30 January 2009

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It's 2.26pm on a Friday afternoon, and apart from this awful ass-hot weather (it's been 43-degrees Celsius for the last 3 days)... it's been a comparatively good day so far. I opened my email this morning to find 2 more online sales of DIGESTED.01 which gave me a real buzz. Thanks Jason & Adam!

Last night, (after listening to John Retallick's wonderful The Comic Spot radio show between 5-6pm), I penciled a 1-pager for the upcoming DIGESTED.02 but found it unbearably hot to ink. My arms were sweating and humidity made sitting down at the drawing board under my lamp light a virtual impossibility. So I decided to pack my nibs & ink to attack the page at work on my lunch break the following day.

And so today, after my gleeful 2 book sales, I was buoyed to spend my lunchbreak in one of our 'air-conditioned' office's inking the page. I hide in one of the unused meeting rooms during lunchtime because I don't want people interrupting me when I ink with yapping and looking over my shoulder with comments of, "Where did you go to learn to draw?" or "My nephew loves drawing too!" or "don't mind me..." , etc, ad nauseam.

Ahem... anyway, I've pretty much completed inking another page.

This is the result:

I still need to:
  • Fill in blacks& detail.
  • Fix the clouds in the 3rd panel to match the other cloud styles.
  • Add lettering.
  • Minimal grey tone behind drawing, and set page on computer.
And then it's done.

Til next time.


26 January 2009

So here it is. The final page...

I replaced the second last closeup of the boot (as seen in the previous post) with a zoom in to the guy. I think feels more natural in the flow and not so jolting. I also redrew the last panel (if you can see) as the object the guy is walking up to is larger than the previous drawing, so I had to suggest that. (It'll all make sense when you read the story in DIGESTED.02).

Having finished this page and the following one this weekend (which is my favorite page of the story so far), I only have 2 more pages to finish of this issue's continued OXYGEN story, and then it's a matter of finishing the last page of a short piece, as well as a few 1 pagers & text pieces, and DIGESTED.02 should be ready to send to the printer. About 10% of work remaining.

I'm getting a real head of steam about doing the work now, and feel like the wheels are cranking... so I'm eager to keep pumping out pages while I'm on this roll. I'll give the second last OXYGEN page a start tonight, and hopefully have the last one done by end of the following weekend (1st Feb.).

Some of us have 'day' jobs to work around.... grumble.


22 January 2009

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... and here's the completed/inked page from two posts earlier:

Notice how I've inked 'white' lines over the 'black' india ink lines of the previous step? (ie. The pants folds in the top-left frame.)

NB: I don't think of this inked page as the finished one... it's always the 'printed' page that your readers will see that should remain as the finished page in your mind. If you're really sincere about creating stories, think beyond this page. Think of the lettering, toning, scaling, paper, etc - and don't get sucked in (like so many others do), into thinking you're done after you've inked. People who look at their inked pages as 'folio pieces' or 'precious gems' first are missing the point, I think.

But again... thats me.

Next step... I'll show the finished page. I'm just not sure about the second-last frame of the boot closeup. It's bugging me. Doesn't sit right in the 'flow'. Seems too flat of a composition compared to the other panels leading in and out. (I know, I know... Colin Wilson is rolling his eyes right now, telling me to 'lighten up', forget it, and go onto the next page... and Tom Bonin will slap me for cross-hatching again - :-)



PS: Shit. I juts noticed I forgot the rest of the guy's shadow on the 2nd panel, and the guy's shadow should be slanting 'down' in the 4th panel like the house... (aghh... lighting). Will remedy soon & re-post.

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Wow!... Just WOW! At last I can talk about it. Gestalt has just released pre-ordering of their new bumper anthology 'FLINCH' on amazon.com.

This great looking book has contributions from some very talented Aussies. Colin Wilson, Christian Read, Justin Randall, Tom Taylor, Chris Bones, and many, many others. Even I make an appearance in it with my 2005 WITHHELD story reprinted in it's entirety. The cover by world famous Shaun Tan is worth the cheap price of $11.95(US) alone!

So, pre-order now from Amazon, or grab it as soon as it's out in May.


19 January 2009

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Ok, at work today made a start on the page during my lunch break. I haven't bothered to clean/contrast the images up, so you can see the inks over the pencils.

First I ink all the linework in nib and india ink. Most good ink (on good paper) will sit on the surface of your page, and even when dry will look 'wet'. You should feel the 'bumpy' lines of your inking when you run your finger across the lines. (Make sure it's dry first!)

Now, a technique I use (for later when I'm detailing highlights in white ink), is when I fill in larger areas of black (like, say the first frame where the guy's pants are all black) I can still see the india ink linework through the marker-filled black area. This is helpful later so I can ink in 'white' lines over those exact same lines. ie. They act like a guide. (Notice you can still see the 'folds' in the guy's pants.)... you'll see what I mean later when I finish the page and add white ink lines in those pants folds.

I started to get more confident with my inking when I wasn't overly criticle of 'perfection'. I took my time, sure, but I relaxed a little and started to enjoy the inking process rather than trying to be Bernie Wrightson. Anyway, my style is more of a cartoonist than a technically precise illustrator.

Here's a detail.

All blacks in Pabeo india ink (sp?), and done using a Gillot-404, Hunt-22, or 102 nib, and black markers for fills. For all of those out there that sneer at me & ink in the 'Marvel way'... blow it out yer ass - :)

I should get this finished in the next few days.
Will post it up soon.


18 January 2009

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Today was productive. Updated this blog with quick review & photo-snippet of last night's THE LIST-II launch (see post below)... then, after lunch I read a little... then some writing.... then finished penciling the 3rd or 4th last page of the next installment of OXYGEN which will appear in the upcoming DIGESTED.02. (Hopefully released by end of Feb - start of March latest.)

Anyway, I think this page's composition is nice enough that it'll turn out great in the end. (I hope!)... so here's the pencil... and the inking will follow.


  • .

THE LIST part-2 has finally been released!
It was a long wait, but it's finally here.

The event kicked off of a beautifully warm summer's Saturday evening with a cool breeze. At 7.30, Zora & I arrived to be greeted at the door by Feur Andrews (Paul's lovely lady), and a semi-packed venue. Paul was in front of a large wall-projected animation (created by Trevor Woods) which was acting as a nice 'lava-lamp' for those trickling in, and was talking to people and doing the rounds.

I saw the comics regulars sitting around the couch area, so i made a b-line, and we chin-wagged for a while as we waiting for the launch to begin. By 8.00pm the place was pretty packed, and Avi Bernshaw got on stage with the microphone and started things.

After Avi's colourful introduction, the book's creators got up to say a few words.

Henry Pop: The book's artist. Tom Bonin inked the book, but is in the UK at the moment and couldn't be there. A great effort. He inked almost 40-50 pages in 3 weeks!

Paul Bedford: The book's author and frontman.

After a great audio-visual presentation launching the book, the crowd's cheers prompted the lights to come on, and the book was lauched. People started to mingle, chat, and have a terrific night.

Henry seeing how good he looked on stage on someone's camera.

Jason Franks scoping for chicks.

The proud couple.

My girl Zora sitting with Fleur outside.

Henry and Paul signing books for the eager public.

I think Paul's eye's were tired from the beer way before the hands were from the signing.

As the night came to a close, the place started to thin, so i decided to get my woman to take a group shot of some of us. I set the camera up, gave it to Zora, and said, "just point and shoot.".... it turned out like this:

Then I took the lens cap off the camera, and we tried again...

THE LIST-2 itself is a wonderfully put together book. The stark b&w artwork compliments the dark themes in the book. The reading experience is comfortable and you turn the pages effortlessly while admiring the lavish illustrations. Paul, Henry & Tom have spent a long time putting this together, and it shows. I know it's only January, but this it'll take a lot to top this as a self-published work this year.

If you like the samples, go out and buy it. You won't be dissapointed.

More details on THE LIST website here.

  • Finally holding the book in my hand. A great book.
  • Seeing everybody turn out to support local self-published talent like this. It's really heartening.
  • Trevor's a/v presentation launching the book. Good stuff.
  • Catching up with, and chatting with everyone.
See you all at the next comic meetup:
Prince Alfred Hotel
Grattan St, Carlton
Sat-Feb-7th - 2pm



12 January 2009

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Depending on the level of detail, and whether I'm inking foreground or background, I tend to use a number of inking tools to lay down blacks. For closeup objects where I want a thicker line, I'll use a brush, or thicker nib (ie. like the hunt-22, hunt-56, or gillot-404)... but for overall fine detail-to-thick linework - nothing beats the hunt-102.

The hunt-102 nib.

From the finest hairline detail, tapered all the way up to a thicker brushlike 'flick'... the hunt-102 is simply the best in my opinion.

For the longest time I resisted using it. You know what it's like; you hear it's the most popular nib for artists, and so you rebel against it (as an independent comic artist) because you think you can find something 'unique'. But once you try it, you smile with resignation and realise the hype is true. It's marvelous.


06 January 2009

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Those that were coming to this first meetup of the year knew it would probably be thin on attendance. (Being so close to the new year.)

I arrived at our usual venue first (Prince Alfred Hotel) only to find it shut (ie. Xmas break), so I proceeded to sms Jason Franks (whom I knew was coming), and we contacted the few local creators we knew to spread the word that we would relocate just this once to our backup pub on Sydney road. (Yes, we have a backup pub... aint we organised?)

Well, only five of us showed up... but it was well worth it. We had a table just inside the pub under shade looking onto the busy main road. We drank, ate, and talked comics all afternoon until about 6 where it slowly wound down.

Sorry I didn't take photos this time, but I was just relaxing wedged in the corner talking with the guys. It was a really cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Those in attendance were myself, Colin Wilson, Brendan, Jason Franks, James Andre & his friend.

Memorable moments:
  • Brendan brought along a stack of graphic novels I hadn't seen before, & put me onto Robert Goodin's shopfront at etsy.
  • Colin Wilson showed us 8 inked pages of his latest project on his usual monster artboards. Awesome work! (as usual)... but can't show you any examples here as it's hush-hush until it's released by the 'powers-that-be'. I was laughing on the inside because Colin's work (for those of you who haven't seen it take a look here.) is absolutely amazing. No wonder he's been a professional artist for so many mainstream publishers... but what made me laugh was that when you look at the complexity and fine detail of his inking - and ask him about it - he can't remember how he did it. He just does it the way he does it. Frustrating for a seagul like me!
  • Jason Franks brought in a stack of pencilled pages from his latest GN project he's about to get inked. The guy's been really busy lately. Read about his progress on Jason's great blog here.
  • Chatting about the process of thumbnailing-to-final inked page with others. Comic theory & practice is always a favorite of mine.
  • The cool breeze coming through the pub on a hot day as we sat in shaded comfort.

So then; see you all next at the launch of Paul Bedford's THE LIST-II.

THE LIST-II launch
Loop Bar

23 Meyers Place
Saturday 17th-Jan-09