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inktober 2020 day 23

Last night when I showed the pencils to my 5 year old I accidentally called Captain Kirk, Captain Cork, and I think it's the greatest thing ever.
It's a little known fact the Gorn species is considered some of the finest garment-makers in the quadrant. It's also widely-known that I just made that up.

rip

If you’re just discovering us today, please visit all of my Star Trek Themed Inktober Comics here.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve modified my posting schedule to every other day. This means my Star Trek themed Inktober will continue sometime into November.

With day 23’s prompt, ‘rip,’ we have the return of the Gorn, previously seen having McCoy work on his teeth on day 8.

process

By the time I’ve drawn the finished strip, I’ve drawn it a few times already.

Here’s the initial idea I drew in my September sketchbook. (You can also see the early sketches for day 22, chef, right above the day 23 sketches.)

I love these childlike scribbles. One day I will figure out how to get this energy into the final ink drawings.

You can see it’s really just gestures and a couple of facial expressions. You might be able to make out a gorn-like creature making some slash marks in the first image, and see his arm lashing out in the second image. The third image is Kirk reacting and the fourth image is the Gorn sewing up the uniform. But these drawings really only make sense if you know what it is already. They’re very childlike in that way. You might not know what a toddler has drawn, but as soon as they explain it to you, you can see it. Same with these early gestures.

Than a few days ago I further refined the idea in my October sketchbook. You can see I’m still working out the timing of everything.

Kirk's belly-button is probably the funniest thing I've ever drawn.

Finally I’m drawing the pencils on the bristol board.

I inked directly over these but wasn’t happy with the results, so I grabbed another sheet of bristol board and traced the final copy which is what you at the top of the post.

If any of you have read this far, thank you.

You can also visit past Inktobers I’ve done.

There’s my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month.

In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 22

chef

I continue to fall behind, but also continue to carry on.

Day 22’s prompt is ‘chef’ starring Neelix, from Star Trek Voyager, who took over in the ship’s kitchen. I think they decided to have a cook in order to reserve replicator power? I haven’t seen many episodes of Voyager.

And I just realized I forgot to add the dots on his left cheek in panel 2.

If this is your first visit here you can catch up on all of my Star Tre Inktobers so at this link.

You can also visit past Inktobers I’ve done.

There’s my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month.

In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 21

sleep

Maybe trying to show the different approaches to sleep, or sleeplessness, rather, that different captains have.

pencils

Here’s a shot of the pencils before I inked the page.

For the captain’s quarters, I found this great resource.

For Kirk’s image, I referenced Star Trek VI, and in particular this great read on the movie, which highlights a moment where Kirk is in his quarters sleeping off too much Romulan Ale.

catch up on my star trek intober here

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

read past inktobers

I compiled past inktobers into easy to read comics collections.

There’s my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month.

In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 20

coral

Another of those Inktober drawings where I had just a single image but didn’t know the story.

This time the idea was from the point of view of Livingston, the fish in the aquarium of Picard’s ready room, looking out at the captain.

I doodled ideas in my sketchbook. Lynda Barry, I think, talks about the magic that happens when you just start moving the pen or pencil. Ideas show up.

First I had Data peeking in at Livingston, then Q.

I tried to shape the story around the two images I now had. Picard drinking tea. Q peering in at Livingston.

A day in Picard’s ready room. You can see the nighttime shot in the last thumbnail.

Then when looking for Livingston reference shots, I saw Hugh, the reluctant Borg, observing Livingston, and I knew that was it. Not only would the Borg be more recognizable as a big headed comix character, but it also felt more…alien.

Rather than an empty ready room, I decided to begin and end the comic with Picard looking out at space sipping from the tea. Though the gesture was the same, maybe Picard was a little different.

research

In the sketchbook page above you can see I made some notes.

Study: MC Escher, Fisheye, Lionfish.

These were a reminder to research these aspects before I could begin drawing the strip proper.

Escher & fisheye

I knew I wanted Livingston’s aquarium sphere to warp the light and image of the ready room, to give it that ‘Fisheye Lens’ look.

