Finally – New Pages!
I’ve been pretty busy with contract work and a family emergency in the past couple of weeks, but last night I was finally able to finish the next two pages of Fantasy Story.
I’ve added the new pages to The Story So Far so head over there to read them in continuity. I’m still figuring out the options WordPress has for displaying something like a comic and if anyone has feedback on the readability of the way it’s set up now I’d love to hear it in the comments.
Development of a Comic Page
I love seeing and sharing preliminary work, so this time I’ve posted the roughs for pages 4 and 5 along with the finished pages below.
Rough artwork for Page 4 & 5
In some ways I think the roughs phase is the most fun: planning page layouts, deciding how many panels and which kinds of shots to use to tell the story–without having to worry about details or feel committed to the marks I make–is a lot like solving a puzzle. A puzzle that gives you a god complex and a rush of creative euphoria, that is. Creating a solo comic, if you think about it in film terms, includes the jobs of scriptwriter, director, casting agent, set & wardrobe designers, all the actors, and everything else all rolled into one. That’s a lot of freedom! It also means a lot of decisions to manage on every single page.
If you look at the rough version of each page next to the final one, you can see I’ve made quite a few changes and refinements. Once I was finished drawing the preliminary art for all of issue 1 it was easier to go back and see with fresh eyes elements that didn’t seem to be working or things I wanted to tweak. My roughs are pretty rough, which means I have more problem-solving to do in the later stages of the page but it also helps to keep me thinking during each stage rather than trying to copy or trace a finished idea. The same holds true for inking my finished pencils: even when penciling the final pages I left things pretty loose and made the final call when I laid down ink.
Out of the Hayloft
In the opening pages, we saw a character with very little context. Now, we’re starting to see more about the world she finds herself in and get some clues as to the setting, time period, and culture this story inhabits. We find out that this is a character who doesn’t seem to know much more than we do–including about herself–but hopefully through her body language, actions, and inner monologue the reader is able to start forming some sense of what this character is like. That’s the tricky part, but hey, that’s my job to worry about!
Comics are like poetry in that you have to communicate everything you want to say within a very small amount of real estate. There’s a pleasing challenge in that kind of dense format.
So, what next?
Hopefully you won’t have to wait around too long to read more; I’ve got a busy couple weeks ahead but I’m excited to get to work on the next three pages and (spoiler alert) introduce a couple new characters into the mix.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading.