Monday, May 30, 2011

Concept Art #1

This is one of the very first pieces of finished art I did for the Trouble and Dangerous. I hadn't added the outlines yet and the final version has the Batman-like nose/mask. Back in this version he still had the chevron markings on his forehead, I ended up dropping those and they were creating some weird uni-brow looking situation. I always liked the name Oppugnaut, he may turn out to be a real villain sometime down the road.

Also included is a sneak peak of Lynn who will be a major character.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Making The Comic

It may or may not be apparent but the Trouble and Dangerous is created completely in Adobe Illustrator. As with anything this has some pros and cons. The major pro is that it's completely scalable and very easy to edit and tweak on-the-fly. I think the major drawback is that it can lack some of the expressiveness of a hand drawn comic and come out a little stiff sometimes as a result. This is something that will probably become less and less of an issue as the comic matures and I get better at making them/using Illustrator.

To give you a quick idea of what all is involved here's what page 2 of the comic looks like in "Outline" mode:

As you can see the Trouble is made of of several dozen ovals and what I like to think of as connective tissue. The characters are essentially modular in their construction, meaning they are made of of several main parts that are in turn made up of several more objects. It's a lot like how animators rig up 3D models with internal skeletons that allow them to move limbs and things around without having to redraw the character from scratch. I can basically move and rotate parts of the charator independently of each other and then fill back in the connective tissue. So for example if I want the charactor to look sad or defeated, I cam easily slump his head and shoulders to create the right kind of body language.

This actually illustrates another of the cons of doing things this way, there is a lot of production work before even the first comic is made. Introducing a new character also takes quite a bit of initial work.

This is a great way to learn Illustrator though, actually several versions have shipped since I first started this project. The newest version CS5 has 2 features that I am pretty excited about, first being the Width Tool that will allow me to make a stroke fatter or thinner as needed (This can be seen in the promo art posted in the last article). The other is the Draw Inside functionality that makes it much faster to create and use objects as clipping masks.

Promotional Art

Just a quick post to share some new promotional art we put together. This will become a post card that can be handed out at comic conventions and other places. Thanks to R Squared Studios for making it happen.

Chapter 1: The Soft Warm Glow of Villiany

I'm a little behind on posts, but Chapter 1 of the comic has launched and as of this writing has 4 pages online. As with any new endeavor this will take a little while to get going, but due to more traditional format of this comic I expect the first chapter will need to be completed before people can really begin to get a sense of the comic. A weekly schedule isn't the most ideal, but the pages are pretty complicated to make. Hopefully once I've been doing this for a little while we can move up to 2 or 3 posts a week.

Here's the cover and title page for Chapter 1:

The comic can be found at R Squared Comics, many thanks to them for hosting the comic and all their help so far. Stay tuned for more art and information.