Color adds so much to a piece. I was reviewing pages from Deep Circuitry and noted that a lot of the lower illustration skill can be forgiven because of the color.
And then I saw the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and started thinking “how can I add color to my next project”?
Cons: Color theory is challenging and hard to get right. Fixing analouge color is challenging to fix in digital post. Color (done well) will be time consuming. Painting analouge color will be challenging to keep consistent for 100 pages. B&W is fast. B&W is classic.
Pros: Color (done well) looks fuckin’ great.
Well. Okay. Lots of cons, but the one pro outweighs them all. Great…
I think what I’ll consider is borrowing from Hayao Miyazaki’s method of minimally watercoloring his storyboards. From the Studio Ghibli movie, Ponyo:
Or, perhaps even keeping the process analouge up until color is required, and maybe doing color digitally. This would be faster and quicker to recover from mistakes. I’d probably even consider doing focus areas with cell, and everything else in watercolor style. This is the same method I used for Deep Circuitry. For example:
At this point, it’s a matter of exploring how it will fit within my current work schedule.
If script and thumbnail exist, then- – Thursday: sketch – Friday: ink – Monday: ink wash – Tuesday: digital touch up and lettering – Wednesday: post and publish
There’s quite a bit of room within these 2 hour sessions, especially since I’ve been slacking (not waking up on time, not spending the full time actually working).
I started digitally illustrating Deep Circuity (DC) around March 2020 I finished digitally illustrating in March 2021 1 year 0 months 400 pages in 52 weeks Actual average is 7.7 pages a week Intentional output was 3 pages a week
I started analogue illustrating Enter Cedar (EC) in Nov 2021 I’m gonna finish analogue illustrating in August 2023 (Note, I estimated 7.5 months back in Nov 2022) 1 years 8 months 100 pages in 60 weeks Actual average is 1.7 pages Intentional output was 1 page a week
That’s a pretty terrible decrease in my average. But I’m still pushing out illustrations for a full, finished 120 page script in a year’ish. So I got that going for me.
I think the better way to look at the data is that it’s taken my roughly the same time to finish the same amount of pages.
But, I could look at the extra 8 months for EC and round up, and then the takeaway that it’s taking me twice as long to illustrate by hand. Shit, am I saying I could have finished EC earlier this year and now be finishing up Where the Highway Meets the Corridor, had I just digitally illustrated it?
BUT, also decreased by weekly page output from 3 to 1. So I can’t be too hard on myself. Had I kept that up, I probably would have finished EC in a similar time to DC.
So we meet the Erueniks in Deep Circuitry, Rachell and the other inhabitants of TVR are Erueniks. After Deep Circuitry leaves Eruen, the Erueniks develop a singular culture with a singular language and a obsession with finding entertainment and stimulation that isn’t TVR. They become super afraid of all technology after being abandoned in TVR (think Dune). This entertainment involves scouring the universe for DNA for genetic manipulation. This is how they find Earth.
And while they’re scouring Earth, they cause a great disaster and destroy their planet and they all turn into energy beings with no memories. Groph in Groph’s Green Wizardry is possessed by one of these beings. Eruen is also the planet that Titus finds in Titus Waiting.
I’ve been toying with redeveloping their visual look.
I’ve told people that I wasn’t interested in making shorter works, like making short films. I believe this sentiment was mostly driven by economic needs (short films don’t make money), but this sentiment also caused my skills to be left wanting. I did do a few though.
Between Enter Cedar and my next project, Where the Highway Meets the Corridor , there is a handful of smaller stories that happen. As I explore color and water mediums, I revisited an older piece. It was fun. I’ll probably “rerelease” these pieces once I’m done posting the last pages of Enter Cedar.
Do I really want this to be my next project? I really like the characters, I’m just not entirely certain the script is the strongest. It was my first big effort at writing a feature length script. I had written a lot before near the end of my contract writing and animating safety training videos down in Olympia. It’s a mockumentary, which is a style I really like to watch. How that will convert to a comic? That’s a good question. But, we’re going to find out. I think it’ll help that I like the characters so much.
This is Robert, Allen and Samantha. Robert is a chain smoking stoic sort of fellow, the sort of person who feels everything but fails to emote it. Allen is an alien who is obsessed with collecting firewood, splicing genes and playing banjo. Samantha is a passionate and idealistic thinking leader who prides herself on combining the functional with the superfluous. Both Robert and Samantha have known each other since childhood and since learning of Allen’s presence, have dedicated their late teenage years to protecting their alien friend.
I think I’m identifying a advantageous pattern. I post 1 page a week right now. This 1 page is focused on linearly progressing the Imbibe narrative forward. These blog posts are separate. They are meant to explore other areas of Imbibe, if only to provide some relief to the hyper focus necessary to carry the linear work. I should attempt to always have some new sketch or concept done for Sunday, as it will give me something to blog about.
This is a sketch for “Where the Highway Meets the Corridor”(WHMC), which is the next big project in Imbibe. You’ll recall Gray in “Enter Cedar” mentioned a brother cousin, who is responsible for crashing the saucer that left Gray stranded. Allen (above) is that brother cousin, playing the banjo. Allen has been on Earth for a long time, possibly 30 years. If we place “Enter Cedar” in the early 1980s, WHMC does not have smart phones, so it’s early 2000’s.
Allen has been on Earth long enough to develop affinities for Earth culture like playing banjo, wearing moccasins, sporting flannel, and obsessing over the collection of firewood (the cousin subspecies of Erueniks don’t like to be cold). David (the mustachioed fella on the right) has kept Allen a secret for a long time. WHMC is the story of attempting to get Allen to safety once that secret is revealed.
Allen’s personal style was actually a relic from when this project was intended to be a live action mockumentary. It would have been a low budget indie film. To cover up a potentially underfunded makeup job, our alien was going to wear bulky clothing, a hunters cap and cataract sunglasses. There’s even some footage on a hard drive of me holding a styrofoam head, painted gray, with 2 green Easter egg halves over the eyes. The eggs had motion tracking marks on them, I was going to create “alien eye goggles” the actor could wear, and then we’d add the eyes in post.