For lack of anything better to do, I digitally inked my 1-hour comic from last week. I made a few minor adjustments for the sake of clarity.
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So, let me explain this comic. Today I started my class in creating graphic novels (comic books, essentially). I was running on fumes, and felt like I could barely speak when introducing myself to the class. But then, the teacher gave us a challenge: spend one hour creating a one-page comic with the topic of “time.” My mind blanked at first, but after five minutes or so I was sketching out the comic you see above, which surprised me, since I generally struggle to come up with ideas. But, given a tight deadline, I’m able to whip something out. I’ve made note of this in the past, but I rarely have enough discipline to force deadlines upon myself. Gotta work on that.
Given that this cartoon is essentially a first-draft, there are a few things I didn’t make totally clear, so I’ll lay out the basic premise. The guy in panel 2 is watching a YouTube video–one of those “watch people age” videos. But instead of being a time-lapse, the video is literally 15 years long. The video’s subject ages to 35, and the viewer into old age. The viewer is jolted into realizing that he’s wasted his life in front of the computer.
Like they say, write what you know!
I’m toying with grabbing freeze frames from movies and trying to adapt the compositions to comic panels. This here is a shot of two incidental characters in Casablanca.
One thing I hope to get better at is figuring out how to make backgrounds in black-and-white white art that are detailed but don’t conflict with the foreground action. I want to cross hatch, but I think I need to heed the advice of the Famous Artists Cartoon Course, and stick with mostly solid blacks and whites:
Speaking of courses, starting next week I’ll be taking a weekly class on graphic novel production at the School of Visual Arts. Although I don’t aspire to create a Frank Miller style graphic novel, I’m hoping to learn a little something that I can apply to a serial comic strip.
Well, I guess the Kerkel posts this week were a wake of sorts; my strip’s been eliminated from the competition. On the upside, I’m now free to share the entire run here on the site.
It was an odd contest; the thing I found especially strange is that there is no real feedback or interaction on the Cartoonist Studio site, so I feel like I haven’t really learned much about what constitutes an appealing comic strip. The 11-second animation contest made a lot more sense, and I got some solid constructive criticism from the community. About the only positive thing I can say about this contest is that it motivated me to create a comic strip!
That said, after looking through these, please let me know which one you liked the least, and which one you liked the best. Now that I’ve got the storyline-introducing awkwardness out of the way, I’d really like to continue developing these characters.
Thought I’d switch gears today and work on a litte photo restoration. This is a portion of a yearbook photo from the 1970s, when Tata came out of retirement to become a high school teacher. It’s not that the photo is in bad shape, but it’s printed in a low-res halftone, so there’s not a whole lot of detail. I thought it’d be fun to try to recreate what the original photo may have looked like.
To guide me, and to salvage some of the tone, I started by blurring the original photo to the point where you can’t see the dots. Then I painted back in the details by referring to the original. Obviously I’ve got a ways to go before it’s passably photorealistic, but I’ll continue plugging away.