As a part of finishing up book 1 of FDTN I felt pretty adamant that the original four pages needed to be updated to match the quality of the current pages. Much of the early stuff still holds up, but that scene feels so off compared to the later work. Like the characters don't even look like their current incarnations. So I've spent the last week redoing those pages, while working on the structure for what may be the last chapter of book 1. It also fits well to redo these pages as chapter 4 starts where the beginning of the book ended. It makes me both proud and embarassed to look at the comparison. See for yourself!
Inspired by my experience working on Amulet 2 and the great fun I had getting to know the other artists, and the same experience my friend Josh Ulrich has had working with Dave Riddick on Legend of Bill: We've decided to join forces for one super comics creating monster.
Because of my work schedule and availability, doing the computer side of comics production is just not as easy or accessible for me. I spend my down time during my day inking comics the old school way. Josh on the other hand is much more comfortable and available to create comics on the computer. We decided we'd give something a go. I will be inking his comic "Newman" for him and he'll be lending a hand to the flatting and toning of "From Death Til Now." We've experimented a bit on a few pages and the results have been nice!
Jumping into the inking process on Newman was pretty seemless I think. I already had a pretty solid feel for what Josh likes in his inks and it great fun playing around in his universe. A much nicer place to be than the trembling drama of my own book, lol.
Josh wanted to give coloring FDTN a try and I wholeheartedly encouraged it. I was really really excited about the prospect of seeing the book in color an he gave some great reasons for me to want to go that way. See the above example. But ultimately I decided to keep trucking in grayscale for volume one. There's just too much to go back and do. Though looking at the above image gets me pumped!
But the best thing has been just working with a close friend and sharing our talents on each others books. We're gonna give it a go, and with any luck we'll be done with FDTN vol 1 and Newman book 1 by the end of the year. Its exciting to try and build a type of studio collaborative environment and share the load. It lets me chillax a bit more! And keep chugging on the penciling and inking! Now back to work.
I just heard the terrible news today that Professor Jeremy Mullins of SCAD's sequential art program passed away this weekend. I am a big fan of the Seqalab podcast and losing him moves me deeply. I never went to SCAD, but it is the school I always wanted to attend. He seemed like the kind of teacher I wouldn't be able to keep myself from hanging out around. My prayers and thoughts go out to all of his friends, family and students as they mourn. I will miss him greatly, waiting for me each Tuesday and Thursday on my iPod.
I feel a little guilty showing this off so early, like I'm spoiling such a great moment, but I figured I gotta show it to wet your appetites. This is a double page spread that is coming up. I'm so stinking proud of the original art on this! I look at it and think of how far the quality of my line work and my work ethic has come since I began. FDTN will celebrate two years of being on the web really soon and its sad we're not doing updates currently, but I am very pleased to say that I am on track to complete all of the finished line work in about three months. For those at home that's 80-90 pages in three months! This new process I've worked up has been a huge boost to the production and I'm so excited to share it all with you. So click on the page above and get a bigger view!
I recently tried approaching the creation of my comics from a different angle and the results have been positive so far. Before, I would create a simple thumbnail drawing to get the jest of the scene down and see the flow of the storytelling. I would then create the finished drawing on the final page. All in all this was pretty quick but it wasn't favorable when trying to think in big chunks because it required spending a lot of time on individual pages rather than on seeing the overall flow of a scene and the pacing.
So now I've started creating a thumbail of an entire chapter or scene so I can gage the work as a whole. Then I take that and create a tighter thumbnail drawing that I would then reprint on my bristol and ink. What this helped me do is that I can sketch the scene out in pencil form much faster and get more done in a consolidated ammount of time. Above is an example of a tightened thumbnail. I'm still trying this out so I'm unsure of how much I'll like it in the long run, but the experience has been favorable. I hope it will come more into play and allow for a smoother work flow for when I tackle The Unknowns or some other bigger project. For now, From Death Til Now is the guinea pig.