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.
You’ve probably noticed the shift in styles over the course of the work, as I tried to find a way to work faster, and smarter. At one point in 2015 I was posting new strips every day and sketches on the weekend, but mostly it was long gaps between posts.
I’m pretty excited about the new Comics page I set up.
It will give a home to all of the webcomics I’ve made over last few years.
Here’s a quick intro to the new (to you) strips:
Everybody Comes to Raph’s is the Casablanca/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mashup that no one asked for. ( I do think the two universes line up astonishingly well, though biased as I may be.) I originally wrote these with Mcwhitsteen and posted these on Tumblr back in 2015 but as the social media landscape continues to get shaken up, it seemed a good time to bring them home. I don’t have all the strips and sketches up, so you’ll have to keep checking back for new (old) material.
Ernie and Fitz is a fictionalized look at the friendship between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ernie is a boozy he-man, spewing toxic masculinity and Fitz is a boozy,wimp, lovestruck by Zelda, and oozing insecurity. I think I may have posted these on screentone in the past, but now they’re all together and easily browsable. And it’s another collaboration with Mcwhitsteen (credited as Code in the strips).
here’s a timelapse of the making of yesterday’s scarecrow strip
i’ve also added the webcomics plugin so that you can easily read all of the past ‘steps’ strips. (i don’t know why i call the strips featuring little guy ‘steps’ but i think it works.
this plug in lets me keep the latest strip at the top of the blog and gives you an easy way to navigate them. the double arrow takes you back to the first ‘steps’ strip, the single arrow lets you increment back to the previous strip, and the little infinity symbol takes you to a random strip.
take it for a spin and let me know what you think.
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
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
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