Hopeful Season

My application to TCAF is in – now we wait. I’m hopeful but only half-so. If I do get a spot, I’ll be launching, I think, three works: the JepComix mini (#4), a collected That’s Me in the Corner zine, and a properly glossy Ball Street comic book. JepComix 4 has been ready for years, but a couple of stories will be replaced. The covers on these were always homages to records I love. Here’s the 4th cover.

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Ball Street – Great News

Ball Street‘s not forgotten, although I have been distracted lately by That’s Me in the Corner. In fact, it’s nearly finished – a couple of panels to ink, one or two drawings to do, and most of the lettering (and the cover). But I was worried about the colouring, as I have no skill in this area and would be winging it. On a whim, I asked my pal Kro – who did Beep Beep! with me, as well as the SOAR books for LDAO, but who is crazily busy most of the time – if he’d be interested, and he is!

I’m over the moon happy about this. Beep Beep was the best looking thing I’ve done, and that’s all on Kro, who’s an amazing graphic artist. I’ve just scanned my inked Ball Street pages for him, and can’t wait to see what happens. I’m confident now that this’ll be a good, publishable project. Look for it at TCAF next year (he said, jinxing it.)

Huzzah!

Ball Street Ongoing

I’ve been plugging away at Ball Street’s inking. I struggled with finding a thick enough line for the close-up pics; I tried a brush, but I really suck at it – the lines came out all superjiggly. I wound up using a big fat magic marker – the second panel here was too thinly lined, and the pic below is the improved one. I didn’t keep the brushed one, but imagine Dr. Katz’s shake-o-vision.

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Now I’m assembling pages from the panels – and then I’ll have to figure out inking in Photoshop. I need to figure out how to use a limited palette – maybe ten shades – and then learn how to use them it. That’ll take a while. But I’ve got time. Here’s a trial run.

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Not much to say – just wanted to prove I was still at it. 🙂

Ball Street Process – Pencils

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Stuck Guy’s Unsticky Progress

I spent much of my xmas holidays plugging away at scripting the story about losing my religion in Scrivener, imagining subsections of the main story and trying to whittle away at this long project, and then suddenly felt compelled to totally redo the Ball Street story.

I’ve been reading a ton of Seth over the last few months, marvelling at his ability to slow things down. He’s the opposite of a superhero writer – the blowing leaves, storefronts and other details create an immersive mood where somebody just walking around their own apartment thinking becomes fascinating – I love it. And while the first stab at Ball Street seemed long to me, it reads a little more rushed than necessary now. I had also rushed the inking, and tried to adhere to a No Computers rule for the text and inks, as espoused in a course I’d taken. It had turned out alright, but I knew it could be much better.

So I restoryboarded (new word!) the same story, taking time to spread things out, and took the time to really draw the shit out of each panel in sketch form, using a lightbox to redraw reference photos (I love this lightbox) and then simplify them into a cartoon style. It’s been really absorbing – I’ve come home each night after work to draw for four or five hours with Dexter playing on Netflix in the background (a good show to not-really-watch, because really watching it is fucking gross).

Now I’ve got the rough pencils done, and I’m liking it. I think I’m going to try to ink on a separate page, because I like my pencilling but fairly often kill drawing in the ink phase. And I’m going to use photoshop for the shading, and admit that I have little skill with ink washes. The text, I’ll do in illustrator and then trace, so the words will have a good structural basis but still a human feel. It’ll be a full comic book (24 pages), expanded from 12 pages.

Perhaps in future the balance of drawing silly, fun stuff and serious personal stuff will work this way – back and forth – providing both expression and relief. I’m happy to be working at it again. Here are some of the pencilled pages.


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Ball Street

I have been a bit blog-silent lately, mostly because of this comic. Ball Street’s an idea I’ve had for years, and I’m happy to have finished the first story. I intend to print this in time for next Spring’s TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival), at which I will have a table. But I’m proud of it so here it is in the meantime.

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