Saturday, March 28, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 30-36, Another Word for Weak

Good Saturday morning to you all! Thanks for stopping by for my weekly update on my 100DMC journey.

I have to say I'm enjoying the heck out of this project!!  I haven't found putting in the actual time to be that much of a challenge but I have found making comics to be one. If you ever thought about it, I recommend giving it a go. You can learn a lot...and you certainly will appreciate the pros a lot more. I found writing and plotting to be the hardest task so far, but now that I'm taking this book a little more seriously, I find all kinds of new ideas cropping up. I'm feeling like I might want to keep going with this long after my 100 days are up. I won't do it exclusively but I think I'm going to add it to the least of features on this blog....variety is the spice of blogging right? Between, The Caped Sphincter, The Last Resort, The Cheez and Sketches I'm hoping there will be a little something for everyone who likes cartoons.

So, I got five pages down on my comic. I should be happy about that but if it were a crossword puzzle the clue would be "5 Down: Another word for weak."  5 pages out of 12 is very good and I'm on pace to finish Issue 1, but I want MORE!!  Between my real job and my family obligations, I just didn't have time to put in much more than five or six hours this week.  Since there are spoilers on the page, I can't show it, but I did draw Earthworm Jim the other day. Here it is again in case you missed it.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! And tune in next week when I hope to be past the half way mark!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sketch Dailies: Earthworm Jim

I never played the game but I always like the look of the character Earthworm Jim. Since he was today's Sketch Dailies prompt I thought I knock him out before I call it quits for tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 23-29, DRERGE!

Hey everybody! Happy Saturday to you all. 29 days down in my journey to 100, where I spend 30+ min a day working on my personal comics project.

This week I did a little better than last week: putting 7.5 hours in. I always want to do better but life has a way of shorting me free time.  Still, averaging an hour a day isn't bad I guess and it has allowed me to finish inking another page! Since there's no real spoilers on it, I present to you PAGE 4 of THE CAPED SPHINCTER #1!

As I said last week, perspective is a biznitch! Slowed me down considerably. Drawing comics is a lot of work...don't let anybody tell you different kids! I've learned a few tricks and am beginning to have a workflow which is making life easier though. I highly recommend layering, but grouping and NAMING your groups clearly. So many times I've found myself drawing on the wrong layer. It's very frustrating. My other tip is DRERGE! That's my stupid name for Draw and Merge. The beauty of digital and Manga studio is that it's allowing me to go right from roughs to inks, bypassing pencils all together. I love it. I ink a section on one layer and when I'm happy with it I merge it down to my final inks layer. The other beautiful thing about working this way is I can get nicer curves and sweeping line without fear of inking over other sections. Simply erase the part of the line you don't want before merging it with the final.  By working this way it's allowing me to get to finished inks in 8 hours or less.

That's it for this week. Than you for the love and support on this book. See you next week!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 16-22, Some Perspective

Hey everybody!  Thanks for stopping by... it's time for the Saturday morning update of my 100 days of making comics journey. It's hard to believe I've finished just over 3 weeks already! Time really does fly when you're having fun. So what do I have to report this week?

I put in a solid 7 hours for the week. Still short of the 2 average I was hoping to get but I thought of a joke for "The Last Resort" and wanted to get it out there for fans of that strip. That took a couple hours of drawing time but I love doing The Last Resort so I have no regrets. Check out the archives tab above if you wanted to view the gallery of past comics.

As far as the comic book goes, I've inked the first 3 pages. Since these books will be 12 pages, that's 1/4 inked!! Very happy with the pace. Still feeling like I can get issue 1 posted by the end of the 100 days.  I know Kevin has decided to post pages as he goes but I'd like to keep the 1st book mostly under wraps. I'll post select panels as I go but pages 2-3 is a 2 page spread that I don't want to spoil.

I'm working on pg 4 this week and have gotten bogged down in perspective. I have a tractor trailer coming out of the top panel from a 3/4 view and it's been a pain to draw. I'm happy with the results but I don't have Manga Studio 5 EX (just 5) and I'm sorely wishing I had the perspective rulers that comes with EX. I definitely should have sprung for EX. At the time I had no plans to make comics but now that I'm making one, EX is the way to go. I think it's time time to spring for that upgrade!

