Offbeat Personality

I’m sorry I didn’t update last week.  I had a very good reason. 

Anyway, to make up for my laziness, enjoy a comic.  A holiday comic, no less.

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This comic was inspired by a magazine article, the same one Uptown Girl was reading in the first panel.  I guess this was an actual study which is either awesome or a complete waste of taxpayer money.  THANKS OBAMA.  The article screamed Uptown Girl and the comic was written in about a minute.  This is a comic that I could not have written ten years ago.  It is really dependent on having established characters with developed personalities; Mr. Mustard and Sulky Girl work really well in this comic.  I am very thankful to have the world and personalities in my comic so developed.
Anyway, here’s a look behind the scenes…

I had to jot down the results of the study on a Post-It note so I could reference it later.  My drawing table and art bins are crammed with little notes that I tucked away for future stories.  Some of these notes make no sense to me now.  If I didn’t draw this story right away, I am sure in a few years I’d very confused by this note:

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As for the actual comic itself, I used to draw on a 9 x 12 smooth Bristol board by Strathmore.  I would write and layout/pencil a page and then ink it.  Lately I have taken to using 11 x 17 paper and laying out two pages at a time.  This has an effect on how I create a comic or part of one.  Now I will write/layout/pencil two pages at a time, and then ink them over a course of two days.  Lately I can ink about a page a day before my hand starts cramping.  I am hoping my cramping doesn’t get worse, for some reason.  At any rate, writing the dialogue for two pages at a time helps with momentum and moving the plot forward.  Back in the mini-comics day, I would pencil the entire 24 page comic before inking.  For the next Uptown Girl book, I might go back to that approach.

Here’s what the comic looked like before inking:

1  If you look at the panels, the pencils get a lot looser as I went.  By the end of the comic, the panels just have a general layout as to where the characters will be.  I tend to pencil a lot more at the start of a page as a warm up.  I will also pencil a lot if it is an action scene or something a little tricky (such as a character crossing their arms) but the ending in this particular comic it’s nothing but the characters standing around talking (which is about 90 of what the comic is all about) so I don’t need to pencil very much at all.

Compare the first and last panels:

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Anyway (I sure use that word a lot), I am still on track for completing this book by the end of January.  I will likely take a couple weeks off and work on some other stuff, and then begin the next one in mid-February.  Stay tuned.

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