Thursday, September 29, 2011

24-Hour Comics Day: Cheaters Edition

So I thought it would be cool to try this crazy event one year - in which one puts together a 24-page comic in 24 hours. This year seemed as good as any! Of course, I have no intention of playing this game with integrity. Here's why:

I don't plan on displaying my comics all at once. No, my glorious plan is to make them VOTE INCENTIVES! One a day for 24 days? Would that help me climb the rankings? (Would anyone but the regular voters even notice?)

I have hand health to worry about as well. My gimpy finger still occasionally gives me problems and I'm not risking long-term health for some crazy stunt like this. When my hand tires, I will stop. I'm still hoping to go 12 comics in 12 hours, but I'll deal if I fall short. I'll have time to finish the project later!

Finally: I HAVE STUFF TO DO ON SATURDAY! (That's the official day, since I didn't mention it before.) I may end up doing one strip Saturday morning (for a first-of-the-month vote incentive) and saving the rest of my time for Sunday or Monday.

So, yeah, I'm cheating like crazy and totally not in the spirit of things... except for the crucial having fun part! Heck, I may change my mind and not do this at all. Only time will tell...

Monday, September 26, 2011

The donation drive sketches

With the last of the donation drive materials arriving at their destination today, I can finally let loose the collection of sketches made for the drive! (The reason this last one took so long is because the sketch turned into a long-term commission... and I was slow in finishing it.)

What have I learned from this? It's FUN to do mini-commissions, and I'm much better at it, timewise. So, of course, now I want to open myself up to (small) commissions again.

BUT I'M NOT! Not yet, at least. Other work takes priority. Check back here the first week in October, though... (And, I warn you now, the slots will be limited - and it's first come, first serve.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall down go boom

I want to get back into making character watercolors, and I've set my eyes on dear little Vincent. The problem with him is that he's so darn POOFY! He doesn't fit on my half-page sheets!

Solution: KNOCK HIM DOWN! I'm trying to the find the perfect klutz shot of Vincent to use, but I do believe I'm still searching. It is fun to draw him falling over again and again and again...

A look at the new site

Since it got unveiled last night, thanks to my SpiderForest site going down a bit, I might as well open the new site up to critique.

It's not finished yet, so you're bound to run into a few glitches. If you find them, go ahead and let me know, either on the blog or via email. I'm also interested to hear your opinions on the design of the site. Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's a glorious day!

It's pending approval, but this commission could be done! If so, that means I'm down to one big, long-term project and it feels so good. I want to only have one big project in production at a time, so I don't keep too many people annoyed with my slowness. It's much smarter for me to do many tiny commissions I can knock out in a couple days than to get derailed on several-week projects. (No, they don't take several weeks of effort, but it can take several weeks before my schedule opens up enough to work on them.)

This is not to say I'm open for commissions yet. As long as I'm neck-deep in bookery, that's going to be my life. The goal is to get all my scans into the publisher by October. Then, it's go time.

Commission break!

Thanks to a mistake I made nearly three years ago, my book work hit a snag today. In the end, all time lost equals time gained through the good stuff, so I break even. No worries, but I needed a break from the grind.

So here's a check-in on my long-neglected commission. Coloring has begun!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone, because why not?

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Scanning times

The best thing in the world is having your own book. The worst thing, however, is MAKING that book. See, the problem with making a collection of your early work is that it's likely you had NO IDEA what you were doing at that time.

For me, that means I didn't regularly save hi-res files of my comics until I had over 400 comics to my name. You know what that means? RE-SCANNING ALL THE OLD STUFF! WOOHOO! What you see above is my current progress against the comics that still need scanning. (Hint: The to-scan pile is the one four times the size of the scanned pile.)

Let's take a look at some of my stupidity: I used RED pencil for the first seven strips, meaning my current scanner fought them angrily. I used larger templates for the first 27 strips - that is, when I used templates at all and didn't try drawing my own. (Each time I did it was a disaster.) When I did switch to my current templates, I originally used the small pads of 14 strips. (I now buy them in packs of 100.) Problem with those pads? Turns out THEY WERE ALL MISPRINTED, with the comic area slightly tilted. That is maddening for someone who is used to simply scanning and dropping a comic into the Photoshop template. I also was a mess with my panel sizes. Here's a secret: Currently, my comics are a quarter inch smaller than norm in order for all panels to come out the same size. I figured that math out around strip 40, and it took a while longer before I figured out how to implement it correctly.

And let's not forget that re-scanning means re-fixing all the mistakes I made in the originals! Not only can it be time-consuming, but I have to remember where those fixes happened. I *think* I got 'em all so far, but I can't be sure. Editing shall come. The good news is that a decent amount (less than a hundred - maybe way less) of those strips do exist on my hard drive in hi-res form, so I don't need to rescan those. I just need to locate them on my hard drive and re-number them so I know what I have.

And once I have these comics scanned, I then have to resave them one by one into TIFF format and upload them to the bosses. And then it's on to working on book features, like commentary and the bonus storyline. Oh, and I really should work on actual Precocious at some point too. Yeesh.

But let's not forget this: I AM MAKING A BOOK! A book is the best thing ever, and worth all the pain!

Edited for some clarity: I am *helping* with the book by providing material. The awesome folks over at RCSI are doing the meaty brave stuff. I'm being the ditz who is not enabling them properly to do their job - but I am trying to make up for it the best I can!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For the heck of it: Grown-up Kaitlyn?

What can I say? This is the only sketch I've done in the last few days. Busy. Busy. Busy. Don't count this as canon. It's more of an experiment - but it's SOMETHING TO SHARE!

So what have I been working on? A little on the commission (which I really should finish soon), a little on the new website, a little on book one prep and a LOT on buffer building so I can focus on the previous three items in the list without spending my days in a panic! Now that I've started us on what is looking like a loooong arc, I won't be getting any break weeks any time soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chrisp-Cola: One step closer to being real.

Getting fan art in my mail is ALWAYS excellent. Getting fan art from beloved friends is double excellent! Much love and thanks to Andrew and Jessica of Boolean Union Studios for this sodalicious design! Go check out their site! It shows off their animation AND pokes fun at Jack Chick tracts. What more can you want from a site?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sing sing sing!

Here's one potential outcome of the dare from today's strip! (#914)

I'm not sure if it'd be funnier if Max was a good singer or a bad one. I'll leave that up to the readers! (I also open this image up to photoshoppers who want to throw in their own lyrics.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More watercolor experiments!

While I'm still waiting for the SpiderForest auctions to start, I decided to keep practicing with watercolors. Here's a Jacob and, by request, a Dionne.

I'm still at a very basic level with this stuff, but I'm having fun. If this works out, I'd like to try taking simple watercolor commissions in the future. Heck, if the auction goes well I might start selling artwork that way! Maybe these pieces can go up for bidding? Maybe not, but they are available if anyone wants to purchase them.

Eventually, I'm going to fight the right balance of production and distribution to give me an actual income, even a negligible one! All I can do is play around until I hit on something that works.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All the news that's fit to draw

Here's a followup of the newscast invasion commission. The characters are, hopefully, in place. All I need now is a nice background. Once that's in place, I'll trace the image onto a new sheet with colored pencil and begin the coloring process.

I'm moving slower than I'd like with this, but the fact that I'm moving at all is a good sign! I've got a lot on my plate these days, and I'm starting to sort it all into a decent work schedule. Still moving half as fast as normal, with double the normal workload - but things should equalize eventually.