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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 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 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.

inktober day 15 legend

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 15: legend.

inktober day 15. legend. in which link does some stuff

as you probably noticed i’m behind. and skipping around.

inspiration for the giant book that link consults is the lindsfarne bible, which i’d never heard of before doing the research for this strip.

this is the first day this year that i used a wash.

i got lazy and tired this strip. it shows in the final two panels

inktober day 12 dragon

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 12: dragon

inktober. day 12. dragon. in which link does some climbing

made some changes to the way i worked on today’s inktober and it really helped.

the final piece looks more like i imagined.

here’s how it went down. (if you find this sort of thing just mindnumbingly boring, here’s the color version, colored digitally, of today’s piece

here is the initial sketch

then i hunted down a bunch of reference of alex honnold climbing el capitan

i didn’t really use any one image in particular, but it helped me refine my early sketches

for the dragon’s pose i just did an image search for sleeping dogs.

all of that reference helped me refine the drawing and make it more convincing…

i think the sketch, done digitally, has a lot more energy than the final inks.

the biggest change to my work came in the next step.

i haven’t been happy with my inking at all, this inktober, so i decided to draw bigger. i’ve been watching a lot of cartoonist kayfabe lately and somewhere in there ed piskor said ‘pencil small and ink big.’

i’ve been drawing each panel at 4 x 4 inches all inktober. last night i decided to go bigger.

i resized the panels to be 5 x 5 inch and worked on 11 x 14 inch bristol instead of 9 x 12 inch bristol

inking at the larger size made all the difference for me.

i was able to vary the line weight more than in every previous inktober. it took way longer to work, but it was worth it.

it felt like a breakthrough.

now i just have to do it again tonight…

inktober and linktober day 9 swing

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 9: swing

(i know it’s the 10th. i’m behind.)

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 9: swing

i also did a digital color version

lately i’ve been doing the sketch digitally, and inking over that

here’s the sketch

inktober. day 9. swing. sketch.

my sketches are better than my inks, but i guess that’s the whole point of inktober, right?

i did splash some watercolors on the page

inktober. day 9. swing. ink. and watercolors. but ugh.

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 8 – frail

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 8: frail

inktober 2019. day 8. frail. forgot to ink in her boots, and squandered link's pose in panel 2, but this effort felt much stronger than day 7's.

view the color version, where color reveals a little more information about one of our characters…

forgot to ink in her boots, and squandered link’s pose in panel 2, but this effort felt much stronger than day 7’s

the main thing i need to remember when working is just to slow down. all of the pressure is imagined…

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 6 – husky

yes that is a sports clips coupon in the featured image. and no they are not a sponsor. but since my barber retired and then died, that is where i get my hair cut

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 6: husky

as i continue to struggle with the drawing of day 5: build, i’m moving on to day 6. only a day late.

for all of you inktober purists out there, here’s today’s strip in glorious black and white

if you’d like to see the comic in majestic color, please click here

i think the gag is solid, but man, panel 3 was a lost oppotunity

i should have pushed the pose more

(hangs head in shame)

(shuffles solemnly back to the drawing table)

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 4 – freeze

inktober and linktober 2019 continue with day 4: freeze

inktober 2019. day 4. freeze. link faces the frozen wrath of a freezor. did he come prepared? panel 1: link shelters behind his shield as a large freezor unleashes a blizzard of snow and ice. panel 2: link politely gestures for a brief timeout. panel 3: confused, the freezor watches link, tongue out in concentration, dig in his satchel. panel 4: freezor breaks the fourth wall, deadpanning for the reader while link now stands at the ready in furry snow suit and goggles. trivia: can you spot what link is missing in panel 3?

can you spot what link is missing in panel 3? seems like i forget to draw something every day.

i didn’t have any ideas going in to fit the the prompt, but i read about the freezors, and once i started getting the pencil moving the gag came to me

i’m a little more satisfied with the gestures today

i also realized i’ve been casting my little guy as link this whole time

inktober 2019 – day 3 – bait

i didn’t love link’s poses in yesterday’s comic, so today i tried to push them a little bit more – make them more natural

here is today’s comic with a little color

inktober 2019. day 3. bait

even more importantly, when posting my comic to instagram yesterday, i discovered that linktober was already a thing!

you can follow linktober on instagram or visit them at their website

and here’s the digitally cleaned up version of today’s comic, where you can quickly breeze through all of my linktober 2019s so far

linktober continues – inktober 2019 day 2: mindless

linktober continues. inktober day 2 official prompt: mindless

linktober continues

jake parker’s inktober 2019 official prompt: mindless

penciled this piece 2 days ago

felt less than confident about it

inked it late last night after my soccer game

hated it. told myself i’m going to throw it out in the morning

in the morning i looked at it again and accepted it. (after adding a lot of correction fluid)

added watercolors. felt better about it

i know, i know. i forgot to color his hair pink. i also have no idea what happened to link's shield.

now it can be yours

but if the original is too pricey, you can check out the cleaned up, digitally colored version where i remembered to color link’s hair pink (WHY IS LINK’S HAIR PINK IN ‘LINK TO THE PAST’?)

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