Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Original Art Sundays (Wednesday) No. 164: Suurealist Cowgirls, p. 20

Only four or five pages to go of this story, the second major Surrealist Cowgirls story.
There have been two minor SC stories, and of course, the paper dolls and the lunchbox for fun.
The page at hand:
Some notes on this page:
Sparse backgrounds. I tried to shake it up a bit from the heavy black backgrounds of recent pages, and used some support graphic elements for diversity. Chief among these are the lined partial background of panel two, a device I freely stole from Terry Moore, and the connecting infinity symbol in panel three.
I'm trying for more dynamic poses as the action builds. To that end, the face in grief in panel two, Kay's fainting in panel four, and Master Pah coming to life in the final panel.
Narrative note: until the last panel of the previous page, Master Pah had not moved other than to speak. His anger and sense of betrayal at the presence of his former apprentice spur him to physical action.
Scanner access is greatly improved now. 
Next: the battle, page one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Original Art Sundays (Tuesday) No. 163: Surrealist Cowgirls, p. 19

Posting a couple days late due to scanner access issues, yet again. Once the Fall semester begins, my access will improve. Then as long as I can be professional enough to get the work done, all will be well.
Now, the page before the big fight:
I really like this one.
I did some minor edge clean up and cleaned up the blacks a bit in Photoshop. Otherwise, it's all hand work.
Panel One, the full negative effect, was fun to do. I know I could have just drawn the panel conventionally and done an Invert in Photoshop, but what fun is that?
Panel Two, with the whole gang, was also a challenge. By putting Whalliam in the back, I organized them into a tight group, ready for attack. Also, once again, Louise shows insight and initiative in calling for Tolcanan (finally called by name), who's been following our intrepid troupe all this time. This is important since she's sometimes seen as an airhead and a bit of a victim. No simplistic characters, even in a silly story.
Panel Three offers some big hints at Tolcanan's true self, but does not tell all.
Trying to keep the four motifs going here: surrealism, whimsy, Westerns and tension.
Next: Who is Tolcanan? And the big Magic Gunfight, Part One!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Original Art Sundays No. 162: Surrealist Cowgirls, p. 18

Only six pages left to this story!
Here's the latest installment:
So the Zen Master is the villian? Okay...
In my Comic Writing course, which ends tomorrow night,  we've been talking about the challenges of doing written humor, either in comics or in prose. Humor is dependent on timing, and when someone else is reading your work, you surrender control of timing. This is usually remedied in comics by visual exaggeration- think Howard Cruse, Robert Crumb or Peter Bagge- but that's not my style, so I find other approaches. My most common tools are puns and surrealist visuals.
These tools can be tricky. it's hard to be over the top and subtle at the same time. On this page, I aspire to a sense of menace, and hope to achieve it without losing (or forcing) the silliness. The surrealism scenes usually begin with a random image, and are honed by making the design work in a plausible way. I don't want it to seem cluttered, while I want to retain a sense of a full-tilt surrealist desert and world.
Overall this is going the way I want it to (except for Taz the kitty's continual insistence on jumping into my work space). I'm continually inspired by Bob Clampett, Carl Barks, Jim Woodring and Mary Fleener in doing this work.
More and more, I see this as either a Golden Age 64 page book or as an 80-page Giant comic, old school DC style. With the completion of this story, I'll have about 47 pages of Cowgirls material total.
Page 19 is almost done, so let's look forward to next week!