Sunday, October 19, 2014

Original Art Sundays No. 197: Surrealist Cowgirls: Maggie's Fairytale, p. 5

Well, posting on schedule!
Before I break my arm patting myself on the back, let's get right to the page.
 This is the page that sat fully done on the side of the board for weeks, while I completed the story posted last week (to be published in the Russian language!). I'm happy to be back at this story, which means a lot to me. It started out as something trivial, a bit of fun using a childhood creation (the flaming people), but it's become something more. Not sure if it's two or three more pages.
On this page, I wanted to convey a contrast between the peace Phoebe and Nicholas are enjoying and the impending chaos caused by their spontaneous absence. The background in Panel One is freely swiped from the Joni Mitchell For the Roses album cover. I'm still using the same technique for the borders- a fine ruled line with a freehand line over it for texture. It's not appropriate for every story, but I like it for this one!
I'm considering getting a set of word balloons from our friends at ComicCraft. As discussed last week, I like the idea of variety in them. While my hand rendered balloons, such as those on this page, are adequate, there are times when a more, shall we say, honed style is right for the page.
That's the key: what's right for the page. Sometimes digital lettering and precise balloons are out of place in a freely rendered page, as some of mine are.
Next: page 6 of the fairy tale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Original Art Sundays (Thursday) Nos. 191 - 196: Get A Job!

Been more than a month since I posted! I got a call to contribute a comic story to an anthology for the Side By Side Film Festival in Russia. Given the current political climate there, the idea of being part of a Russian GLBT film festival in any way was too much of an honor to pass up.
I did notice a while ago in the stats that this blog does have some readers in Russia. I hope my work gives them some pleasure.
Now, a few weeks after deadline (but apparently still acceptable to them, since they asked for it again today and they now have it, barring catastrophe), I can share it with you. I'm counting it as 6  posts, since it's 6 pages that took me 5 weeks to do.
I also have the next page of the Surrealist Cowgirls story done.
Here's a piece of my coming out story, titled Get A Job! This work will be included in The Sharp Invitation. The current total for that book is approximately 20 pages, with several more shorts in the planning stage. The book will be a series of titled chapters/shorts, telling the whole story, or as much of it as I think people want to hear. As I was discussing with another teacher at MCAD today, there's a fine line in memoir. You have to tell people enough that they give a rip about what they're reading, but it's a balancing act as to how much of yourself you put out there. The three biggest chapters currently planned are titled Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. I sigh with apprehension just writing the chapter titles here!
Now, the new chapter.

Some thoughts on process: I worked these up in the sketchbook, then did finishes on Bristol, scanned and lettered digitally. I deliberately avoided some of my usual clean-up. I like the slightly loose, more informal look on these pages. Some of the visual devices, like the text dropped out of brush stroke silhouette on the last page, may see use again.
The image at the top of page 5 is my illustration of Katchoo from Strangers in Paradise. I lifted it from a 90s sketchbook and dropped it in; it seemed perfect for the piece.
I'm using the Shape tool in Photoshop for word balloons, but I don't like the limited options, so I'm going to pick up a word balloon set from our friends at ComicCraft!
This was also an emotionally wrenching piece. I don't like to remind myself how close I came to doing porn. I know people who do it and are fine with it, and I bear them no disrespect, but it's not me.
Next: the new page of Maggie's Fairy Tale, a Surrealist Cowgirls adventure!