Lolwut, comic pages. This post has been pending since April, but other stuff got in the way.
So this year marks the 10th anniversary of the end of the legacy era (regardless if I consider 185 or 193 as the end of such), the point at which I decided to “get serious” about drawing. At the beginning all of my drawing efforts were concentrated at improving comic pages, and those eventually got better in fits and bursts before the quality leveled out at about comic 500-510, the start of the “great consistency”.
Comic drawing waned after the completion of the Directorate story arc, as I became convinced that having a good story concept was both more important and more difficult than implementing it in drawing or writing. I guess I should actually be trying to do something about that, but instead I turned my attention to paintings and such, the number of which have increased just as quickly as the number of comic pages have decreased (from 40 in 2009 to 6 in 2012).
This year’s one-shot (yes, this is how bad it is: comics are now a yearly event) doesn’t improve upon page count, but it does try to improve upon story and art. This is my first serious attempt at doing “production” comic pages since the advent of pen last year, and I tried to pull out all the stops to make them decent – that’s part of the reason it’s short: so I don’t get bored and rush it. As such, this was actually extremely tedious, especially since I insist on doing any and all of the shading and “effects” by hand.
Though I’m talking about the end of the legacy era, this comic is also a tribute to Starcrossed, which started just a few months afterward! Last year I actually redrew all of the SC characters in pen in much the same spirit, but I never got around to posting it. Anyway, the battle on the first page of this comic is the same as the one which opens SC; you can see the Ultima launching some missiles on the left of the first panel. There are also remakes of the Yamato/PASA class ships, and what I’m not calling the “fish ship”.
In Starcrossed, the fish ship looked like this:
And as usual, in an effort to document process, I took a crappy photo in the middle of backdrawing:
Overall I think this turned out pretty well. At the very least everyone I asked could “read” the whole thing and understand what was happening, unlike the monstrously long and complicated Directorate story, or the shorter but still not quite as lucid Pieces or Dream. So that’s nice, but at the same time it’s almost underwhelming for me; I have been trying to grasp this pen thing for so many years without success, and now that I finally have this thing in front of me, it’s just like “well, that’s nice”. I think all the euphoria passed with the first set of ink drawings back in 2012… after that doing this comic was effectively a given.
The worst part is probably the planet background in the last panel on the first page. That one I’m still not quite sure how to do.
Anyway, J’s going out of town and I’m out of hardware projects, so maybe we’ll see a few more posts (and art posts at that) soon.