So… That was a Battle…

My first one I’ve ever drawn. Looking back, there is good stuff as well as bad stuff, as there is with everything. If you want to do the jump and just check it out, you can do so here.

I just realized that my links in these things aren’t working right now. Hrm. I’ll get that fixed as soon as I can. In the meantime, you can see the new page by heading to the site, if you get this through an RSS feed, that is.

I’ve been looking pretty hard at the way that I put this whole thing together. As you can imagine, building a comic book site is a huge learning process, and there have been a lot of decisions along the way that I totally made with the best of intentions and desire for success that turned out to be absolutely wrong. It’s a funny thing, trying to do your best and then realizing you are very silly. Fortunately, I get the chance to rethink some of my process and try some new stuff. It’s never too late, so to speak.

The method I use to draw the comic is the big thing that I’m going to change. It used to be that I would draw a rough of the entire page to get layout all at once as a first step. It was always a separate, timed thing that I allowed myself 24 hours from getting script to accomplish. Sounds like a good start, right? Well I’m keeping that, but changing after that. The process after that was basically: Now draw it all until you are done.

Something that vague has really been hurting me. I’m going to employ a much more structured approach, and try to be way more open about my progress for the next two weeks to try everything out. I’m not going to bother to map it out here or anything, but for those of you who are interested, keep an eye on the @anthasacomic twitter account. I’ll be posting my progress there. It might also be a way to get some ideas for your own process, if you are attempting this kind of work yourself. If nothing else, you can pick up some hints from another person’s mistakes.

All of the Preview is Full Color

And that, I must say, feels like quite a bit of an accomplishment. Jon is the one who did the heavy lifting, as usual. You can jump straight to his work on the page here. I particularly like his ability to show us a sunset that I never actually drew.

Every time there is a step that I can mark as completed, I feel that sense of accomplishment. Getting here, and to the halfway point of the first issue, is no exception. I know that there is still a lot to do, but we’re half way there, and that is a great thing to be able to say.

I have been doing my best to manage my time, but I have to say, Starbound has been taking up a chunk of my time that had previously been vacant, or being taken up by old TV and other such non-drawing distractions. Like eating, and sleeping. Seriously, The guys over at Chucklefish have something very special on their hands, and it is exciting to be a part of something that is being developed even as I am playing it. Yu should check it out over on Steam, if you haven’t already. If you are even mildly into this kind of a game I can guarantee that you will make up the price of admission in fun.

The game also already has an impressive modding community that the developers are embracing. For those who don’t have any idea what I just said; The game is very easy to make your own stuff for and add it to the game and share it with others, and the people making the game are very okay with that. I’m even making a foray into that myself. I’ve never made anything for a game before. So far it is fun. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Methods of Madness

The battle really kicks in against the troglodytes in the forest there. Or here, if you are looking to view things on a mobile device. It was my first attempt at drawing any sort of a battle scene, and so far, I’m really pleased with the results.

In otherworldly news I’ve spent a bit of time researching how in the heck I’m supposed to be doing all this. Some of you may know, I do all of my art digitally. I have a Surface Pro 2 and I create the comic right on the tablet. I haven’t drawn on a piece of paper, minus that random sketch, since February.

To certain degree I consider myself a pioneer, at least at my low level of professionalism. I’m pretty sure that most major video game studios, as well as places like Disney, are using hardware like this to make their products. They aren’t exactly sharing their techniques though, and I’m not sure how much they would apply to comics all that well anyway. Tons of people are using normal Wacom tablets and I’ve read a few very helpful niche tutorials on Deviantart and things like that, but never found a place where someone has actually sat down and said: “Okay, I have spent some time figuring this all out. Here is how I do it.” At least until now.

Apparently, totally unknown to me, DC comics has got a guy who has made the same switch as I have, and has written a book about how he does his work. This is the part where I feel really bad, because normally I would be saying his name and the title of the book. The truth is: Jon is the one who found it, and has been telling me about it and got me all hyped up to read it. Heh. So much so I am talking about it with only half the information. I’ll tell you what, Once I get the info. I’ll do a quick update to the post. Point is, I’ll let you know if his information is worth looking into.

Joe