. Also she has a hook for a hand because of an unfortunate incident with a pair of handcuffs.

"James Hook," Creative Writing professor. His own works have failed, leaving him very much embittered. He takes it out on his students, verbally destroying any student who happens to show promise. Then one day he receives a laid-back, mouthy lad, who, despite being a classic slacker, also happens to be a brilliant writer. Hook's normal tactics of failing grades and biting criticism fail to affect the boy, leading to a heated rivalry between the two.

"DOCTOR HOOK," evil supervillain extreme. So basically Captain Hook but a cyborg whose arch-nemesis is WONDER LAD, superpowered wunderkind and savior of the city! A very easy jump to make, really, but I had a lot of fun with his costume design.

"The Hook," bassist in a wildly successful rock band. Somehow manages to play bass with a hook for a hand. An alcoholic and addicted to drugs (his "ticking crocodile"), and is frequently visited by an apparition of himself as a child, who expresses disapproval at his life choices. This youthful entity drives him crazy and he desperately wants to get rid of it. Clearly he has some issues.

"James Hook," very serious fisherman. Not much to say but HE WILL GET THAT DANG FISH IF IT'S THE LAST THING HE DOES. Hint: the fish is Peter Pan. Hint #2: the fish bit off his hand.

Now have a bit of comics silliness. We were assigned to make individual panels based on prompts like "something that happened at lunch" "the beginning of the world" "the end of the world" "something that has nothing to do with any of the other panels" and "something that happened right after that." Then we had to rearrange them to make four-panel comics.

Mine don't really make sense.