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

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CORA2 update 5/26/09

Zeroing in on getting all the pages cleaned up and ready for paint...this can be a tricky time because it's the last opportunity to do last minute changes before committing to color and final pages.

I just recently decided to rework the last few pages of part 2 because I sort of "phoned it in", mostly due to lack of research material relating to the scene. I found some reference the other day and wrestled with myself whether to redo the pages, two of which were finished already. Better judgement won out, because 1.) the scene is more historically accurate (to some degree at least) and therefore, more interesting and 2.) My conscience is satisfied because I did the right thing. "Do the hard work" is a good motto when producing work that you want to be 100% honest with. I see lots of work out there (esp. in the motion picture business) that is lacking in honesty -- much of this stuff is released during the summer months. wink wink.

I always try my best to be 100% honest with my characters because they are the story. They are going to have moments of pause, of strength, and of weakness; they are going to have moments of triumph as well as failure; they are going to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. They are going to emote; they will be proud, and at times stubborn. This is how people are. The tough part is getting to the core of what makes people people and representing that on the comic page. A difficult task indeed but worth the hard work.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Isabel in Montana Territory

Page detail from the new book. Montana in 1888 was still a territory, and wasn't admitted to the Union until late 1889. Although I haven't visited the state, the photos I've found while researching show a beautiful and incredibly diverse landscape. I hope to incorporate as much of it as possible, which may result in some artistic license as far as locations go...The story will continue through Wyoming (Territory), and perhaps parts of Colorado and New Mexico, where I'm planning the story's climax to take place.

Status: 30 pages are done, but need some color work still.
11 pages to clean up, and 7 layouts to go.

BTW, it's been a while since I talked about film-related stuff, so I'm planning to blab a bit about that in the next post.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Movin along...

It appears I like to wait until the last minute to begin these undertakings. The scenes for chapter 2 of Cora's story were conceived quite a while ago, but it seems I need the dangling sword of press time hanging over my head to actually begin producing in earnest. The production of the book is now a 7 day a week affair, but that's what it takes to get these things done at this late stage. I work best under pressure, and am happy with the way the pages are turning out.

The beginning of the clean up phase is always a struggle. I made a conscious attempt to push the drawing style of the book, by working looser and introducing more black to shadow areas, territory I have been intimidated to venture into previously. What resulted is a lot of difficulty finding the sweet spot where everything flows smoothly, so I went back to the exact process I used on the first book and am much happier. I'm realizing once again that artistic development and evolution should be natural and not forced. I feel myself heading in new directions artistically and it is a result of trial, error and discovery. If you feel yourself in a similar situation, don't force it; let it happen naturally.

Thanks to everyone who has left comments, sent emails and supported the books through blogs and websites, and the retailers who are carrying them. It means a lot. Cheers.