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Entries in earth pd (12)

Sunday
Dec112016

SteelCityCon-December 2016

ComicCon

Went to SteelCityCon on Saturday. After attending a few I'm getting to know some of the artist better. It's great to talk shop with people with the same interest as I have. Got some good advise on how to continue with the production of the book and actions I should take next.

But the best thing I heard was the mass of encouragement to get it printed when it's finished and continue on with the story. On artist said even though this subject matter was not something that interested him, he liked to style and said it reflected the era fairly well. I will probably work toward getting a booth at a future con (either by myself or splitting one with another artist.).

Shane also thought that some of my other work would do well in the Artist Alley. He particularly like the medieval version of Jabberwocky. I can see I will need to come up with some money in order to make prints of a few items. Again, another expense I don't have the money for but looks like will be a necessity to get into the game.

Working at home by myself can be a drudgery at times. With no conversation on artistic subjects, it occasionally feels like I'm barking up the wrong tree. Wandering around the floor at Artist's Alley gives me a renewed outlook on my art that I am heading in a good direction. Time will tell if it's actually one that will be financially benefitical.

Thursday
Jul282016

Schedule Change

While sifting through my reference books for characters, I discovered that maintaining the books in their original order made looking up material quite difficult. Some books contained as many as eight different characters and stories. And most of the stories in a book were 4-8 pages long. To read the whole story meant going through each individual book and finding the story you were reading. Very time-consuming.

If this was all being done with paper editions of the comics, that would necessarily be the way it would have to be done. But workmen with .cbz and .cbr files makes it possible to convert them to their original jpg files and sort the stories out into folders for each individual character.

So that's what I did this past week.

But that means I did not have the opportunity to work on a new page last week. So much of this process it new and I find out that when things are getting behind, it's usually due to needing to tweak the production process.Most tweaks are small and only cause small setbacks. This, on the other hand, took a week. It was a necessary measure. It doesn't matter than I missed getting a page out this week. Fo that, there are never any good excuses.

As a consolation prize, I present a few ads I found while taking apart the comics to form my art folders.

Wednesday
Jul272016

New Image Gallery for Earth PD

I have created an image gallery to hold all material from the Earth PD series. The multiverse story can now be found all in one place and the character info sheets are setup in a second gallery.

This will make for easier access to the Earth PD material.

The galleries can be found in the top of the right-hand column.

Tuesday
Jul262016

One Multiverse Among Many-03

I finally got through the deconstruction of all the comic files splitting up the pages into folders of characters. I knew it would be tedious and time-consuming but will pay off later down the road.

So to make up for missing last week, I put together two character sheets explaining the characters introduced so far. I will be doing this for every new character as many of them won't be recognized by most people. Even readers who are somewhat familiar with the public domain characters may not know who a few of these characters are.

These characters have been forgotten about for so many decades. I've seen a few other works featuring characters from this time and am glad to see some of them getting more attention. With many of them it's almost as if you're creating an entire new character because... you ARE! All they're giving you is a framework to hang your writing on.

Much of the enjoyment of writing and drawing these characters is taking a two-dimensional character and breathing new life into it. Life that it may never have had when it was in publication. It's difficult to find any information about their social life, friends, or any other situations they may be involved in. But that was how comics were in the 1940s/50s.

About This Comic

For upcoming installments, I've picked some characters for certain powers and characteristics. Two of these characters were in but a single issue. Those characters are virtual blank slates in regards to backstory and personality. That just means that when I'm through, they'll be a more rounded characters Initially I thought I would have trouble finding characters I needed for this story. But after collecting, cleaning, and sorting the information from the Public Domain SuperHero wikia (pdsh), I found I had more than enough material. Very little auxillery information, but tons of characters. Two of the characters in this first installment were were in but a single issue.

This section of the story will range between 15-20 pages. It's longer than most comic stories from that period but shorter than what we have today. But I'm looking at an introduction, establishing the plot line, and closing this chapter. Successive stories will broaden out the events and characters. No one wants to read a single, never-ending story. You get bored after a while. Besides, there are hundreds of good characters to introduce.