So I looked to MC Escher’s brilliant self-portrait of him holding a reflective sphere as my guide. I doubt the properties of the glass are actually the same as the reflective sphere but the effect is convincing enough.

And once again this image laying out the geography of Picard’s ready room has proved invaluable.

As did an image search of Hugh, the reluctant Borg.

inking

I always get nervous once I’ve got the pencils done and before I put down any ink.

Since day 17 I’ve exclusively been using a brush, which has allowed me to get a much thinner line. But man, I’m wobbly.

Here’s a shot of panel 2, partially inked.

I love the look of this so much. The combination of loose pencils lines with the inked foreground. I’d love to figure out how to do a story with this look.

For all of the thousands of comic books I’ve read, and countless inking books, I still don’t know how to use the black areas to direct the eye where it needs to go. The final comic is just so…busy.

lionfish

The shots of Livingston that I’ve found over the last month or so from Next Generation, aren’t great, so I needed to research what Lionfish look like.

catch up on my star trek intober here

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

read past inktobers

I compiled past inkotbers into easy to read comics collections.

There’s my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month.

In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 19

dizzy

This was another of those ideas that took a long time to come up with.

Back in September when I was first thinking about these ideas, all I had was a few notes in the sketchbook like ‘Picard ice skating?’

Just yesterday I hit upon the idea of the bridge crew doing donuts in the Enterprise in interstellar space.

reference

I find drawing spaceships hard, and the Enterprise in particular very difficult.

I bought a little NCC-1701 model off of Amazon to use for reference, but then it occurred to me to look for a 3d model online, which has been much handier.

Here’s the one I used for reference for today’s (yesterday’s?) comic.

Thank you morenostenanuto for taking the time to build this.

catch up on my star trek inktober 2020

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

visit past inktobers

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 18

Trap

Today’s gag (I don’t love that word, gag, does anybody have a suggestion for what to call the twist or story in a comic? Maybe turn, how about turn. Let’s try turn. Maybe it will stick.) came from the idea that everybody and I mean everybody is there waiting for Admiral Ackbar, when he utters his now-iconic line.

How many characters from different storytelling universes can you identify?

Attribution

Today’s (yesterday’s) comic wouldn’t have been possible without the work done by http://www.merzo.net/indexSD.html. Though I paid no attention to the actual scale researched here, it did give me lots of ideas on who to include. The site is a lot of fun to browse. Go. Browse.

Also a big help was this 3d model of Admiral Ackbar’s ship from Return of the Jedi, which I’ve now learned is called Home One.

Story Behind the Turn

I originally had the last two panels reversed when I sketched out the story idea. See the sketch below.

My friend Whitley suggested switching the order of the last two panels, and he was right. Since I was going to have so many different ships and characters there waiting for Ackbar, that was the joke, so that needed to be last, to show how this ‘trap’ was different from previous traps.

Thanks, Whitley. I’m lucky to have a fellow writer to workshop silly ideas with.

(It only now occurred to me as I write this post inside a Discount Tire while I wait for my tire to be repaired on a cold and sleety fall day, that I forgot to give Ackbar a huge head. Sheesh.)

Inktober 2020 Will Be Different

I was talking to a friend last week about last year’s Inktobers. I couldn’t remember why I fizzled out before the month’s halfway mark in 2019.

Last night working on yesterday’s strip, I realized what it was.

As I go along through the month, the strips begin to take longer and longer to craft.

I become more patient, I do more research, I become more ambitious with the storytelling, and start drawing backgrounds. The comic takes longer to make as I get more confident in making it.

This year’s inktober is no different. Compare today’s comic to day one. What makes this year different, though, is that I’m going to keep going, even if my Inktober stretches into November and beyond.

Hopefully, you’ll stick with me.

Browse Star Trek Inktober

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 17

Storm

Last night I hit a wall of exhaustion after drawing the strip and just couldn’t get to the inks, so today’s inktober is arriving a little late in the day.

