Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obsession is a scary thing

Today I sketched out one more comic before hitting a road block. In the next comic, Autumn diagrams the layout of the Sapphire Lake neighborhood. I know where the kids all live, but when it comes to the *exact* layout... hmm. TO THE SKETCHBOOK!

This is my first draft of the Sapphire Lake map. Will everything stay in the same place in the end? Probably not. Is it enough to create a simple map in comic #32? Indeed! Is stopping at a rough outline enough for me? HELL NO! I go all out for this stuff. A good first sketch gives me more to work with down the road. If you're wondering, the thick black lines are the roads (duh) and the tan lines are walkways.

Here's what I know about the locations:
- Bud's house is along the creek, not the lake. This map cuts it close, but for the current storyline, the bridge is where it should be. The final showdown takes place by the bushes between the bridge and the fence around Bud's yard.
- Jacob's house is almost in the exact center of the neighborhood, with the open picnic area across the street. This is where the girls set up their recruitment booth.
- Tiffany's house is set a bit back from the road, nestled in trees. It may be further back than the map shows, but you can see I ran into the paper's edge. They have lived here the longest and it means their yard and house are bigger - not to mention their property is nicely placed.
- Autumn's house is along the Copper Road edge. She actually lives closer to Suzette (whose house is just off the map) than she does to the others.
- Autumn's house is only one level. Jacob has a ground floor and upstairs level. Bud and Tiffany's houses have three, including basements.
- The kids' main play spots are 1) the clubhouse in Bud's backyard, 2) Tiffany's basement, 3) Autumn's back porch and 4) The field/woods around the creek in Diamond Bluffs territory, 5) Jacob's living room.
- Diamond Bluffs is one big loop of road, with the extra stuff around the hills in between the houses and Sapphire Lake. Dionne is located just off the map. Max lives around the back of the loop. This is why the boys stop off at Dionne's house while traveling to see Max.
- Note the features of each neighborhood that one can see from Copper Road. Diamond Bluffs shows off their tennis courts, Sapphire Lake shows off a pond and Emerald Woods has, uh, trees.
- Even though she won't appear in the strip until this summer, Kaitlyn gets a mention because she's not *that* far off the map. She lives about a mile away, down Copper Road. (Or not - see edit below.)
- Even though the map says the Diamond field is the size of a soccer field, it's actually about half that. Things on this map are not exactly in scale. There is a full soccer field by the baseball diamond.
- Sapphire Lake's area is mostly flat, while the other two Gemstone neighborhoods have hills. Naturally, Diamond Bluffs has far more impressive inclines.
- Yes, the docks to Sapphire Lake are on the Diamond Bluffs side. How cruel is that? (There are more docks up by the soccer field, but that is also not officially in Sapphire Lake's boundary.)

Edit: I either have Kaitlyn on the wrong side of Copper Road or I have her living a mile too close. (For now, I'll leave her on that side, but push her a mile further away from Gemstone Estates.) This confusion is because I somehow always pictured the Poppinstock Academy as existing a mile down Copper Road in the Emerald direction. Now that I think about it, it should be over on the Diamond side. If it's not, then a line of dialog in the second "official" strip that will almost certainly be cut would cause a continuity error!

The school being on the Emerald side would also contradict some of the established classism themes, since it would give the Diamond kids a *longer* bus ride to school than the oft-victimized Suzette. Another problem would be that this places Kaitlyn on their bus route, which violates the theme of my kids keeping to themselves. (That, or they ignore her every time they ride the bus, which seems a bit too cruel in the end.)

So, yes, here is my obsessive nature in all it's glory. I want to know everything about my comic world, so I do my best to maintain continuity. I am not a Charles Schulz, who never let established canon get in the way of a good strip. If only I had his desire to just be entertaining. I have to go for gusto, crushing my strip under the brutal weight of semantics. Maybe one day I'll learn to stop being a control freak.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A couple questions:
- Where is the school bus stop located? I remember Tiffany had to walk longer than Suzette for getting to it.
-In the first strip of the AUGH series, Dionne throws a ball to Jacob from a hill. Where did that happen?
Nice touch, adding a map :).