A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Conomor and Tryphine - page 1

Taking a break on R&I to work on the C&T pages for the Afterworks 2 anthology. Here's the first finished page. Hope you like.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Updates on R&I and AW2

21 pages and 26 days to go on R&I 2...14 pages since last week...I'm pretty happy with that (and among them are some of my favorites in the book). Can't show any (sorry) cause that would give away TOO MUCH! This was the section that had been on the chopping block and saved from extinction after conversations with friends and co-workers.

Pin-ups are also rolling in; amongst them are interpretations from Scott Morse, Ovi Nedelcu, Justin Ridge, and Sam Hiti.

Stories are also being turned in for the upcoming Afterworks 2 anthology (to be published by IMAGE Comics) and they are fantastic. What an awesome book it's going to be. Check out the press release here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Rose and Isabel by Sam Hiti

Here's a pin up done by mega talent San Hiti (Tiempos Finales, Largo Tren Oscuro). Check out his blog and website. Thanks Sam!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Update

33 days, 35 pages to go. Conomor and Tryphine story for Afterworks 2 still only half roughed out. Life now officially on hold, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Getting close...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rules

For those planning a project like this one, it's good to set up a list of rules to go by in order to keep you on track and also sane.
Here are some of the rules I had given myself from the very beginning (please keep in mind these are just for the R&I books. The next project may have an entirely different set of rules!):

1. Greyscale only -- although B&W can be very challenging, it's nowhere near as difficult as color (for me).

2. No rendering -- the greys must be flat color or simple gradients. At the very most I allowed myself a drop shadow or rim light.

3. No brushes smaller that 10 pixels -- to keep myself from noodling or getting too detail oriented. OK, I'll admit on some panels I went to an 8 pixel brush, but it was very rare.

4. No fancy brushes or textures -- again, to keep myself from noodling or rendering.

5. No zoom in past 25% of actual size -- again, a few minor departures here, but not too many. I only went in to 50% to draw balloons and some important expressions. nothing was drawn at 100% size of the 600 dpi files.

6. Keep Moving -- if a drawing isn't right (and there are many I'm not totally happy with) I have to keep going. I'll take a few whacks at it, but then move on. If it really bothers me, I'll try to come back to it later.

7. Come up with a schedule and stick to it -- this is absolutely essential. Know how much work you need to do and how much time you have to do it. Comics are great for time management cause you can break them down by pages. You can assign X number of pages per month, week, day, etc. If you fall behind or get ahead it's easy to adjust that number.

8. Everything doesn't have to be 100% historically accurate - of course Civil War buffs out there will want to string me up for some of the mistakes I made, but the truth is I did quite a bit of research but I could never hope to get everything right. And if I did, there would be no book because Amazons didn't fight in the Civil War. Everything is in service of the story. Story comes first, so omissions, changes and contunuity burps had to be made for that reason.

These are just some of the rules that made a project of this magnitude doable in the time I've given myself. I hope his helps those of you out there who are starting projects of your own!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Home stretch

I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel...32 pages to go in the cleanup phase, then I'll go back and draw panels I skipped over (mostly locations that need additional photo reference). There are so many ideas I'm getting for additional pages (lengthened action scenes, flashbacks and additional story beats) but it's impossible to add them now due to time. When I compile the whole story I'll add these in, but for now it'll be 142 pages of story.

When I'm done I'm planning on posting a breakdown the whole process of creating the two books, from idea to development to layout to drawing the pages, to printing, so be on the lookout for that.

* Also, for those coming to Comic-Con, there will be no E-Ville press table this year. I'll be sharing booth space with the uber-talented Scott Morse and selling R&I 1 and 2 as well as Afterworks 1 and 2. Spread the word!