Thursday, 6 August 2009

message from the front line


I've taken a week off work so I can pretend I'm a full-time comic artist. Took the weekend off to decompress a bit, and now I've shut myself in the shed at the end of my parents' garden for the week. I'm officially at the mid-point and I'm not THAT far off my timeline!! Go me!!

I'm working on Sticks, a few pages of which I posted a while back. I describe it as a post-apocalyptic ronin story set in Cornwall, but really it's just a kinda love-letter to those fighty mangas where people beat the phoo out of each other, so really it's just a fight. :D It's planned at 23 pages, and I had 5 before I started on monday. it's now thursday night/friday morning, and I'm at page 15 of pencils, up to page 10 inked.

Sticks was meant to be the antithesis of Rockfall; where that was all monsters, spaceships, asteroids and guns, this comic's more about bushes, trees, punchin', kickin' and tractors! Where Rockfall was straight lines and perspective, this is more about trying to get characters in shot, connecting with each other properly and drawing a ton of trees. It's great fun, and it's made me appreciate a little the simplicity of Rockfall's talking heads and easy-to-draw spacesuits and gunfights! :D

I find myself labouring over getting the fights right, every panel is a freakin' mission. I'm trying to avoid the cliche of

[shot of good guy punching- "i'm gonna hit ya!"]

[shot of bad guy getting hit -"owwww!"]

- style that comics often use, I'm trying to get both those actions in the same panel so it's more of a;

[good guy punches bad guy IN THE FACE!]

- kind of action. I dunno how easy it'll be to read, but there you go. I'm avoiding blurring bodyparts etc too, just showing what happens. My head's using Preacher's fights as a reference, trying to get that weight, grit and crunch that that book had, with some of Tony Jaa's wince-inducing thuds playing on the back wall of my skull. Awesome. That's what I'm aiming at, anyway. I'll post some stuffs when it feels ready to show.

So yeah, I gotta get crackin' if I'm gonna finish this before I go back to work on Monday, there's plenty of Thursday left yet! Thursday doesn't happen till the sun comes up! I'm hoping once all this fighty stuff is out of the way I can get back to some good ol' talking heads and some cheaty panels and claw some time back. I've also still got the cover to go, and the dreaded scanning & PDFing, but I'm hoping I can get that done in the week.. I'm not sure if it'll be done in time for Caption, but I'm gonna do my damnedest!

Yeah. That's what I'm up to. Wish me luck! :D I'm off to draw Sticks fighting a privet.