Added 2 new A* pages:Hey, two pages! Yeah, so I was inspired by Alex Raymond's classic Rip Kirby comic strip, which I talked about yesterday, to see if I could get back to multiple pages a day. And maybe I can!|
Originally of course I was doing like three to four pages a day--that was back when I was drawing them mostly in plain black and white, with an eye toward producing an animated episode (episodes 1 through 7 were animated--check 'em out in their YouTube playlist here), so they were pretty simple. Once I stopped doing them for animation I started making the comic images bigger and more detailed, which eventually slowed me down to one per day. The last time I resolved to go back to multiple pages per day was back in September--that lasted for a whole day. :P Shortly after that I started messing with doing stuff in actual ink rather than digitally, and that slowed me down and stuck me firmly back to one page a day.
Until now! If Raymond could do three beautiful Rip Kirby panels per day, dang it, can't I manage at least two A* panels? Of course he had decades of professional illustration experience and was probably just way better than me to boot, but eh...I can try, anyhow. The reasons for wanting to do multiple pages a day are mostly spelled out in that ^ resolution back in September--pacing, keeping it loose and expressive, and so on. I've been getting bogged down in futzing and fudging with a page all night, second guessing myself until I'm just obsessively altering some little detail back and forth, and that's just no fun. My favorite pages tend to be the breezier ones.
And I've kept thinking that I'd get faster at the drawing and just get up to being able to do multiple pages a day naturally, but I've found that doesn't happen--instead, I just find more ways to spend more time messing with the same image. Comic book artist Sean Murphy recently wrote an interesting article about a general slowdown in comic production over the decades--Why are we slower?--and it's a well thought-out, well-informed article by an industry pro that is well worth a read. That's been percolating in the back of my head since I read it over the weekend, and it does seem to me that one reason we draw slower is because we just aren't forced to draw faster; cameras and 3D rendering can now handle the illustration needs of the world, so there's no need for illustrators to be cranking out material for industry, marketing, etc etc. That's what pushed the old illustrators to hone their craft, get fast and sleek, and without that, well naturally we slow down and go more at our own pace.
So if I wanna get faster, I just gotta force myself to get more pages done, I think. No sitting around fussing over a page, or what the rest of the internet is doing, or how to network with other webcomic people; I've learned a lot doing that stuff, but now I feel ready just to buckle down and crank out pages.
... We'll see how long it lasts this time. ;) I'm already futzing even in this new mode--for instance, if you happened to log in just after midnight, you saw the original version of page 88:
That seemed just *too* sketchy and not heavy enough, though, so I added loads of black ink.
As I mentioned in September, Fridays will almost always be just one page still, since I hang with peeps most Friday evenings. There will also be plenty of days where I only manage one for some reason; for instance, yesterday as I test I tried doing the page (87) faster, and I thought I had it all wrapped up in good time but then I thought hm the vertical scale is off a bit, tried adjusting it, and then it just kept twisting and shrinking and...man that one really got away from me, I think maybe because I was kneeling at my drawing table instead of actually sitting, so my face was too close to the paper--I lose my view of the page as a whole when I do that, and things start to get wonky. Anyway so I had to redraw that one entirely from scratch--so that would have been a just-one-page day, if I'd been going for two.
Also as I mostly mentioned in September, I will post on A*'s Twitter, Google+, and Facebook pages as soon as each page goes up during the day, so follow me on one of those if you want to get 'em as soon as they're up; the RSS feed is only updated later, once I've got all the day's pages and news posted.
What's that, you want some science? Well how about this cool photo of a "stained glass" meteorite from China that was shared with me on Google+? That's a slice of the Fukang meteorite, and boy aren't those olivine space crystals pretty when the sunlight hits 'em.