I’m starting to spend longer on each strip, too. The last two have taken me about 4 hours each, from drawing to completed inks, so it makes it harder to get one of these done a day.

Here’s a look at the pencils from today’s strip, before I inked them. I always like to take a photo because I’m worried I’m going to screw up a perfectly good drawing.

Like Day 8, I originally thought this might be just a single image of Picard, sipping a cup of tea, while an ion storm rages outside his ready room window.

Brilliant cartoonist Ivan Brunetti talks, somewhere in his brilliant book Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice, about not having to change each drawing much. That idea really tuned me in to looking for small moments when doing my own comics.

At that point I thought, ‘maybe it will be two images.’ Just Picard holding the glass, then taking a sip of tea. (Having two moments like that are great for turning an image into an animated loop, perfect for making a gif. I may get to that one day with this idea.)

Then I thought a flash of lightning from the storm would be fun to play with. (I have no idea what an ion storm might look like, or whether there would be lightning as we know it, but it feels right.)

Now I’ve got three panels. I could probably end the strip there.

  • Panel 1: Picard in his ready room holding a cup of tea while he looks out his window where an ion storm rages on.
  • Panel 2: Picard takes a careful sip from the tea.
  • Panel 3: A bright flash of lightning surprise the captain.

Beginning. Middle. End.

However since reading Brunetti, and cartoonist Lynda Barry’s books over the last few years, I’ve really fallen in love with the 4 panel strip. I use it in my strip Steps, and have used it in all but one of these Star Trek Inktober comics.

There’s something lovely about the timing of the 4 panel strip that I’m sure Brunetti and Barry have a far more eloquent way of describing than I can.

Once I had my 4 moments, I had some research to do.

Research

First I found this sketch of Picard’s ready room. (You may have to scroll down a bit.)

Then I had to find reference for Livingston, Picard’s fish.

But the aspect of the strip I was most concerned about was the lighting. I needed to establish that the only light in the room was coming from the storm outside; that Picard was watching with the lights turned down. I also needed to convey how the flash of ion storm lightning would change the lighting of the room.

I hadn’t really tried to convey lighting before, at least not this year. All just been pretty flat, but I knew I needed something like this for the flash of lightning.

Now, looking at the strip, I’m a little worried that not only did I not convey that this is a flash of lightning, but I’m worried that the storm doesn’t even look like a storm. (Is it successful? Let me know in the comments.)

Ah well. Onward. I’ve got to figure out something for ‘Trap’ tomorrow.

You can easily browse all of this year’s Inktobers, here. What’s nice about that link is you don’t have me droning on and on about how each strip was made.

You can also visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 16

Rocket

Picard and warp drive inventor Zefram Cochrane share a moment in Picard’s past, Cochrane’s present, and our future.

Browse This Year’s Star Trek Inktobers

I created a collection to house all of this year’s Star Trek Inktobers, so you can easily browse your favorites and skip over the clunkers. It’s easy!

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 15

Outpost

Researching today’s prompt outpost in memory alpha, I hit upon the Starfleet outposts that are built into asteroids on the edge of the neutral zone between the Federation and the Romulans. In the original series episode Balance of Terror these outposts are being destroyed by an unknown ship.

I decided not to reference those particular outposts since their fate was pretty dire.

Instead I focused on Asteroid Outpost 37, so named because my favorite number is 37. (And if you’re wondering, I’ve never heard of Paurian bacon either.)

I wouldn’t mind doing a few of these asteroid outpost strips. Maybe we never see inside the outpost. We just hear the dialogue from a couple of Starfleet members manning this outpost built into the asteroid.

Oh, I should also mention that yesterday I bought some stickers from deepspacenineties.com. This designer has some great Star Trek stickers. I can’t wait until the Janeways are back in stock.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober. It featured the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 14

Day 14 Armor

An armored Klingon from the Kelvin timeline for today’s strip.

This morning I woke up early and did another inked version, but ended up going with the original. Though the inking feels super clumsy on today’s strip, this version was more interesting than the second version I did.

