Friday, January 31, 2014

Page Five Finished! Second Story Complete!!!

Well, I finished lettering page five of issue two, so I'm done with that story! Not much I can show without spoiling the end, but how about this panel? Dino has an idea!

Actually a good bit of the last page focuses on her and has little or no dialog so the page was relatively easy to do and had the quickest turn around thus far. It wasn't planned to be an easy page, but it is sometimes nice to coast over the finish line after a long sprint.

And so after 13 year I can FINALLY say the second story for College Follies is done! Well, the story is. If it was 2000 and this was still a back up story, I would be "done done." But since this will be released as its own short issue digitally I'm not quite done yet. I got the cover, title page and backcover done up front, but there's still the matter of the letter column, which I'll be doing a teaser for issue three on. So I've got one last image to create for this issue that I'll be knocking out this weekend, announcing the first completely new story in the series since 2000!

And then I've also got to look over the pages, make corrections and do some other odds and ends before it's complete. So still a little bit to go before shawarma time (or however I'm celebrating this time).

And so I'll leave you with the first panel I drew when I started the work to finish this story, which is now complete...

Just eat the damn fries already!
While I still got a little work to do to wrap up the issue, I will say it's good to finally have Dino walk out of the exit of Super Happy-Mart. It took a little time to get there. but it's been worth it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Designing Dino

So before I wrap up the second story, I wanted to show my original designs for Dino.

With Stickboy and Psychoboy, I was going for funny looking, exaggerated characters. For Dino, since her character is more normal and grounded, I wanted the design to reflect that. Yes, I've said that normal people look boring, but it can also be a lot of fun to capture the likeness and essence of a person in caricature. So the design is based off my ex-girlfriend. Here are my early attempts...

Yeah, not that great. I don't why, but I don't like glasses with rounded bottoms on my characters. I was debating whether to go with doing a caricature or maybe try an intentionally cartoonish, humorous hair style with the curly hair.  The design in the bottom right corner was a Charlie Brown swipe, since Dino is essentially grown-up Charlie Brown in this story.

Obviously I want with a straight caricature, which I refined in this next page of designs....

Caricatures are challenging. but this one turned out okay. The shorter hair and her full figure gives a unique look among my characters. It also makes it a challenge to draw. It's more difficult to capture feminity in a character like that. It's far easier in someone like the skinny, hot female cashier in the story. Most comic characters tend to have perfect, toned, muscular bodies, not because comic artists are pervs but because it's easier to draw (though some artists are still pervs). I actually originally drew the story with Dino skinny. Not sure why, since no design I have of her was like that, but I eventually corrected it.

Dino doesn't appear that often in my plots. Stickboy is more often teamed up with characters that lend themselves to more outrageous stories (like Psychoboy) as more of my stories lean in that direction. However, very few supporting characters get their own solo story, so I guess it evens out.

Most of my supporting cast won't appear for some time since I can only put out a few shorts a year, so it's good that one of them got their moment in the sun early on.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Page five inked.

Page five is inked. Since it's the last page I'll show one panel so as not to spoil anything.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Page Four Done!!!

So page four for issue two is done. Since it's so close to the end of the story, I don't want to give it all away, so I'll just show you this little bit....

The nameless cowboy cashier is based on my real ex-girlfriend's ideal man being a cowboy. I'm sure there's at least one working at every department store. You'll have to get the comic once it's released to see what transpires between these two.

The page was much faster to put out. There was again a lot of stuff repeated between panels I could just copy, since it's just a few characters talking against a fixed background and foreground. It gives it a very animated feel as you move between panels, which should translate well to guided view as a digital comic.

Next up, the final page for the second story, as we get to see...Dino's lunch break!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coloring Page Four

I'm in the middle of coloring page four for the second story. It's going quickly and I should be able to finish the colors tonight and wrap up the page tomorrow if my work schedule permits.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Page Four Inked

Finished the inks for page four of the second story. I'm going to have to color it later in the week.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Still Inking Page Four

Had to work all Friday so I'm not as far a long as I'd hoped I'd be. I should be able to at least get the inks done on page four this weekend.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Inking Page Four

Work is pretty heavy right now, but I still managed to start inking page four last night.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Page Three Done!!!

Page three for issue two is done. Since the story is only five pages I won't show the finished page so as not the spoil the story, but I'll show enough of it to give you the gist...

I love this panel. Bed Hair Dino. It's unintentional, but between this and the first story we actually see the beds and bedrooms of each of the main characters I introduced. A bedroom can say a lot about a person. I wish I had a bit more in the background here, but I got a feeling I just didn't have the time for it back when I drew this in 2000. The Chiggy doll is a nice touch. Can't remember my logic (if any) for putting it there, but it seems likely Stickboy gave it to Dino (or vice versa).

