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illustrating a comics page

The Origin of the Amazing Spider-Foo. A parody comic. Script by Crhymes. Art by Tone.

Here’s a one-page comic I recently illustrated called the ‘The Origin of The Amazing Spider-Foo’. It’s a Spider-Man parody written by Crhymes; a writer, comedian, and musician based out of San Diego.

From Script to Rough Layout

Originally conceived of as a one-page 12 inch by 12 inch record insert, Crhyme’s script was a brillliant parody of Stan Lee’s verbose Marvel Comics stories.

Here’s the script:

My first task was to break the text up in to individual panels. I was originally thinking a 9 panel grid, but couldn’t squeeze all of the text in, so I added a tenth introduction panel on top. I even started thinking about color at this stage. Here’s an early rough that was meant just for me.

I refined my roughs and sent them over to Crhymes. (I sent them without color, since I wasn’t sure yet what my color plan was.)

At this point, Crhymes had some much-needed suggestions to help make my drawings more convincing, including the addition of palm trees, making Spidey-Foo’s sandals more accurate, and adding tattoos to Pedro Parker’s arms and neck. Crhymes also wanted Spider-Foo to break the panel borders in the last panel.

Changes are welcome at this rough stage because they’re easy to make before inks and color are added.

Pushing and Refining the Poses

At this time I also decided to push the poses in the piece, especially in panels 1 and 2. (The poses of those two panels in the roughs just looked too similar to me.) Pedro Parker also looked too relaxed in panel 3, so I changed up that pose as well.

Here’s a few rough drawings I made while working on the piece.

Digitally Inking the Comics Page

Inking went slowly for me, though you wouldn’t know it from the timelapse below.

If only I could work that fast.

I originally estimated the page would take me about 6 – 8 hours, but each panel took about 3 hours including rough drawing, inks, lettering, and colors.

A lot of that time was spent trying things that didn’t work out, like those early rough colors, or some of the unused poses, for instance. And a lot of undos. Undo. Undo. Undo. Making comics is hard.

Here’s the final inks.

Coloring the Comics Page

I finished the colors, (done on a separate layer from the inks and pencils, as you can see above), choosing not to show Spider-Foo in full-color until the final couple of panels.

I sent the final artwork to Crhymes. He had a few edits to the text, which was no problem since the lettering was a well-crafted font I purchased from PixelSagas.

Leading up to San Diego ComicCon, Crhymes started posting a panel a day to his Instagram. Crhymes is wild, ambitious, and smart. It’s my guess that he has a lot of stories in him, and not just Spider-Man parodies.

I’m grateful he took a chance on this fairly untested comics-maker.

Go buy a shirt from him, or a print of the comic, while he works on his next project.

straw

6-110618-straw-30dayscomics2018

 

  • yesterday’s strip was from my august sketchbook
  • today’s was from my july sketchbook
  • today’s is another digital strip as i try to get a little ahead in the 30 days of comics game. i can work so much faster in digital. yesterday’s and today’s strip each took about about a half hour to do, compared with a couple hours plus for me to do with real world materials. (though i am getting faster)

 

p.s. a note on the ‘(happened in july 18)’ note. when artist john porcellino (whose king-cat comics you should really subscribe to) makes his comics, he (often? always?) notes the date when the incident that inspired the comic occurs, and then also notes the dates when he draws and inks it, which i think is a lovely touch. i meant to do it for yesterday’s strip, since the date when the peas incident happened and i actually published the strip were so far apart, but in the rush to get it posted before midnight for yesterday’s 30 days of comics deadline, i completely forgot. so the date is my john p homage.

zipper comic timelapse

it is hard to wear a zipper sweater and carry him because he likes to zip up the zipper and catch my neck skin in it

i don’t know if that came across  in the strip or not

not only were the drawings difficult for me on this one, but so was the ‘timing’ of the strip – trying to figure out which moments to show so that the reader understands whats going on and the punchline  is effective

 

 

 

putting together the pepper strip timelapse

 

 

what’s great about this timelapse is it shows how nothing came easy on this one

and when i saw little guy trying to grind pepper with the pepper shaker at the restaurant i thought i had it made

but then i realized i needed to show all of the other times he saw me using a pepper grinder

and none of the drawings came easy

the staging of that last panel was especially difficult. and the drawing was pretty bad. I’m not even sure it is clear what is going on.

even the colors of the strip were dificult. i worried that there would be too many colors in the last panel so i decided to go monotone throughout.

i decided on yellow just because i thought it would be funny to color in the yolks in panel 3.

my first attempt at yellow looked like pee. so i made it bolder.

i’m not sure i agree with that decision.

ultimately i still think the idea was good, but the execution lacked on almost every level.

i think ive mentioned before i have no idea what im doing

snowball time lapse

here’s the timelapse of me drawing the snowball comic strip

this is an interesting one to look at because the strip went through so many changes after i stopped recording

i decided to run it vertically

having no expression on the little guy in the last panel felt most right for the ‘punchline’

but even more interesting (to me i guess) was the decision to change the first panel

the close up of little guy packing a snowball seemed to ruin the ‘rhythm’ of the piece

that panel seemed too ‘big’ – too ‘loud’ for the next three panels

for some reason, it seems like the strip works better the smaller the changes between the panels

smaller the changes between panel the more power the final panel seems to have for me

i wonder why that is…

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