I’m not entirely sure my execution on this strip is successful. The wasp is supposed to be going into the Klingon’s helmet in that third panel, but I’m not sure it reads clearly.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 13

Day 13 Dune

I read Dune for the first time in January. I’m re-reading it again now. Taking it much slower this time. Enjoying it more.

If you haven’t read it before, you should give it a shot. The first 60 pages or are difficult, Herbert throws everything at you and expects you to pick it up, but it is worth it. I’ve encountered few novels so full of ideas.

Speaking of ideas, here’s a photo of the original sketch from my sketchbook.

Here’s the pencils from my first attempt before spilling ink everywhere and having to do it all over again.

Today’s Art Influences

When researching Dune this weekend, I discovered the artwork of John Schoenherr. It’s his sandworm design you see here in my strip.

Schoenherr’s sense of scale is awesome, and the gaping maws of the worms is…terrifying.

The other influence on today’s strip was Bill Sienkiewicz‘s artwork for Marvel Comic’s Dune movie adaptation. I’d seen some of this a few years ago, before I’d read Dune. This piece and this one are particularly influential to today’s strip.

A third influence (and less obvious) on today’s strip is my favorite Star Trek comics cover artist, JK Moore. As a kid picking up Star Trek comics I was always excited to see one of his covers. He did the best likenesses and I loved the design of them as well. I looked at the way Moore did his transporter beam lines when I drew them in panel 2.

Sienkiewicz, Schoenherr, and Moore are masters, and I really don’t deserve to be lifting from them for my silly gag, but perhaps it’s worth it if you go check out their amazing work.

inktober 2020 day 12

Day 12 Slippery

Today’s slug-like creature was really inspired by Peter David’s run on DC Comic’s 1984 Star Trek series.

David embraced The Animated Series’s ability to populate the crew with non-humanoids, since it’s not any more expensive to draw a character with three arms than it is to draw a traditional humanoid.

Sketches

Here’s the idea I drew in my sketchbook last September.

Slugs

My first drawings of the slug were pretty generic, so I decided to learn a little more about them to help make the drawing more convincing. (For instance, I had no idea that slugs have 4 tentacles. The two on top are optical sensors, and the two lower ones, around the mouth, are sensory. And there’s a protective layer called the mantle that covers the sexual organs, so I thought that would be the best place for the slug to wear the starfleet uniform.)

Inking

I wrote on the top of the paper to ‘Slow Down.’ I also wrote the word ‘Delicate.’ I’ve been trying to get a thinner, more delicate line, and today’s effort was the closest I’ve come to it, particularly with the background.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 11

Day 11 Disgusting

For today’s prompt, I pretty much stole the hilarious teaser of the season 2 episode from Next Generation, Time Squared, where Riker prepared ‘Owon Egg Omelette’s for his friends. (For some reason, I inexplicably called them ‘Owog Eggs in the panel.)

I removed Data from the scene entirely, added a little projectile vomiting, and wa-la.

(I think Geordi puking might be one of my favorite things I’ve ever drawn.)

I made the ‘Owon Egg omelettes as Wattersonian as possible.

And should I erase the pencil lines or is it kind of cool to see them? I dunno. (I stopped erasing them after I smeared the ink on like, day 3.)

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 10

Day 10 Hope

Just a single image today.

A moment from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Scotty, Kirk, and McCoy, where Kirk gives them hope for survival by destroying his own ship.

I think most of my Star Trek love comes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and this movie, which was the first Star Trek movie I saw in the theatre.

Process

This is the largest I’ve worked so far. This image is about 10.25 inches by 10.25 inches.

I did that thing where you just keep adding more and more lines to the piece until it looks good enough.

Here’s a look at the full piece, ink blots, notes, pencil lines, and all.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 9

Day 9 Throw

Counselor Troi and Lt Worf doing a little judo.

I was inspired by the Next Generation Episode Second Chances, where I thought they were doing judo, but apparently I wasn’t paying attention, because Worf was actually leading a class in Mok’ bara.

