As days fly by at lightning speed, the end of the semester draws ever closer. Progress on my final comic slowed down a bit as I worked on my pitch for James Davidge, and finished up a 24 hour comic to debut at Thought Bubble (more on that in a future Interlude on the blog) but I jumped right back into things a few weeks ago and kept up a speedy pace.
My process for comic-making has been pretty consistent over the last few years, but using the iPad as my main tool has required some experimentation. The stage that messed with me the most was the "penciling" stage. Because I was working digitally, I was technically able to go straight from thumbnails to inks, but I found that I was already adding detail onto a page that hadn't been worked out. As a result, I was doing a lot of drawing and erasing and redrawing. So I discovered that I still need a penciling stage, essentially a rough stage where I can work out the solid shapes and basic compositions before focusing on the detail.
As I was working on final inks, the size of the files prevented me from adding too many layers. This unfortunately meant that I had to delete some roughs to allow for layers of sound effects, and I really wish I had saved them beforehand. But I believe these six pages give a good idea of what the rough stage was like.
The roughs don't stray too far from the thumbnails but you can see how, at this stage, I am starting to resolve the figure (using lots of photo reference) refining my shapes and silhouettes, and essentially trying to get all of the thinking out of the way so that when I get to the final inking stage, I can drift off and work quick and simply enjoy the finishes, keeping it loose and savouring the details.
Sound effects are starting to get dropped in at this stage. Because I am starting to realize that the dialogue will be very minimal, I am really relying on them to create rhythm and texture, and to add an audio dimension to the story.
That's it for the roughs/penciling stage! I'm getting a really good sense now of what the final story will look like, as well as the pacing and emotional arc of the story. Now I've got to add the final lines to these images and keep pushing on towards the colours!