Friday, August 08, 2008
Jack, the Naughty Squirrel
So, this week, I've been over at Camberwell College of Art, doing a course on how to make comic books. The above story is the finished product, but I thought you might like to see a little bit about how I got there. I was really glad to learn a lot about the process and some of the technical things for how to put a comic book together.
We did a lot of quick drawings to loosen up our drawing, so you had three minutes to draw a car, then two minutes, then one, then thirty seconds, ten and then five. The next stage was that we were shown a range of source texts, which were the first pages of a variety of stories. Kafka's Metamorphosis, something odd by Beardsley and similar stories. I picked out Jack, the Giant Killer.
Next up - concept sketches! (Click on these little pictures to see them bigger and a bit clearer!)
As you can see, my first idea was that Jack should be a hedgehog, but I couldn't then work out how he'd perform the murder. Thus, Jack the naughty squirrel was born.
This is the first attempt to storyboard the text - if you look closely, you can see that it originally had dialogue taken from the fairy tale and then you can see how quickly I abandoned that idea.
After the storyboard, came the first attempt at doing a layout of how the story would look on the page. It's the first time I've tried to do a sequential narrative using little boxes on the same page, really, apart from a druggy comic I made while I was doing my A-Levels (about a guy who works in a record store and his pregnant wife who overdoses on acid, so their baby is a dream-demon thing. I'll see if I can dig it out some time).
As you can see, it changed between this and the final idea - I did a little thumbnail in the corner of the layout I finally wanted, with little numbers to show what would end up going there. Once I'd got that came the task of doing the pencils. The important thing with this was to remember that the pencils are only there as guide marks for the final, inked drawings. They're not meant to be what the inked product will look like.
Oh! I should have explained. All of this was done on a4 layout paper, which is thin enough that you can see through from one page to the next. The pencils were done with a propeller pencil so that the lines would be clear enough to show through.
The inking was the hardest part and the sharpest learning curve for me. First off, I'd draw using a 0.1 graphics pen to get a really fine drawing, then I'd use my favourite ZIG Art and Graphics brush pen to start working the lines a bit thicker and to add in some grey. After that, and for larger areas of shade, I'd use a brush and ink to block out areas. Once the brush had a little less ink on, I'd dry-brush the mottled bits onto the pictures to attempt to give it some texture.
Anyway - that gives you an idea of what I've been doing this week. I hope you like the end result. I've got another day at the college today and I'll be spending it working on Badger and then doing character design and such like for the next sad story I want to tell, which is about a pterodactyl!