The last official "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." Update covered some of the business side of creating an independent comic book, specifically the printing. Since then I've shared a few art snippets through the @appics app, but let's go ahead and make this particular update, #18... all about the art, shall we? Yeah... I know, I know. I'm still previewing the same page. However, it is getting pretty close to finished so we'll soon be on to other moments of magical mayhem! I promise!
The page in question features our crew's resident bundle of mirth, mayhem and muscle, Julie silently squaring off against a troll. (Yes, one of the things I just linked you to is a 3 year old Steemit post... that's how long I've been hanging around here and working on this friggin' comic!)
I'm almost done with the pencil work, enough so that I've impatiently started jumping back and forth between pencil and ink. It is worth noting, "pencil" and "ink" are both achieved digitally in this case. Almost all of my production work is currently being done on an iPad Pro utilizing the Clip Studio Paint application.
In the comments of a prior preview of this page, I talked a bit about how I see my artwork.
it’s never good enough. I kinda cringe at my own work & see plenty of flaws. But I’ve gotten to a pretty good place where I can look at it more objectively and feel my stuff is at least holding its own against some of the pro work published today... and is absolutely much better than the last comic I completed! And that progress is good enough for me!
That is absolutely how I feel here. I'm always a bit shocked reading interviews how some of my favorite artists are so damn hard on themselves when their work is amazing! So I guess what I'm saying is... if you like what you see I appreciate it! And if you don't.... I'll probably agree with you there too! But I keep trying to embrace the idea of finished not perfect. That's a great mantra that @kommienezuspadt kind of got in my head. After all, I've got a big story I want to tell here. There's hundreds if not thousands of pages ahead of me, if all goes well, in which to chase perfection. No sense noodling around with just this one page for all eternity! That's a big part of the reason I set myself the deadline of launching "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." at the Baltimore Comic Con this fall.
I always try to make these Fundition Update Posts fairly substantive, so a single screencap of my current work just won't do! Here's a quick glimpse at the pencil to ink process that fans may find interesting and fellow fledgling creators may find enlightening.
When working on pencils such as this, each individual panel is actually its own folder, with multiple layers inside. When working on a particular panel, the rest of the page is "masked" off, as shown by the purple below. Concentration is focused on the one area and all other spots on the page are not editable to avoid stray marks or unwanted alterations.
In the top preview image, you may have noticed that my pencil lines in some areas are a pale blue color. It is typical to render an underdrawing in such a tone and then build on top of it with normal pencils and inks. This is a product of early print reproduction, wherein certain colors, such as this "non-repro blue" could not be picked up by the cameras and imaging systems, meaning that the underdrawing did not need to be erased when preparing the work for printing. Such a technique is still immensely handy today in helping illustrators plan out and visualize their work as revisions and refinement occur. It's much easier to see the quality of the ink lines over a blue underdrawing, than it is over a dark pencil shade.
In this case, prior to inking, Clip Studio makes it a snap to convert the tone of the line art. With a single click in the layer properties palette, the expression color of the layer can be altered... turning those grey skies, err... I mean lines, blue!
And there's another panel ready for the ol' ink brush! Or... Apple Pencil, as it were... Now, if you want to see a serious craftsman who puts my inks to shame while doing it all with an actual brush, you want to check out @arseniclullaby. But be warned his hilariously dark humor is not for the faint of heart!
In the background, you may have noticed a little blue blob which is actually a tiny "Easter Egg" that I was planning on piling in the rubble. I'll give you all a little closer look at it...
It's gonna take a pretty solid geek to tell me just what that is and why it might relate to this particular sequence! Consider this the first "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." Contest! The first person to correctly comment as to that relationship will win a Flare Boost! Whatever rewards tier you finish the Fundition Campaign at, you'll automatically be boosted to the next rewards level. So this could earn you anything from a free digital comic, all the way up to some exclusive hand crafted limited edition swag! No re-steems or anything like that required, although they are always greatly appreciated. Please spread the word about "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." and help make this campaign and this comic a success!
Thanks for reading and joining me on this endeavor! Next update I'll discuss the current campaign status and direction going forward and hopefully have a winner for this first little mini contest! I'd like to do a lot more of these to come, so stay tuned!
-Bryan "the Imp" Imhoff
This is an official Fundition campaign update post to help fund the publication of the independent comic "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." meaning your votes alone can help you earn rewards like a free copy of the comic and more! For more information check out https://fundition.io/ and the prior update articles for "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..."!