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new here?

hi

if you’ve found my cozy little home on the internet from the kottke newsletter (thank you for the signal boost, jason) then I’d like to take a moment and welcome you

can i get you anything?

you might enjoy the 4 panel dialogueless comics I’ve been working on most recently

or check out a few illustrations

perhaps you’d enjoy some crappy animation?

something from the sketchbook perhaps?

or maybe some design work?

also, it can be fun to watch drawings come together much faster than they actually do in real life

at any rate, thank you for stopping by

it was wonderful to have you here, and dont be a stranger

please feel free to drop me a line any time at tone@screentone.org

or subscribe to the newsletter which has never gone out since i’ve never had any subscribers:)

the couch cushion timelapse

 

 

here’s the timelapse of the couch cushion strip from a few days ago

the process usually goes like this:

i see a moment in real life that i think will work for the strip: in this case it was watching little guy move the cushion so he could sit down on the couch

(and right now i’m focusing on those moments that dont require any dialogue, right now i’m more interested in telling these little stories without dialogue, so i’ve passed on some great moments that have dialogue. maybe that will change in the future)

then i’ll need to puzzle out how this moment will break down in to 4 frames – i have to select my 4 moments which usually takes some trial and error with some really bad drawings, just diagrams really, in the sketchbook that help me quickly find those 4 moments

then i take a photo of the sketches and cut and paste those moments into the frames of the page

since i had already done a couch strip, i decided to recycle the background from that previous strip not only for continuity, but also because i am very lazy

from there i need to do the actual drawings (which in this case were pretty dismal, though they hopefully worked)

select my colors

go back in and fix little guy’s smile on the last panel (it looked a little creepy the first go-round)

and that was about it

when i write it all out like this it makes the process feel a little mechanical, but for me the magic lies in recognizing the moment when it occurs, and enjoying the finished strip when i’m done

birdsong

birdsong

I walked on the grey sidewalk back to the parking lot of the physical rehab facility where they were trying to get my mom’s body back in shape, even as the cancer continued to consume her, to consume everything, when I heard it: a bird song so clear and melodic that I stopped to find the bird that made it.

I looked up at the top of a leaveless tree. It was a little bird, smaller than a robin, larger than a sparrow, its body mottled with tan and white feathers.

I stepped off the sidewalk in to the pale grass to take a closer look at the little bird. It had a swatch of red on the crown of its head, and a wisp of red feathers on its throat.

I do not know birds, or birdsongs, or much of anything, really, but when this little bird sang it was with a song much larger than the bird itself. From the beak of the tiny bird, it’s song expanded out beyond the branches of the tree where buds waited to blossom in to leaves. The bird’s melody was so large that it lifted me up with it, and carried me to the top of the tree and out to the sky. It carried me farther and higher than I could ever go by myself, and for a brief moment there was no room in the world for anything else, just bird and song and sky and me.

Then the little bird flew off, away from me, a flutter of wings bobbing along currents of air, taking its song with it, and leaving me standing in dull grass once more.

I stepped back on to the grey sidewalk and walked back to my car alone.

Tomorrow it would snow.

 

 

and if you’re here more for the comics than the prose (and who could blame you, really) you can always read the comics here)

timelapse of the easter strip

color was really important in this strip (i mean, color is always important for me, and i kind of sweat it when coloring the strip, but color was especially important to the storytelling of this particular strip)

i don’t think this strip could have worked in black and white (and some of my past strips absolutely could have, but i like color…and now i’m not even sure of what my original point was.

anyway, hope you enjoy seeing the strip come together at high speeds, it always seems a minor miracle to me when a strip is finished

popcorn sketches from the sketchbook

maybe the most important part of doing the strip is figuring out the timing

when trying to do that my sketches can look more like the diagrams you see in the top half of the page

then comes figuring out the props like the chair you see in the bottom half of the page

I also need to figure out the main poses

here you can see I really had trouble with that left leg

see it all come together

search timelapse

here’s the screen capture of me working on the ‘search’ strip from a few days ago

i also reorganized the ‘comics’ menu item so it is just finished strips now. no process videos or sketches making it easier to scroll through past strips without all that junk in the way

so if the sketches, videos, and various other asides that appear between strips aren’t in your wheelhouse, you can just bookmark the comics page and see the most recent strips

 

 

 

 

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