Since you asked, here’s an update on The Project. I was a bit quiet on it the last two weeks with the end of semester duties taking up lots of time (setting finals, grading them, extra homeworks and so forth – see several recent posts). Just before that however, I did a bit of a push to finish some pages that I wanted to include in my presentation to the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities (I mentioned that to you before – see here. It went very well by the way, with lots of enthusiasm from lots of those who were kind enough to attend.)
Over the four or five days I’ve started on a new aspect of the project that has led me in an interesting direction – revisiting some of the original pages I did, two years ago. I decided then that the best thing to do to learn what I needed to learn about production of a graphic novel is just to… produce one. So I set upon a prototype, learning lots of techniques along the way, making lots of twists and turns in developing the methods that worked best for me, and so forth. I’ve refined the route I take from pencil to final product over the time (I’ve described it to you a number of times here on the blog), and in addition, my basic drawing skills have moved along a lot too… Anyway, looking back, I see that the first few pages especially are quite dreadful, a combination of bad drawing and also the struggle with digital inking techniques that I decided to abandon in favour of old school nib pens and ink. (It is actually satisfying to see just how far I’ve come in a short time… fixing various things took a relatively short time compared to how long I’d have agonized over them back then…)
So since I want to show this prototype to people, I’ve decided to re-draw and re-produce some of those pages, and finish others. I completed (more or less) the first one today. There’s a splash panel in the centre marking the meeting of two characters at a well known landmark location (in a well-known city – I’ll let you do your research), and I’ve put it here for you to see. (Er, just in case it’s not clear, this is the improved version. 🙂 It’s at least up to the standard I am now working at, as seen for example here.) Click for a slightly larger version. No doubt I will go back and tweak some things like shadows, colour halftone, and so forth, but this is where I’m going to stop on this panel for now. See several earlier posts for other samples, starting here.