So the plan for this weekend is to finish pg4. I won't post the whole page but when I finish this damn tractor trailer I will post it at the end of this article.  Visuals definitely help a blog post! Which reminds me...I got to hang out in the audience for a bit of Thee 100's first Google hangout and it was a lot of fun. During the hangout they discussed blogs vs YouTube and I wish I could have put in my two cents YouTube videos are definitely superior to the lowly blog. People want visuals, people want an entertaining personality, people want to have the option to listen to someone talk as they do something else. The blog offers none of that.  Kevin Cross called me out to make some videos and I'd love to BUT he's got the wrong guy. I'm not exactly socially awkward but I'm extremely introverted. No way in hell would I be that entertaining to watch, nor am I tech savvy enough to make anything of quality. For anybody who cares to see me or hear what I sound like I'll be happy to join a hangout but the solo act is not for me. Perhaps someday but that's a long way off.

The people in The 100s are cool though and I'd like to hangout with them. Because I've seen so many of their videos I feel like I know them but to them I'm just words on a screen with a cartoon avatar face. It would be nice to join a hangout and hopefully they like me as much as I like them.  We'll see...for now I'm happy with the blog-life and dwelling in near anonymity. My comics can speak for themselves.

So that wraps up another week in the 100DMC. Thank you all for visiting, sharing and supporting my efforts. I'll post the pg4 panel here this weekend for anybody who wants to see it. Perspective kicks my ass...the truck took me 3 hours!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Last Resort: Trojan Horse

I decided to take a little break from my 100 Days of Making comics challenge today, to draw a panel of "The Last Resort". I still did my 30 minutes but instead of putting in more time on the comic book, I wanted to get this joke to print before I forget it. Hope you enjoy it. Please click on the image below for a larger view. If you like this sort of humor, please click on the archives tab above to view the other 89 panels I've done.

Interesting fact while making this one. I had to look up how to spell Prophylactic and according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary it's from the Greek "prophylaktikos, from prophylassein to be on guard".

Now you know! And knowing is half the battle....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 12-15

Welcome back and thanks for checking out my progress on The 100 Days of Making Comics Challenge.  It's where I spend at least 30 minutes per day working on a personal comics project. In my case I'm working on a series of 4, 12-page comics about The Caped Sphincter (TC Sphincter for short). You read that right...a giant ass in a cape. It's pretty absurd but it's fun to draw and hopefully will be entertaining to somebody out there. I have had a few people actually request I bring the character back (originated in early 90's) so I'm happy to oblige. I rather like the character too! You can check out my previous posts if you'd like to get more of the back story or see the old cover featuring TC.

This week I switched to weekly updates. I know blogging is not as entertaining as the video blogging and is more demanding since people have to read this. Yell at me if you want daily and I can switch back.

This week I made good progress but not great. I put an hour in each day for a total of 18.75 since day one. I'd like to bump that average up to over two hours a day. My goal is now to get all of Issue 1 finished by the end of the challenge.  This week I finished the inks on page 1. I'm using Manga Studio and I can't say enough good things about it. If you enjoy the digital process, I find Manga Studio way better to draw and ink in than Photoshop (which I've been using since the first version!) I can see myself saying goodbye to Photoshop for sketching. Color work is TBD. I haven't messed with that yet. So without further adieu, here is my first page! (click on it for larger view)

I'd like to show more as I go but I don't plan to reveal each page as it's inked. I'd rather avoid spoiling anything but if I can throw up some visuals during the course of this thing I'll certainly do so. Visuals are always more entertaining.

I'm working on the two-page spread (2-3) now and I'm about halfway through. Hope to knock out that this weekend. At some point I'll post a Manga studio review as well. I think it's only fair I use it more to give an official opinion, but first impressions are that I'm in love!

I think that's it for this update. Holla if you want me to post daily. I don't get much traffic or comments so it's hard to tell...OH! Big thanks to Kevin Cross for the mention this week. I got 199 views that day!! To put it in perspective I'm lucky to get nine views on a good day. I felt like "King for a Day"! He's refusing to take credit but I have no other explanation, and it had to be a contributing factor, so credit goes to him. Thanks Kevin!

