Here We Go Again

Charles Schulz said that a cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing everyday without ever repeating themselves.  Well, if that’s right then I might be cartooning wrong.

Anyway.  Something was wrong.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Usually I draw a page of comics before I go to bed, but between brushing my teeth or checking my email one last time, I am constantly going back to the page I finished to look at it.  To assure myself that the page is fine.  But that uneasiness never went away.  Something wasn’t right.

I knew that most of the 80 pages of ‘Long Forgotten Fairytale’ were fine.  Just “fine”.  Nothing necessarily wrong with them, but nothing really great about them either.

But I was just chalking it up to a difficult book.  It took forever to solve some of the book’s small problems or plot holes or story flow or mood.

For a while I thought it was lack of progress that was bothering me.  So about a month into the book I switched to a smaller page size to keep up to my one page a night schedule.   I went back and redrew about 20 pages.  I thought it was the right thing to do, but if you read my last post you’ll see that it wasn’t.  The pages were too tight, too cramped.  Backgrounds were phoned in if they were there at all.  So I decided to switch back to the normal page size.  I didn’t plan on redrawing the first 80 pages so I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal.

But it was.  That feeling didn’t go away.  The peace of mind I thought I would have after making this decision.  I knew I had to go back and redraw the whole #$%& book.

On the downside, this would set me back about 3 months.  But the book isn’t due out until 2014 anyway so I had the time to spare.  On the upside I knew the book would be better.  No sense in keeping pace on a book that looked bad.  I knew taking the time to do it right would make a better book in the end.  Some of the 80 pages were drawn in the bigger size anyway, for certain scenes.  It’ll make sense when the book finally comes out.  And I am able to use some of the original 20 pages that I drew when I first started the book.  So I am, thinking at best, maybe I will redraw 50 pages and maybe getting back on track in only two months.

This will also give me a chance to redraw scenes that I know I can do better.  I hate redrawing pages but this is for the best.  Take these three takes on the same scene.

This first example is the first time I drew this page, on the bigger page size.

When I drew this page, I thought it was fine.  There’s that word again.  Bit there was nothing special about this page.  Only drawing what needed to be drawn.

So I was excited to redraw this page when I scaled the page down.  I pulled the camera back and played with the panel layout.

I liked the background and seeing the full table.  It gave the restaurant a little more personality.

So when I went back through the first 20 pages I originally drawn, I knew I had to redraw this page the same way I drew it the second time.  And here it is:

I pulled the camera back a little more again, to draw as much of the characters as possible.  Ultimately I like the second attempt the best, but there you have it.

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