I am a bad Trekker.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 8

Day 8 Teeth

For the longest time, I didn’t have a story for this one.

The prompt of ‘teeth’ led me right to the Gorn, and so the image of McCoy reluctantly acting as dentist on the Gorn wasn’t far behind.

But all I had was that image.

It wasn’t until I realized that this image needed to be the last panel of the strip and not the first,that I was able to unlock the strip.

The image of Mccoy doing dental work on the Gorn, was the twist.

Now I could say, “Ok, how do I get to this point?”

Ideas and stories are weird. Please go make some.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 7

Day 7: Fancy

Inspired by that episode of DS9 where the crew play baseball against a team of Vulcans, I chose to depict Ezri Dax with some ‘fancy’ skills.

I saw this episode recently, but didn’t remember Ezri Dax mentioning ‘Fancy Dan’ to Dr. Bashir, but searching fancy in the memory alpha must have been how I stumbled upon this episode as inspiration.

I was also no doubt inspired by the legendary Bo Jackson.

Process note: Used a lot of white-out on this one.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 6

Day 6 Rodent

Data, Geordi, and Spot (Data’s cat) make their first appearance in this year’s Star Trek themed Inktober.

Though I tried to research all of the prompts for this year’s inktober in advance so I didn’t have to try and come up with an idea last minute, this was a last minute idea.

Hopefully the idea for this strip comes across without explanation (Data’s cat, Spot, hunts a mouse and brings it proudly back to Data) but sometimes I worry that my lack of panel borders and background detail makes things confusing.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 5

day 5 ‘blade’

Worf and Jadzia sparring.

I gave Worf and Jadzia the weapons and outfits they wore when sparring in the opening teaser of the 14th episode of season 4, ‘Sons of Mogh.’

If you’re deep into the details of Star Trek, (I’m usually not, but when working on this sort of project, I have to dive deep), Worf has a mek’leth and Jadzia has a bat’leth.

sketch

Here’s the sketch I jotted down in last month’s sketchbook, when researching ‘blade’ on memory alpha.

You can see where little guy turned the first drawing into a face with 4 arms.

I did some preliminary drawing in Photoshop.

I printed the preliminary drawings at actual size (5 in x 5 in squares) and then traced them in pencil on the bristol board.

I refined as I went, learning how to draw a mek’leth and a bat’leth from a variety of angles, and figuring out how to get two characters with giant heads and tiny bodies to convincingly embrace and kiss.

Here’s the pencils page before inks.

At this stage, I’m like, ‘Better take a picture, before I screw it up with ink.’

Inking

My inking continues to improve.

A confident under drawing helps, but maybe the most important aspect that has helped improve my inking is simply slowing down. Slowing down my drawing, slowing down each stroke, and slowing down my breathing.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 4

Day 4: Radio

Inking this strip last night was my most confident inking this month. I think it’s because I spent more time on drawing the characters, though I did get lazy on Uhura’s control panel.

I’m also getting more comfortable with my tools, which also helps.

I should also note that I leave the pencil lines on the bristol board

A Note on Yesterday’s Strip

I’ve gotten some excellent feedback on yesterday’s strip. A lot of people couldn’t tell what was going on without reading the description.

Which means a total failure on staging on my part.

Kirk and Spock are walking down a corridor. Kirk isn’t paying attention and walks into a bulkhead. That’s it.

To solve that problem, I need to do a better job of designing the stage and how the characters move on that stage. I need better blocking. Hopefully those of you who come back here every day will see that get better.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 day 3

Bulk

Prompt: bulk. That leads me to bulkhead. I looked at a lot of pictures of bulkheads on memory alpha. I looked at a lot of pictures of bulkheads for boats on the internet. I’m still not sure what a bulkhead is.

But Kirk ran into it.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

inktober 2020 – day 2

Day 2 Prompt: Wisp

A quick search of ‘wisp’ in Memory Alpha turned up…not much.