Thanks again for stopping by and hope to see you all back here again next week!

Monday, March 2, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Day 11... Saturday Morning Post

Hello everybody,

I'm late posting this update today because I wanted my first panel to sit on the front page of the blog for a bit. I figured it might have gotten lost in the shuffle over the weekend and some people didn't get to see it. Plus I'm really happy about it and want to show it off.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I got the first page nearly all inked and I'm very happy with how the book is turning out. Manga Studio's inking tools are so much better than Photoshop's. I feel like it's making my art a lot better. I think it's the stabilization feature that really gives it the edge. Stability is adjustable to taste and is a real help in taking some of the shake out of my lines. I love it!

Having completed the inks on my first page, I feel like I'm working on a pace that's on par with industry pros. I said PACE, not skill. :) If I can keep inking pages at about 8 hours a clip I'm feeling like I can get Issue 1 done and colored in the 100 days! Skipping pencils is a real time saver and another reason I like digital so much.

I'm really going to push to keep this book on schedule. I'm eager to put it on the site and see what people think of it. Chances are I'm a little nuts but somebody besides me has to like it. Even if it's one person that's alright with me!  (I know it's going to be a small following when even my wife thinks I should reconsider.)

I've also decided to change my update schedule from daily to weekly. I'm going to post every Saturday with a weekly rundown of all I did and share what I can. It's asking a lot to have people read this every day when I'm not posting visual content. I'm only going to post mid week if I have something to share that's art related.  (The Cat in The Hat is today's Sketch Dailies topic.... I'd like to draw him later if I have time. I which case I'll tack him on the end of this post.)

See you all on Saturdays and thanks for all of the encouragement and support!  Especially "Thee 100's" guys and gals: you all are awesome!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Day 10... Style

Hello again, it's day 10 in my journey of 100 days, in which I spend 30+ minutes a day on making comics. For those of you just looking for a progress report, I put in about 3 hours yesterday and have the very first panel of my comic inked. I still have to add a little shading but it's essentially done (minus the color). I wanted to post it to give you all a feel for what's in store (Click on the image for a larger view).

This panel doesn't give anything away but it's a good indicator of what you're going to get with this comic. It's no Eisner winner, nor is it a very serious book. If you like quirky, absurd comedy, lowbrow poop jokes and goofy looking art, then The Caped Sphincter is for you. If you want the next Batman you're better off looking elsewhere. If you're still reading this, I guess you're interested: In which case I'd like to ramble on about style.

Gaz Bot got me thinking about style yesterday with his video on Day 95 of his own making comics journey. In it he was talking about his vision and the frustrations artists experience trying to achieve their vision. Skill often falls short.  My vision has never met my skills and I don't think any artist who is any good will ever quite meet their vision. This isn't a bad thing. To do so would mean you have no room to grow and your art would become boring and stagnant. There's always room to improve. I look at vision as more of a guideline now than a goal.

Chasing style has always been just as elusive. I didn't set out to draw in my style. It just sort of happened as a result of my failure to draw in other ways. Drawing realistically always seemed like a chore to me and resulted in some pretty soulless work. I never wanted to put the time in to get better at it because it was frustrating. My vision never matched what I could draw. I found comic strips and suddenly a whole new way of thinking opened up for me. Comics gave me the freedom to draw out of proportion, distort reality and it didn't matter so much. I enjoy the process as much as the final result. Therein grew my style.  Sure I wish I could draw like Greg Capullo or somebody good but it's not in me. I draw the way I draw because it's what I do.  It makes me happy.

It took me a long time of struggling with the idea of what I thought I "should" be doing vs. what I "wanted" to be doing. I want to have fun when I'm drawing and comics are fun for me. It's a bar that I can reach and succeed at and still improve upon and I think that's the key to vision and style. Be true to what you are and let your own style evolve on it's own. Don't waste time trying to be something you're not.

Hopefully that made some sense. I promise not to ramble too much more in the future.  See you all tomorrow!