I finished the thumbnails for "Warrior's Lament". It wasn't easy puzzling together the photo reference for it, but I think I like how the pacing came out. At any length, I'm putting it away for a while so I can return to it with a fresh pair of eyes. And an editor indicated he may have time to give me feedback on it also, so I'll wait for that.
So on I go, working on the theater play comics.
In the mean time, I also finished thumbnailing "The Stronger" by August Strindberg (which I was thumbnailing during work log one), and I also finished thumbnailing "The Incompatibles", a play by Horace Holley. So I can now also start to see how my planning works out.
I planned to thumbnail four pages a week. I decided to make the page-per-week goal unambitious, so I could easily meet it. I'm glad I did, as I fell ill in between, and had other things to work on too. So even with the distractions, I am still ahead of schedule by five pages. I did these five pages in one day last Tuesday.
An interesting pattern I'm seeing in my schedule, now that I am also recording my productivity, is that I seem to work in bursts. I'll do a lot in a short period of time, and then I'll do little for a while, and then I get into a stage where I do a lot again.
Sometimes I need to take a break from these stories, working on them is really intensive. So I did some concept art - the drawings you see in this work log entry - for a short comic I may do soon, for which I wrote a sonnet.
Art-wise, I am currently inspired by Mike Mignola and artists who produce similar work, like Luke Parker. I love how they simplify and idealize shapes, leading to visually pleasing images. Which I feel is what the art should be about. "Come for the art, stay for the story," as they say. The art has to be attractive.
I am also playing with color, tried using palettes extracted from photos, with mixed but promising results. I depart a little from the Mike Mignola style by not blackspotting, filling in areas with color other than black, even if dark and almost black. Some example sketches accompany this work log entry.
I am starting thumbnailing the fourth of five stories, "Porcelain and Pink". This one will weigh in at twenty to thirty pages. The page count is not fixed yet because I change things as I thumbnail.
I am still on schedule to send out mockup prototypes of my book proposal to publishers first half of 2017 to see if there is any interest.
That's it for now.
The goal is to have something to send to publishers, to see if they'd be intested in publishing something like this in its finished form.
So why do a work log? I got this idea from the Comics Experience forums where comics writers keep a work log. It is very interesting, to me at least, to read someone else's process, and there's a lot going on in the process that forget about eventually.
But, as my 3-year-old daughter would ask, "why?" Several reasons. It is a place for me to document the decisions I made, to explain to my future self why I made a dumb decision. It is for those few people out there (hi mom, dad!) who may be interested in the process, and it feels nice to finish something once in a while. It keeps you going. The project I am now working on is the biggest one so far, so a regular schedule where I release a journal entry in which I write down how things are going will, hopefully, help me keep momentum.
So, for the first installment: what am I working on?
I'm finally ... going to be pitching a book to publishers!