Apparently in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Enterprise and its crew get swallowed by a giant ship of non-corporeal beings, aka The Wisp, and have to escape.

Full disclosure: I’ve never seen an episode of Enterprise.

I loved the design of the Wisp Ship, so hopefully I did it justice for all of you Star Trek ship-ophiles (probably not a real word) out there.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much for reference the exterior since the crew seems to spend most of the episode inside the ship.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

Inktober 2020 Begins

Day 1 Fish

The first prompt from Jake Parker is ‘fish’, so that’s where we’ll start in my Star Trek themed Inktober.

A quick search of memory-alpha, the online trove of Star Trek knowledge, turns up a game of go fish in the final episode of Deep Space Nine between Quark and the self-aware holosuite program, Vic Fontaine, in Vic’s club.

I haven’t seen this particular episode, or most of Deep Space Nine really, though I’ve recently been catching reruns on the H & I network.

Getting to Work

I penciled in the drawing last month, hoping to get ahead on Inktober this year.

Last night, after first stress eating some Tostito’s scoops and some cheese dip, I got to work.

I worked on my old art board from college, laying on my belly in the living room, an episode of DS9 playing on the tv.

My nib was too thick, but I couldn’t find a tinier nib, so I’ll have to run to the art store today.

My nib was too thick. I want thinner lines, so I’ll have to make a run to the art store today.

Then, every stroke of the pen was a struggle. I’d just start to pull the point of the nib across the paper, and I’d be out of ink.

It didn’t occur to me until the last panel that perhaps my inkwell was simply too low on ink.

I added more ink to the well and dipped my pen, and the inking process finally began to flow, both literally, out of the pen, but mentally as well.

Failure

I’ve added ink washes to past Inktober drawings and tried that her as well, but the results were less than spectacular, so I decided to redo the entire strip.

I pulled out my light board and re-inked the piece, tracing over my previous effort, panel by panel. The second try went much faster, looked better, and by the time I reached the final panel I felt like the results were much better. The fourth panel is much better than the first panel.

Inktobers Past

You can visit (or revisit) my Zelda themed Inktober 2019, where I did some strong work but ran out of steam and time halfway during the month. In 2018 I completed a Metal Gear themed Inktober, and 2017 was my first themed Inktober featuring the world’s greatest detective.

Inktober Hasn’t Even Started Yet and I’m Already Behind

I’ve selected a theme for Jake Parker’s Official Prompt list for Inktober 2020.

Star Trek.

Why Star Trek? I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek on the H&I network since the pandemic started. Comfort food.

To put that television watching to good use, it’s become… inspiration.

Sometimes I have an idea for a Star Trek gag from the prompt. Mostly though, I plug a prompt from Jake Parker’s official Inktober 2020 prompts list and run a search for the prompt on memory-alpha, the Star Trek wiki, to give me some inspiration.

The other nice thing about relying on memory alpha is that it helps spread the gags around between the different Star Trek series through the years. Otherwise they’d all be TOS and TNG gags.

My plan was to have all of the strips drawn by the end of September, so that when October 1st hit all I would have to do is ink every day and wouldn’t have to worry about drawing, too.

Unfortunately, all I’ve managed to do so far this month is pencil in the panels on half of the pages of bristol. (That’s what you’re looking at in the boring photo at the top of this post.)

Being behind like this is making me nervous…

gearing up for inktober 2020

Jake Parker released his prompt list for Inktober 2020 a couple of weeks ago.

My first impulse was to not participate this year. I felt I didn’t have any ideas.

Then your brain starts working on it in the background.

“You could do this for Inktober,” your brain says. “Or you could do this.” Then your brain says, “Of course! This is what you should do.” And your brain is right, so then you have no choice but to do it.

Then you pick up the pencil and get it moving. Just drawing simple shapes and lines suggests ideas.

Before I know I know it, I’m doing actual research to help ignite more more ideas, and I’m off and running.

I’ll talk more about the research and all the prep work I’m doing in September to prepare for Inktober so that next month, all I have to do is ink.

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