From Inks to ColorsI completed the inks to Amphiox sometime in November. From there, I needed to figure out how to color a comic. I’ve done short comics in full color before. The thing with a one- or two-page micro-story is that each individual story can have its own...
SAW Graphic Novel Development Month 2/6
A Tale of Cynocephali
In the six-month Sequential Arts Workshop (SAW) graphic novel intensive, I’ve been getting meaningful work done on my thumbnails and script. Soon, I will have a complete thumbnailed version of the graphic novel.
As for the cynocephali (or medieval dog-headed men) above, that represents a character redesign challenge I had while revisiting the fourth or fifth draft of my script. The first iteration of this character, named Canicula, is represented by the gray wolfish man. Early feedback indicated that sure, wolf heads are cool, but Canicula looked like he was a werewolf form of Pierre, one of the comic’s deuteragonists!
Hated to admit it but I can sort of see how Canicula initially looked like a wolfy Pierre.
So, I dug deep into Wikipedia for more visual reference. 12th century images of cynocephali are quite rare online, or I simply haven’t found them yet. I landed on this example of a 17th century depiction of Saint Christopher as a cynocephalus from Russia and couldn’t get it out of my mind.
There’s something quite arresting about the skin tone, the ears, and the haircut on this artwork. I couldn’t put my finger on it….
“My name is…Moknicula Swaggercephalus.”
Ah. Okay. Well. This will be my homage to Nelvana’s ill-fated attempt at adult animation, then! Exactly the right level of uncanny valley.
Character redesign: Complete! For now, anyway.
In terms of technical studies I’ve also been working my way through the facial expressions section in Anatomy for Sculptors.
Managing a Team of One
As I’m independently producing a graphic novel, I’ve come to realize I am doing 4-5 separate jobs, all at once. Just being one person, it might seem easy to keep myself organized, but no, of course not. My brain goes in 4-5 different directions at once. I have to reign myself in and focus on one part of the graphic novel at a time. Above all, writing comes first. Many graphic novelists (and, er, non-graphic novelists…so… novelists) turn to notecards and sticky notes to keep their plots under control. While I adore tactile crafting and drawing whenever possible, I turned to a digital solution.
Trello.com is a free notecard-like sorting system for keeping track of tasks. It accomplishes the one simple thing that I want it to do: Make digital cards that are editable, legible, and can be swapped around. I can access my cards from anywhere. They are also share-able for feedback and if I really wanted, I could invite collaborators.
I set up my columns to reflect each ‘job’ I have to do in order to complete my graphic novel: Conceptualized, Scripted, Thumbnailed, Lettered, Roughed, Inked, Colored, Polished. Right now I’m very focused on bringing everything into the ‘Thumbnailed’ stage. At the time of writing this I have Act 1 thumbnailed, most of Act 2 thumbnailed, and bits of Act 3 thumbnailed. Trello lets me hop around like a time traveler so I can resolve the scenes I am most interested in first.
If you’re interested in giving Trello a try, and haven’t been traumatized by it yet in a tech workplace, it’s free to use here.
Care to read more?
How to Color the World
Geek Girl Con ’22 Recap
Where to Sell my New Zine?I recently compiled a selection of my Pandemic drawings into an art zine. The fun of zines is sharing them with someone who will read them. C'mon. Just read my stuff... Having exhausted my household of zine-readers, I decided to table at Geek...
You Don’t Meet in a Tavern Promo
Where to Stick This Knife?One fine morning a little over a year ago, I set up a silly poll on Twitter. I asked everyone, since we were all thieves in a treasure room, which item to steal. About thirty-seven thieves weighed in and decided upon, among other things,...