Saturday, July 28, 2012

A rock goblin

One of the comments I heard from people who read the first two issues of Farlaine was "Are there other goblins?". Yes, of course there are, and in issue #3 he runs into his first one - a rock goblin.

This character was a direct ode to Obelix, Asterix's good friend in the French comic. He always walked around carrying a huge rock and to me that fit nicely with Farlaine carrying his tree. So the rock goblin makes a brief appearance in issue #3.

At first I considered making him quite different looking from Farlaine, but then decided that they should be similar enough to notice they're both goblins. So the main difference was a slightly different haircut, a different necklace, a straighter grass skirt, and a lot more muscle. After all, a rock is a lot heavier to carry than a tree, right?

Here's a panel of the two of them chatting so you can see some of the differences. Very similar, but slightly different. Oh yeah, and his rock gives off square bubbles:) I'm still toying with the idea of giving him a mustache...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Intimidating Panels and Character Designs

I completed page 9 yesterday and it took me WAY longer to finish than i would have expected. It includes a large half page panel to begin with, crammed with little details - many of which were characters that didn't exist yet. To me this exemplifies the fun and frustrating part of creating a comic.

When I'm drawing characters I've gotten the hang of I can fly through panels. Layout, pencil, ink, no problem. But when you suddenly have to introduce a dozen new characters, species, architecture, etc, it slows you down dramatically. In this case it was also mostly that I DIDN'T KNOW what needed to be in there. I'm still 7 pages away from having to draw some of these characters so I have time to flesh them out and practice drawing them.

So I'd end up drawing a piece of the panel, ink it, erase the pencil, and then try to figure out how to use the rest of the space. It probably took me 3 days of stop and go effort to just get it finished! For perspective, pages 7-8 took me a day each to do completely, pencil, ink, scanned, and lettered. Ouch!

In my defense I did spend a few hours coloring the first page of Issue #1 to see how it looked, and I'm fairly certain that a color version of the book would look a lot better than a B&W one, at least for most audiences. So we'll see. Maybe if a publisher hops on board with the book I'll have to spend time coloring all of it...

For now, here's a sneak panel from page 9

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Issue #3, page 5 sneak

Just wanted to post something fun to show a glimpse of issue 3 coming along:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Plodding along on issue #3

So I spent some time writing issue 3, probably about 2 weeks total, and I started drawing a little bit before it was done. I'm now 4 pages into drawing issue 3 and still have some later parts to rewrite. I need to keep in the groove of drawing or else my habits get messed up and are slow to resync. But so far so good. The goal is to have maybe 15-20 pages complete before I head off to vacation at the end of the month, but we'll see. This is going to be a lot of slow drawing and new characters to design...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Issue #3 Mostly Written...

The last week I've spent writing. A bunch. I do many, many iterations and drafts. It's a strange process. Lots of brainstorming first to put down the ideas...some scenes and dialogue written out. Parts roughly put into place. But then I try to challenge myself a lot. It seems very easy to be formulaic. To instantly put the most obvious thing you thought of onto the page. Oh, there are 2 characters having a conversation? Put them in a diner. Nobody's ever done THAT before.

So I try to think differently and give the reader something they haven't seen before. They may not like it though...they may be wanting something they're not getting. It's a tricky dance.

The first issue of Farlaine I felt had a lot of stuff crammed in. Plot points, introductions, character, and feeling my way around. I wasn't perfectly happy with it, but I felt it did it's job well setting the stage. Hopefully when the whole story is complete it will make more sense to people. I'm already thinking of rewrites and redrawn panels I may want to do when the whole things is done to try to tighten up the loose ends.

The second issue I was much happier with, although even that I'm sure I'll look down upon in a few months when the dust has settled.

But they're very different stories so far, the first being mostly a long chase scene, whereas the second one was more of a meandering walk through a land. A very modest damsel in distress type tale.

Only two people have read the story yet, and the first one thought it was funny and the second one thought it was boring; not enough of a page turner, although its possible the first person found it boring as well, but just funny boring. So I'm somewhat disappointed in that, but at the same time I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a page turner? It was more of a very different twist on a plot point. An introduction that needed to happen and happened in a neat way.(at least I hope).

Back to the point of this post though, is that the third issue is mostly written, with a few pages to plug in and a final polish or two to do, but on the whole, I'm quite happy with it. I think the writing is decidedly better than the previous 2 stories and moving in the right direction. This one is certainly more of a page turner than the last, while still being a little weird and different and not formulaic in its plot and world. So we'll see. Maybe both readers will like it next time...