Hello Again…

Psst! Refresh yourself by catching up on the story so far here.

I’m Back

It’s been a long few months since I’ve posted pages, but rather than getting into all of that, I’m here now so let’s talk comics. Woohoo!

FS_0.9_finalAbove: Page 9

The thing I’m most excited about with these three new pages is that somewhere in the middle of them I switched back to using a dip pen for inking. I wrote a bit about dip pens and markers like the Pigma Micron markers I’ve been using for most of the issue, but basically the biggest difference in terms of the look these two tools achieve is this: the markers have a hard, fixed-width nib, whereas the point of the dip or crow quill pen is flexible and allows the width of the lines it makes to vary with the amount of pressure applied.

20170710_081058.jpgAbove: Dip pen with Hunt 102 nib, Pigma Micron markers.

And here’s a closeup of the difference it makes:

Detail of a panel inked with a micron pen (left) and a dip pen (right)

Art markers like the micron pen are easy to use and great if what you want is a uniform line, but they can also appear stiff, among other things. When it comes down to it, using the micron pens makes me feel like I’m more or less tracing over my pencil lines. By contrast, when I use the dip pen I feel like I’m actually drawing, and my strokes are a lot less rigid.

I tried using a dip pen to ink the first few pages of this comic, but among other things I kept gouging the bristol with the pen nib and couldn’t seem to keep it properly loaded or the ink smoothly flowing. Like most things it was just a matter of practice, and I’m happy to say I can now use the dip pen with a reasonable amount of control and speed. Achievement: unlocked!

FS_0.10_finalAbove: Page 10

Bleed Damage

With my new tool comes new challenges, though, and this time it was bleed. Horrible, fuzzy ink bleed on my nice new pages. Here’s a shot of what I’m talking about:


Above: some pretty nasty ink bleed

I wasn’t sure whether it was the nib, the ink, the paper, or a demonic curse that was causing the problem (turns out it was the ink), but you know what? I was able to fix the worst of it in photoshop, and now I know.

FS_0.11_finalAbove: Page 11

That’s enough technical stuff for now.

In other news, I had an art show opening last week! I submitted a piece to a group show in Whitehorse called “The True North Strong & Geek.” The show is a lead-up to our local con, YukomiCon, returning to the Yukon next month! I’ll be talking more about YukomiCon soon, but here’s a link to the website if you’re looking for a cool convention in an unconventional city: www.yukomicon.com By the way, the website banner features some advertising illustration I did for them this year.

art show
Above: Me with my triptych of greek goddesses at the True North Strong & Geek opening
Above: Me with my husband, daughter, mom and grandma at the opening

I know it’s been awhile, so thank you for coming back.  Thank you.


Oh yeah! Don’t forget to click the “follow” button at the very bottom if you want to get e-mail updates whenever there’s a new post available.


Keep Moving Forward

Click here to read the comic! I’ve added links after each instalment back to the corresponding blog post, so it’ll be easy to find your way back here.

I warned you, didn’t I?

When I started this blog, I wrote that I’d be experimenting as I went along. Well, the first big change is here: I’ve decided to continue Fantasy Story in black & white. As much as I wish I could say this was solely an artistically-driven decision, it mostly comes down to practicalities. With my current time constraints (a toddler at home, other work that needs to take priority) and after looking into pricing for printing (which I do plan on doing) it just made sense. Colouring takes me a long time. Maybe one day I’ll be able to hire a colourist, or revisit colouring myself on future projects, but for now, for this comic, greyscale it is!

FS_1.6_finalPage 6

Some Pros & Cons

As a reader, I often find it takes me a minute to mentally adjust to reading a black & white comic if I’m expecting colour. Colour is so seductive and exciting, and my eyes want it!  But one I’ve made that shift, there’s something I like about reading in black and white. Maybe it’s that, in well-done black and white comics, I tend to focus on the story and ideas more than gazing at the art.

As a creator, there’s so much that thoughtful application of colour adds to the storytelling. However, it can also be a crutch for sub-par linework, and now that I’ve made the switch I’m looking forward to focusing on value contrast, shape design, and other aspects of the art that need to be on point without the pretty colours to keep readers sticking around.

I’m going to leave the pages I’ve already posted up in colour for awhile before I convert them all to greyscale. If you’ve been reading since the beginning, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how you felt when suddenly the world went black & white. Confused? Betrayed? Wondering if there’s some tie to Oz you weren’t expecting? And if the change didn’t totally turn you off, did you notice any difference in the way you read the story once it wasn’t in colour anymore?

FS_1.7_finalPage 7

A Few New Faces

Hopefully, the lack of colour wasn’t the only thing you noticed in this instalment. Two new characters were introduced, and though we still don’t know much about any of them, I’m excited for their stories to begin to unfold over the ensuing pages. I wish I could publish more at once, but as it is, I hope you’ll come back to see what happens next!

Oh, by the way: I’ve been posting some detail and WIP stuff over on Instagram @jlprentice in between posts here, if you’re into that sort of thing.

FS_1.8_finalPage 8

So that’s it for today. Hope everyone had a great weekend, and the Monday Blues don’t getcha down tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,