Skip to content

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 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 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 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.