Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Beatles

Today heralds the US release of Kate Beaton's "Hark A Vagrant" through the auspices of Drawn & Quarterly and I commend it to you. Kate has been a friend and an inspiration since 2007. Her work has a lightness of touch and an infectiousness that makes it easy to ape but almost impossible to originate - anyone who has witnessed her brutal creative process can attest to that.

Kate's Mystery Solving Teens and Bad Machinery originated on the same day, in the same car, from the same teen-based event! I doubt I have achieved with 400 pages what she has managed in the minds of readers with ten. Now she's not perfect. Don't ever let her touch anything you own if you like its current, unspoiled condition. But if you want to follow Agent Dale Cooper's advice and "give yourself a present every day", here's todays.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Blame The Sky cover process post

I haven't blogged much lately but I thought this might make a nice little process post. Here's the process for working on the new cover for Blame The Sky, which I just added to my e-book shop. If you like e-books, why not buy it? It can't hurt, can it?

Here's my original sketch, which I did with a ball point pen while cooking some rice. It didn't take very long.

I then began to painstaking trace my original in Illustrator. Flaws in the original sketch soon become evident when you add solid colours .

Once I was done tracing, I refined and juggled around shapes until people looked like they were meant to. Tessa and Rachel are characters I've hardly drawn in the last five years, so I had to do a bit of revision in order to capture their attitude. Amy was easy. Apart from how she barely looks like she did then at all.

Here's the new cover next to the original. The original was never very good. I was capable of a lot better even back then, but I didn't know how to lay out an effective cover so I would often do something rather stiff-looking, just to get it done. 

Despite hardly drawing anything in Illustrator since 2006, I can produce a far nicer illustration from it now than I ever could back then. It's a great program to produce a sharp-looking drawing from, but fresh hell to work in day-in, day out if you want to produce organic looking comics.