I will be attending the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo this weekend. In fact, I’m in Calgary right now! I’m here with my day job at Amazing Stories comics, so if you’re attending the show come on down and say ‘hi’! I’d love to hear from some fans We will be selling tons of cool t-shirts too so don’t miss out!
Archive for ‘Adventures In Cartooning’
Time for another update to Adventures in Cartooning (Or Things I Wish I Knew Months Ago). This time I want to talk about facial expressions.
I’ve been having a hard time getting my art to portray the right amount of emotion while drawing and I think one of the problems is my characters expression. I found a couple great resources on the subject that I thought I would share with any other artists out there.
The first is found at a webcomic called Lackadaisy. The site features a few articles on drawing and one sticks out as a great tutorial on facial expressions.
The second is The Grimace Project, which is an animated face that has sliders you can adjust to show a range of emotion. This is really fun to play will even if you aren’t looking for an expression!
I hope to incorporate some stuff from this into my comic strip in the near future, and I hope that this has helped some other creators out there.
The wait is over! Welcome to another installment of Adventures in Cartooning (Or things I wish I knew months ago). This week I’m mentioning a great online resource: The Webcast Beacon Network!
The Webcast Beacon Network features numerous podcasts about webcomics, fiction and reviews. There are tons of stuff to look for, although finding something specific can be a bit difficult. The Superpower Union was briefly mentioned in this weeks episode of the Webcomic Beacon (titled ‘The Hiatus and The Return’) as part of their milestones segment. The Superpower Union will be hitting 100 strips this Friday!
Check out the site for lots of tips and industry news!
Here it is! Another installment of Adventures in Cartooning (Or things I wish I knew months ago). This week’s topic is fonts!
When I started this strip I used Comic Sans as the font for all the dialogue. Why? Because it was already on my computer and it was easy to do. As I continued to use it, it started to bug me more and more. Not that its a bad font, just because its very… generic. So I decided to find a better font for my characters.
I searched the net for a few, but found a great selection of free fonts over at Blambot. They have lots to choose from and there are a few that are free for personal use or independent publishers! I downloaded a few that I thought I had a use for and within minutes was able to put them to use. I’m a very messy hand writer, and a more unique font is a better way to go then using my own sloppy handwriting or a generic font.
Blambot also has a few tutorials on fonts and lettering. The best one is about Comic Book Grammar and Tradition, which I’ve found very useful. It goes into balloon placement, tails, sound effects and more.
If there is anyone out there that’s looking to add a little more punch to their text, try a new font or some new placement techniques! Maybe you’ll find something that works for you.
The one day event was put on by a local anime group and featured a decent amount of booths and events. I picked up some cool art by some local artists. Check out that awesome Lion-O from The Thundercats! It was a pretty cool experience to go to one of these events, and it sounds like it did well enough that it could be an annual thing with the possibility of it being two days next year.
Welcome to Adventures in Cartooning, where I take some snippet of advice I found and relay it on to others in an attempt to spare someone else of having to make the same mistakes I did.
This past Thursday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend ‘Comic Creators’ at one of the local libraries. It featured two artists and one writer all based here in town. Kurtis Wiebe (The Intrepids, Green Wake), Riley Rossmo (Proof, Green Wake), and Tom Grummet (Superman, Incredible Hulk) were all in attendance and shared with everyone how they got into the comic industry as well as fielding questions from the audience. The panel was full of really interesting stuff, both from the writing side of things as well as the artistic side. There was one part mentioned that I really found interesting.
While talking about scripts, the subject of stage direction came up. “How often do you give the artists instructions on how to lay out scripts?” one audience member asked. All three men said that the only instructions that are ever given/received are ones that are important to the story. A lot of the panels are just ‘Talking Heads’. This is when the writer gives the dialogue and maybe a location. Both artists made it clear that those are the best panels to draw because it lets the artist be creative and have fun with the characters. A scene of two people in the kitchen can soon become two people sitting having coffee, making lunch or unloading a dishwasher.
This got me thinking about my own strip, and its admittedly lackluster backdrops and somewhat static characters. I should really try to put more effort into making an environment and having my characters interact with it. I think it will really add an extra level to the strip and bring it closer to a professional quality.
This week on Adventures in Cartooning… a retrospective.
I thought I`d share a peek back at the history of The Superpower Union. It didn’t start out as a webcomic (more on that later) and it didn’t turn into a hand-drawn strip until much later. I had made an attempt to make it using vector graphics.
For those of you not ‘in the know’, vector graphics are computer generated images. However, unlike images created with software programs like Photoshop (which uses raster graphics), vector graphics don’t blur when they get expanded. The reason is that vectors are created using math equations to decide what the line looks like, not pixels; you zoom in, and the line is just recalculated. This has no effect on the product you view on screen, but you can copy and paste an image, move lines around, etc. without having to worry about proportions getting out of whack. At least I think that’s how it works…
Anyway, back on topic! The Superpower Union was a vector created strip at one point. A point that lasted about 4 strips before my free trial of Illustrator ran out (or a gave up… not sure which one really happened anymore). Cap hasn’t really changed since then, but Gary got a major make-over. So here’s a peek at the first strip in all it’s vectorized glory*!
* the term ‘glory’ may be used in a sarcastic manner.
This week on Adventures in Cartooning (Or Things I Wish I Knew Months Ago)…
They say an artist is always their own worst critic. That’s probably very true. Very, very, very true. I wish my work was better no matter what anyone else says, and I’m coming to think that maybe that’s a good thing. It pushes people to be better and to grow. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of producing this strip lately, and one of the methods I’ve tried is using brush and ink to do it.
I been following Doug TenNapel’s (creator of Earthworm Jim) webcomic Ratfist, and a few weeks ago, he posted a video of him painting a Ratfist comic. I say painting because he’s using a brush better suited to painting a house then inking a comic. Seriously, the brush is as big around as my finger! I wish I was capable of creating work that good with something as simple as a brush and a bottle of ink. Then I thought ‘why not try it?’.
So I picked up a brush for a couple of bucks (one very similar to the one in TenNapel’s video) and thought I’d give it a try. Results the first time around were decent, but killed my wrist. I decided to scour the internet for some more information on how to ink with a brush. I tried some more, with much the same results as before.
However, even though the work wasn’t as good as a micron/brush pen (what I’ve been using in the strip), I had a weird sense of pride from the work. I enjoyed learning a new medium and method as much as anything, and wanted to do more. It’s doubtful I’ll do it on the strip much in the near future, but is a method I’ll probably use once in awhile on other artwork.
Here’s a link to a cool tutorial I found on inking:
Welcome to more Adventures in Cartooning (or Things I Wish I Knew Months Ago)!
Last week I talked about Google Sketchup, a free program for 3D modeling. I managed to whip up a 3D version of ‘Ye Olde Comix Shoppe’, and thought I’d share it with you all.
Anyway on the next bit of help I’ve come across in the past few months. This is probably the first book on drawing I’ve actually bought in probably a decade. I actually went to the local book store to see if I could find ‘How to Draw the Marvel Way‘ (which was written by Stan Lee) but instead came across ‘Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics‘. From what I gather this is pretty much the same thing, but published by Dynamite Entertainment instead of Marvel, and actually has lots of more modern methods then the one published decades ago.
One of the most best things I came across in this book is about backgrounds and Google Sketchup. Google Sketchup is an easy to use 3D program that is used for creating background, specifically recurring backgrounds. It’s really easy to use, and I’ve already started on creating backdrops for various locations I use in the strip. Check out the program; its completely free to use and there are lots of tutorials online. I’ll maybe post some pics of the finished backdrops in the future.