MARJORIE THE UNBOWED, ADVENTURES RECEIVABLE
Boy, that fourth panel looks rushed, eh? All the juice is in those first three panels. Barbarian women designs totally inspired by this Rebecca Dart page I saw this morning and unknowingly fermented in my eyes until lunch.
What else can I tell you? I wrote this strip one panel at a time, which is working for me better than I’d have expected. I went wayyyy over time on this one, even with rushing the fourth panel and the lettering. I build up a couple sketch layers in different colors to keep myself taking the foreground and background into account, but it does slow everything down. I’m still not crazy about doing digital direct-to-ink, which means I wind up drawing everything at least twice, each time losing some energy. Sometimes the product can wind up the worst possible compromise: sloppy fast panels right next to flat-dead overworked panels. When you can thread that needle, you really have something going.
2:37 pm • 19 November 2013 • 10 notes
The wait was too long for me to practice piano at lunch, so I doodled out this quick strip instead.
I didn’t warm up and I didn’t write ahead. There was no time to draw a background, so they just float in space. I keep thinking about restrictions applied to the work—the lunch hour, for example, or the four panels—and wondering if a few more wouldn’t hurt. What if I tried to have at least two panels with backgrounds each strip. It would burn up more time, but I waste that time being overly picky about linework anyway.
2:29 pm • 15 November 2013 • 1 note
“I suspect that in part, it doesn’t work as a movie because we’ve been given a narrow definition of what Hollywood movies are allowed to do.”
The CinemaScore F-estival / The Dissolve
This is an interesting piece to me because I love considering the merits of failures and the necessity of failures in order to reach the new. But I also love chewing on the problems of the coziness Tobias talks about in this article.
We’ve been watching The Story of Film: An Odyssey over the past few months, and one of the most exciting parts about it is Cousins examining alternate solutions to the problems of telling stories via film—solutions attempted in other countries, or decades ago—that have been largely forgotten here in the push to polish everything to the most efficient storytelling machine possible.
You see enough movies and things like a flubbed line, a take held too long, an extraneous subplot, or a radical break in tone start to feel like revolutionary acts against the streamlining machine.
11:31 am • 15 November 2013 • 2 notes
Playing around with more coloring ideas. This one I printed the strip, put the strip on the lightbox, then used gray markers to color in different bits on the sheet covering the strip. I did two “plates” this way, then scanned them in grayscale and adjusted their CMYK levels in photoshop.
Then I flatted in some colors on those empty arid backgrounds. It unfairly weights the strip, I think, since there’s no huge wash of color in the first panel, but it was something to do.
There’s something in this method, but it’s gonna take more experiments.
9:22 pm • 14 November 2013 • 5 notes
This may be a true story that may in fact have happened to someone you and I both know, dear reader. But I shan’t say.
I may have run over the time limit ~5 trying to re-write the final panel. Oh well! I’m actually pretty happy how the facial expressions came together on this strip. One of the problems with getting stuck in the kind of bland stock faces I will draw if left to my own devices is that I’m too timid to really push the exaggeration of expressions. Luckily I kept doodling that same duck this morning during breakfast, so I felt pretty okay with the character’s look.
The zip-a-tone shadow in the first panel doesn’t really come out in this version, but that’s what that’s supposed to look like. I guess that’s another setting to fiddle with.
Another thing I noticed: around the time I was drawing the third panel, I felt really in the zone with the tablet. The awkwardness didn’t even register and I was actually enjoying it as a tool. So maybe I need more like an hour of drawing with it to warm up before doing a strip if I want to feel in control of the thing.
2:28 pm • 14 November 2013 • 12 notes
This is a strange one. I decided to keep playing with the routine and just improvise the whole strip, working up one panel at a time. This is what got done in an hour.
The more I work with bigger brush diameters, the more comfortable it feels. Fussiness is a weakness of mine, and big lines force a simplicity. That said, I did redraw the first panel twice because I went too big and there was no detail.
The more I do this, the more I wish I did it more. I feel like I’m getting the hang of individual parts, but the whole doesn’t cohere yet. There just might not be enough time to pull together a singular vision in four panels in under an hour, but it’s the one I’ve got. That and too much time leads to nothing getting done.
Maybe next time.
2:09 pm • 13 November 2013 • 7 notes
“If I feel despair or like I’m not making anything that people will enjoy I think of Mark Beyer’s conviction to doing things his own way and for himself. It’s easy to lose sight of that initial driving force in the pursuit of making a career in art.”
— It’s Nice That : Bookshelf: Strange comics and folklore from the shelves of Patrick Kyle
2:51 pm • 12 November 2013 • 1 note
some other apricot: While it’s still fresh: V. and I were sitting at a bar just now when a...
While it’s still fresh: V. and I were sitting at a bar just now when a man came up behind us and started asking questions. He put a hand on each of our backs, briefly, to get our attention, and I was instantly on my guard. Not that it matters— not that it would be okay if this wasn’t true— but I…
2:49 pm • 12 November 2013 • 65 notes
“As part of its “Doomsday Budget,” the Philadelphia School District closed twenty-four schools in June. Those that remain open are prepared to operate without support staff; without music, art and athletics; without libraries. Meanwhile, on the nearby grounds of Graterford Prison, construction continues on two new facilities to house 4,000 prisoners, at a cost of $400 million. According to the governor, the opening of State Correctional Institutions Phoenix East and West will mean the discontinuance of the existing facility. But past precedent says otherwise.”
Reflections on George Zimmerman | Work in Progress
A nation that refuses to fund its schools while building prisons will so literally reap what it sows that the aptness of the metaphor is dizzying.
2:19 pm • 12 November 2013 • 737 notes
Today I started by taking 5 minutes to write a list of actions. Then I took 5 minutes to try to write strips about my mood. Then I tried to match one to the other, just depict the action and fit the words to it, see what fit. After I went too overly detailed yesterday, I upped the size of the brush to 2.00, to force myself to work simpler. It only sort of worked—I still found lots of ways to get in there and do fiddly work that’s unnecessary. Maybe I need to go bigger still? The nice thing about working with huge brush sizes is some of my weird tablet twitches get reduced when the image reduces for the web. I drew way slow and cramped up today, trying to depict that action just-so. I should have warmed up and didn’t.
So much of this is trying to figure out a productive ritual. If I take it as a given that I have an hour to draw, how much can be allotted to writing? to thumbnailing? to warming up on paper? to warming up on a tablet? There are a lot of considerations. I just have to work faster, and that’s scary because it means a drop in quality, and I already carry around some shame about the quality of the work I post.
Still, the work will improve through dogged endurance even when everything else fails.
2:12 pm • 12 November 2013 • 3 notes