Maybe I should add some kind of gallery for stuff here. Or maybe I should just get some more drawing done.
I started a new job last week, so I’ve been off the drawing wagon all together. Terry’s been pretty patient, which is cool, but I don’t want to provoke him. He got Manga Studio, so I can’t stall for too much longer.
Manga Studio 5 is out, but the pro version doesn’t come out until summer. The basic version has all the key features of Manga Studio 4 EX, but what’s the EX version of 5 going to have that’s worth 3 times the price? I’d probably just get the Manga Studio 5 upgrade and then buy the EX version when it comes out (I’m a sucker like that), but there isn’t a digital download yet (I’m addicted to instant gratification like that).
Besides, I’m not going to tell Terry he needs to upgrade a month after he bought the app.
I could, though, I could.
Terry drew everything on 3×5 index cards, and I think he scanned them all in for me (things that happened before the holidays are a little fuzzy). I remember it took a few minutes to copy and paste the images into Manga Studio.
I need to automate that…
Now I’m starting the process of cleaning up the scans and tightening up the pencils. I’ll shoot for a page a day (well, maybe not consecutive days).
Probably, though, I’m just going to export stuff to a shared Dropbox folder at random intervals. Or better yet, make Terry buy a copy of Manga Studio and just save the whole project in a shared folder. I like that idea a lot.
Next up: Penciling, penciling, and penciling.
One of the projects spawned from this year’s 24HCD was Terry Tolleson‘s Frog & Bugg. After I finished my comic, I stayed long enough to see him finish the layouts and dialogue for his story (sure, he was my ride home, but whatever).
Anyway, I promised to fix up the layouts and ink it into something more resembling a traditional comic. I spent a couple of hours on it a week after the event and… that was about it.
Now that Terry’s working on getting his SPeCks comic up and running, I figured it was time to get back to work on Frog & Bugg (or Terry asked me how it was coming and I felt guilty, either way), and he thought it would be a cool idea to have some behind-the-scenes type posts here. This is going to be fun (for me)!
To do today:
[X] Make a blog post about writing more blog posts
A small group of comic book creators gathered at Dragon’s Lair in Austin last Saturday for the annual 24 Hour Comics Day challenge, in which creators attempt to make a 24 page comic with a 24 hour deadline. I was on the fence about going because 1) As a parent of young children, I take sleep very seriously and 2) I didn’t feel like repeating my failure of ’04, and I had every reason to believe that this would be no different.
As it turned out, though, I had some serious drive to get this one done; and my friend Terry was a great sponsor. It was the opposite of quitting smoking, fighting the temptation to just give in and say “I’ll finish this up in the morning” and “I’m not going to get this done anyway, why kill myself?” and “I’m getting really sloppy here, I should give up before I embarrass myself”.
My strategy was pretty much how I’ve been doing my other comic (Which is, in fact, a reworking and expansion of the 24 Hour Comic I attempted 8 years ago). I draw the layouts and try to get as much detail as possible on a 3×5 index card, then scan it in for inking in Manga Studio. I’m mentally mumbling the dialog as I go, getting kind of the gist without any specifics. If I can go any length of time without distractions I really get absorbed in the process.
My secret weapon, though, is blue mechanical pencil lead, which I discovered I had about an inch of left about half-way through the stack of cards. Fortunately, I had some regular .7mm lead I used to back the blue lead I had left and managed to finish the index cards before I ran out (even with the lead slipping out the front every chance it got).
“I need to go home and scan these in” would have gotten me off the hook and in bed by a reasonable hour, but Terry brought a scanner-wand thing that worked just fine.
In Manga Studio, I was able to follow the pencils pretty closely, but there’s a definite degradation of quality as the comic goes on. Putting in the word balloons was tough; I didn’t have much creativity left after getting the inking done. At 18 hours (4am), I had a comic. Even though I had plenty of time to go back and redo all the sloppy panels and lame dialog, I just couldn’t push through it. I had enough energy to export the pages and upload each one, but I’m pretty sure that was all reflex.
So, to all you folks who pulled it off, or even tried, I salute you; and I’ll see you again next year!
If you have a 24 Hour Comic online and post the link here, I’ll start a list of them. Mine’s called “We, Robot” and there’s a link over there to the right.