Supermassive Black Hole A*: Forum

The Princess and the Giant
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Author:  BC [ Thu May 21, 2009 3:18 am ]
Post subject:  The Princess and the Giant


The Princess and the Giant is a silent fairy tale adventure that I think popped into my head as a way to experiment with themes and styles quite different than what I work with in my sci-fi "A*" comic. Through page 136 it was drawn with the Lasso Tool in the ancient Photoshop 4; since then it is done traditionally, with black Japanese "Sumi" ink on paper. Updates Sundays.

The print of any Princess comic that you can order via the "buy hand-signed print" link in the menu above it is printed from the high-resolution source file on glossy 8.5"x11" cardstock, and is hand-signed by me in shiny metallic ink before I ship it off to you.


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Tons more Princess and the Giant icons here!

Author:  BC [ Thu May 21, 2009 3:23 am ]
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The title page. For now I intend the thing to be entirely non-verbal--just artwork, which in a sequence should tell a loose story--so this may very well end up being the only panel that has any text on it.

The fonts are "Dearest Open" and "Inheritance." Both are free fonts, and you can download them at a font site like The url in the lower right corner is my own sloppy handwriting (took a while to get it that legible :p).

May be a while before another panel appears! =P

Author:  BC [ Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:21 am ]
Post subject: 


Page 2

Finally had to draw the princess. I want her to be what I guess is referred to by that horrible phrase "young adult." I think she came out okay? I'll probably end up changing her repeatedly anyway. For this one, I drew her roughly in this pose, then decided the wave wasn't direct and zesty enough for our heroine--and I also had her arm higher at first, and that was showing way too much armpit than is decent for a princess ;P--so I spent a long time trying to get her to wave back across her body at her parents, without having her arm blocking her face. Didn't work, and also didn't look very elegant--she isn't supposed to be The Height of Elegance, but she's supposed to sort of know about it. So I gave that up and used the traditional beauty queen wave, which, as it turns out, has the advantage of not showing too much pit. Those pageant people are pretty sharp.

The parents were really easy, hardly even thought about them consciously and they came out just like I then decided I wanted them. Hm.

Wasn't too sure what I was going to do with the right side; I knew she was supposed to be getting in a coach, but I didn't originally have any particular thoughts about extending the castle over there, and I had some very vague ideas about people around the coach that I didn't end up doing because I think they would've made it too busy: bystanders cheering, at least one knight making a step of his hands to help her into the coach (instead of the handy folding stairway I ended up using), maybe one or two more on guard, etc. I did get one in there sorta, though, although he isn't obvious. Also, I had no idea if I actually knew how to draw a coach, or what I wanted this particular coach to look like. It came out as this sort of dark Victorian thing, which I guess I'm okay with.

This is actually the second version of the right side that I drew; I had it pretty much done, then thought I'd just saved, experimented, wasn't happy with it, and selected "Revert," only to find I hadn't actually saved for hours. Ouch. Oh well, it came out better the second time anyway I think, since by then I had an idea of what to do with it.

Author:  BC [ Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:06 am ]
Post subject: 


Page 3

I'd decided I wanted to show both ends of the road in this installment--both where she's been and where she's going--and to have the princess highlighted in the foreground from her carriage window, but didn't really bother to think about how that would fit in a square panel, exactly. When I sat down to draw it I was like no wait, this won't work, and was on the verge of scrapping the idea, when some spirit of what might have been what one of my craziest old professors called "the art dictator" (his dream was that the world would confer that title upon him so that he could set things right), and I found myself saying to myself, darn it, I'm the cartoonist here, I can bend space and time to my will!

So I figured I'd get it all in by going all super-deformed fisheye on you. The previous one was fairly fast and loose with perspective and had worked pretty well, but I wasn't really sure I could pull this much more exaggerated look off. I think it worked well enough for my standards, though, so yay!

The princess probably looks a little too much like Linda Carter at the moment. Darn subliminal childhood influences.

I started trying to draw horses and they were coming out more like blob camel dogs, so I had to find a prancing horse reference photo to remember just what in heck a horse is. Funny how many weathervanes etc and how few actual horses you get when you do a Google image search for "prancing horse." I *think* this one's a horse; anyway that's the look I went with. :P For the two tiny negative silhouette horses most people probably won't even notice. Bah, it was totally worth it, 'cause if someone does notice them, there's no way in heck they're not going to jump up exclaiming pinch my cheeks and call me Christopher if those little squiggles over there aren't a fine pair of prancing horses!

Author:  BC [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:49 pm ]
Post subject: 


Page 4

Came out as a much more realistic render this time; I think it happened that way because I couldn't figure out a cartoony way to get the expression I wanted on the princess: she needed to be looking up at a pretty steep angle, looking concerned, but not scared, and she kept looking scared when I was trying to draw it as cartoonily (that is not a word) as the previous page.

My style is inconsistency itself, so she'll probably look different every time I draw her. :P EDIT: In fact, I just realized that I unconsciously left out her pretty-princess tiara and long gloves this time! Heh.

PS: Forgotten that I'd renamed the previous pages and broken their links here (was doing that when I was making the automatic RSS feed for the comic on its home page). Sorry about that, they should all be showing up here now!

Author:  BC [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:26 am ]
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Page 5

Finally had a sort of full view of the knight/driver, so I had to find a plate armor reference photo--the chest/shoulder part of those things is complicated!

Author:  BC [ Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:01 am ]
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Page 6

I knew the Princess' look was going to be changing a lot. Here's what the poor thing's gone through in just her first five appearances:

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(I'm keeping those in the first post--they're in the format of icons for the PatG mirror on Drunk Duck.)

Not to mention the attack by the squad of weird little forest net paratroopers. Ahem.

Seems to have come out rather Angelina Jolie this time, which is odd because I haven't seen any of her movies. :P

Author:  BC [ Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:22 am ]
Post subject: 


Page 7

That dude with the funky hat/mask in the foreground was the first part of this that I drew--not sure what part of my head he popped out of, but for some reason my brain was really into drawing him. He looks pretty tough; the princess seems to be terrorizing those other little guys.

More silhouette horses outside a forest entrance!

You'll notice the little handwritten URL in the lower right corner of the image has changed--the princess has her very own subdomain now (that'd be! Hm, so maybe when she graduates up to queen she gets a full domain? That sounds about right.

Author:  BC [ Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:38 am ]
Post subject: 


Page 8

Many thanks to Muybridge. Darn horses and their crazy neck muscles and leg joints, anyway!

I was thinking I should try to show the road ahead to lead into the next one, but then I thought of setting it at night (they wouldn't just transport her on horseback in broad daylight, and I didn't want to cover her up), and the sense of isolation from a straight side view in the moonlight appealed to me.

Not sure where the windmill came from, I guess I see them as idyllic countryside staples--and we don't have nice old-fashioned ones like that around here, just the sleek modern kind arrayed hundreds strong in those "wind farm" things; more efficient, maybe, but not quite as nice for a midnight gallop in the moonlight.

Ohh yeah and I've been drawing stars and clouds (well, a nebula) in A* lately, I guess I've just go them in my system right now.

Author:  BC [ Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:23 pm ]
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Bonus large details!

Just the Princess from page 7 (this is half-size, click for full):


Left side of page 8:


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