The other thing that's been nice is getting back to drawing. For ten years I concentrated purely on building graphical elements into complex data visualizations. That in itself is a complicated task but while engaged in this pursuit I had forgone any actual drawing. It's nice to get back to working with paper and pencil. The change I've made from traditional comics is doing the inking and coloring on the computer.

Dr. Haunt

The character who introduced the story.

The Purple Zombie

The new character introduced on page 3.

Page 3 of One Multiverse Among Many.

Tuesday
Jul122016

Earth PD-One Multiverse Among Many...-02

And now, page 2 of One Multiverse Among Many... or another lesson of how to make a 1950s comic book. It's mostly lessons on how to work with Illustrator in making a 1950s comic book. Nevertheless, it's an interesting trip.

Paint Brush vs. Stylus

First off I'm learning quite a bit about controlling the style on the Wacom tablet while I'm inking. I went into this with decades of working with traditional pen and ink only to find that the two act nothing alike. I searched many tutorial sites for tips on controlling the stylus but the bulk of the tutorials were on creating shapes and coloring those shapes. Almost nothing on digital inking. I continue to search for information. I know it's out there, just haven't found it yet.

The one piece of excellent advice I found was to choke up on the stylus and try to keep the stylus is a vertical position. As soon as I tried this it reminded me of doing Chinese calligraphy. It's the same technique. I suddenly found my control of the ink lines had improved dramatically. I could get the line to start small, grow large, then shrink back down to nothing again. I also found drawing longer lines was much easier. Granted, I still have a problem with the need to watch the screen and draw on the tablet. Oh but to be able to afford a tablet that allows you to draw right on a screen. But they are not cheap.

Looking Back

The stars are beginning to take shape as stippling comes back into my memory. That was a quick one thankfully.

Cross-hatching is a problem and will continue to be a problem. This goes back to not having a tablet that I can draw on directly. When cross-hatching on paper, you have the ability to spin the paper as you're creating those strokes. This allows all the strokes to be even and curve in a uniform manner. My current system does not allow for this so I end up needing to do many little corrections to the cross-hatching lines. It can get very time consuming when there's much shading to be done.

Hands continue to need work. They are the most difficult body parts to get right. and when they're wrong, people spot it instantly. I've been spending much time sitting at the creek doing nothing but drawing hands. They still need work though. I have noticed that in many of the older books of which I'm using as reference, hands were occasionally done quickly. And sometimes the hand position didn't make a lot of sense. But this is nothing compared to the lack of detail I've found on many of the background items. I've seen furniture that is nothing more than a vague shape and some ink shading. The 1950s was a different time in the comic book world.

I've noticed problems with some colors, There's a slight problem with the blacks on the page and I believe it stems from when I created my custom art brushes. The tutorial said to check the tickybox to allow the lines to take on other colors and tints. But this has made my black lines, well, not so black.

Storyline

Storyline... All of the literary worlds (or multiverses) co-exist in a universal space. Most inhabitants of these multiverses are not aware of the others, except for a few that venture outside their realm. I choose Dr. Haunt to be my narrator. In This Magazine Is Haunted, Dr. Haunt was only the narrator of the horror story. I have given him a larger purpose, someone who is charged with overseeing the activities of these multiverses. He is not alone but many of his associates are from what you might call this copyrighted multiverses so you won't see too many of the others. There will be a need for characters from various multiverse to... well that will be revealed at a later time.

One Multiverse Among Many - Page 2

Afterthoughts

So way did I do silhouettes? Why not draw the actually characters? The normal saying for this is, It's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. But in this case, I don't want to find out what might happen is I used the likeness of those copyrighted characters.

I am looking for other local artists who have been doing this for a while. I think that personal communication with other artists would help tremendously. I think it's time for a trip down to the local comic book store. If anyone might have that information, it would be the owner of the store.

It is true though. If you really want to learn something then pick a large project and dive in. The need to solve the multitude of problems that arise will keep you busy but will also give you the knowledge you need to advance quicker.