Next up, what's worse than a mom that hates everybody you date? One who likes them too much...

Dino's mom is based on the mom of my real life ex-girlfriend. Nice lady with a wicked sense of humor. I didn't really think much about the smoking when I drew the panel in 2000. It was pretty common to smoke just about everywhere in my state other than a hospital room, school, ect. It's very different now with smoking banned in restaurants (and most other public buildings) and the harm of smoking and second hand smoke being so well known. Not sure if smoking at the breakfast table like this is taboo now, but I present it here without judgment.
Not sure if Dino eating the killers' favorite cereal from the first story was intentional, but it's a nice in joke nonetheless.  
So by now you're probably seeing a pattern forming. Chances are if you've ever tried to be friends with an ex, you've experienced some form of this. The scenes on this page with Dino's mom and the greeter have my two favorite lines in the story, but you'll have to get the issue to read them.
I love that panel. Sometimes you can say a lot with few words. A pause in the story can communicate as much as the action.
That's also one of my favorite lines in the comic, I'll give you that one for free.
 So there you have it, page three in all it's glory. I knocked it out faster than the first couple pages.  The transferring of identical elements (colors, inks and letters) done in  previous panels helped.  The next couple pages should go just as well as I begin to wrap this sucker up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Page Three Colored!

Finished coloring page three and did some of background lettering on it. Still got to find a good alarm clock font for panel one. I'll be lettering and wrapping up the page on Wednesday or Thursday.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Page Three Inked!

Just finished the inks on page three. Hopefully I can knock out the colors too this weekend.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Inking Page Three

I started inking page three last night and should get most of it inked tonight. Glad to have this panel inked after 14 years...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Page Two Finished!

So page two for the second story is done. This has the most objects and characters of any page in this short story, so now that it's done, let's just say it'll be much easier working on the rest. I created it the same way as page one, except I used Illustrator to letter it, which works better than Photoshop Elements.
Panel one completes the gag from page one and we basically have them walk out of the store, showing some of the characters that'll come into play later. The gags here are again based on the size of the new Super Walmart back in the 90s and the work culture there. My real ex-girlfriend worked there and this story is inspired by me walking her to her car one night when I came home from college.
Now again, you have to remember this was a different Walmart back then. People were still getting used to the sheer epic size of the store and parking lot at its "Super" locations. Greeters actually greeted instead of just checking to see if you stole anything and it was considered a cool, innovative way for retirees to make money. In fact, Walmart had a good reputation as a relatively decent place to work in the retail/grocery sector. The "no dress code" gag was actually inspired by a cashier I met who wore a clown wig for the grave yard shift just to make the slow night hours a bit more fun. Not sure if you can do that now, but obviously Walmart has a very different reputation now as the root of all evil that everyone loves to shop at.
So enough set up, next page we start getting to the story's punchline!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Page Two Colored!

Finished the colors on page two. I went ahead and did the background text too. I'll hopefully be lettering dialog today and wrapping up the page!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Coloring Page Two

Creating the video and the Happy New Year's image slowed me down a bit, but I'm chipping away at the colors on page two. I'm hoping to finish the colors tonight after work.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Look Ma, I'm On Camera! It's My Latest YouTube Video!

This video was done on the fly. I saw James Rolfe's end of the year video on Cinemassacre on New Year's Eve and was like "Cool, I should try doing that." I've been thinking about trying to turn the camera on myself ever since getting the new digital recorder and this seemed like a good opportunity.

It took longer than one would think. I had to find someplace where the shadows weren't too harsh. And I had to place the covers in the background  just right so they didn't look crooked. I only have a little tripod so it took a ridiculous looking tower of boxes and books on an end table to get the height needed to shoot. It took awhile to get the camera positioned just the right way to frame the video correctly. And once recorded, it literally took the rest of the night (4 hours) just to upload and for YouTube to process the edits (2+ hours) because of the massive size, since it's a lengthy HD video.

I'm just talking off the top of my head here. I was hoping to be able to cut it to make it a little shorter and tighter, but unfortunately YouTube's video editor was the only choice I had, and I couldn't figure out how to make cuts to the middle of a video last night (hopefully there's a tutorial or something I can look up for future reference). I could cut from the end okay and chopped out a bit on social media I want to redo for it's own video later.

My camera split the recoding into a separate video (skipping a few seconds) at 16 minutes and screwed up the ending so I had to rerecord that (which is why there's a skip at the end).

The video quality isn't as nice I'd like, but I'll check around my apartment to see if there's a place well lit enough to get better video.

 So what do you guys think? Would you rather see videos like this, or ones I've been doing with  the slideshows using voiceover?

Happy New Year!