16 - Ch 1 P 15

Ch 1 P 15
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20th Nov 2019, 9:50 AM | edit | delete
Meanwhile in Menial Morning Land


22nd Nov 2019, 12:11 PM | edit Reply | Delete
I just have to ask, how long does it take for you to finish a page like this one? It seems like it would take half a day just to sketch it out, and twice that to color and shade it. You must be wonderously efficient to put this much detail into each page without spending all your time creating them!
1st Dec 2019, 9:17 AM | edit Reply | Delete
Aah! Sorry, I missed this Wednesday's update bc of a combo of Thanksgiving putting me out of town and a very unanticipated mishap :( And with it I missed your comment!

I honestly have no idea since I don't pay attention to it. Sketching it out doesn't take very long, it's the coloring and detail work/rendering that I do know takes me a while.

I do use a lot of digital art "cheats":
- those windows are copied and pasted over again and morphed using the perspective-transform tool, then I do a paintover of them to give them variety. But, you can see repetition if you look at the weird cafeteria-glass windows just above the door.
- Sometimes I will draw something completely flat so I don't have to actually think about perspective, then morph it. This is the case with the wallpaper. It's just a tiling texture I've made, then I morph it into perspective, then I will shade it with an overlay layer.

-I will copy and paste parts of poses if the angles in the sketches are the same. Not to a very big degree, but you can see it here with Aleks's mom: I drew the final panel first because her face is in 3/4 angle in the next-to-last panel, so I just copied her face in the last panel, scaled it down and popped it into the penultimate panel and redrew her expression a little. Aleks is the same case, with some shifting around and a tiny bit of paint-overing to hide the fact that he's just been copypastaed.

I've got a tutorial in mind on how I work, I'm gonna go ahead and work on some pages right now. But thank you for your comment! And your patience, I'm sorry about the no-wednesday update before THanksgiving! But I do have the pages. I just didn't have the uh, computer.
2nd Dec 2019, 4:40 PM | edit Reply | Delete
No worries about the schedule, just the fact that you've resumed posting makes me happy. I'm in the USA too, so I don't expect updates from US comic authors during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some authors even take 1-3 month breaks around this time of year to prepare their next chapter, so it's a concept I'm used to since I read numerous comics.

Thanks for the insight into your art process! The "art tricks" you use are what make it possible to do what you do, and having studied a bit of art before (animation, 3D modeling mostly), my instructors, all industry professionals, said the best thing to do was to make the best use of your assets and processes to streamline for efficiency so you could increase your productivity, which made sense to me, I just never got out of the "learning the basics" stage. :)

By the by, is there any chance you might add an "About" page with information in the future, such as what inspired this comic? One of the things that drew me into reading it was the setting (I like to read things set in other countries to try and get a sense of what life is like there), so naturally I'm curious if you just did a lot of research or if you've pulled some of it from life experience. I've read that in storytelling you should, "write what you know", and I can imagine that's mostly true of comics as well.
2nd Dec 2019, 11:49 PM | edit Reply | Delete
You're welcome, thank you for asking!

And sure, I can do that. I do want to get a certain amount of "ahead" before I do focus on other things, but I can do that (making an About page).

As a quick overview:
This comic was inspired in college (around 2012) by a prompt to write a story using Tobias And The Angel as a framework. This story is basically going to be an interpretation of Tobias And The Angel, but with Slavic Pagan figures instead of Judeo-Christian ones, and with some more deliberate action from the Tobias figure. I really liked Tobias And The Angel because I enjoyed its humor and I enjoyed its message on suffering (that suffering does NOT necessarily have a cosmic purpose), and I enjoyed its Grateful Dead kinda' trope.

As for research: I grew up nowhere near Russia and have never set foot on it, so this is very research-driven.

I've consumed a lot of media. Books that spring to mind: The Russians by Hedrick Smith, The New Russians, Comrade Criminal, Violent Entrepreneurs, and The Icon And The Axe. Movies that spring to mind: Afonya, Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears, Mama Don't Cry, The Irony Of Fate, Brother, Kin Dza Dza, and White Sun Of The Desert. Some of these I've watched to understand sociopolitical stuff, other things I've watched to take copious notes on the minutiae of life, like what someone's home looks like. I have deliberately read Russian tourism guides to America and politically satirical movies like Kin Dza Dza to gain some insight on cultural differences. I have a GIGANTIC collection of photos taken from the time in a reference folder. I spend a copious amount of time on Google Maps streetview to get a really good sense of what stuff looks like, I've spent quite a while looking at Russian apartment rental websites to key in on typical floor plans and furniture and home-clutter.

There are some things I totally just make up on the fly despite my desire to be as accurate as possible, mostly in the Rule of Cool department. But I have literally sat there for like, an hour or two, trying to guesstimate (through inflation records and news articles) what the price of a box of insulin should be in octoberish of '95 even though NOBODY is going to check me on that, hur dur dur.
4th Dec 2019, 4:20 PM | edit Reply | Delete
Well, I'm only one fan, but I love it when I find out just how much research some authors put into their work; it makes me appreciate the story more and respect the author for more than just their skillful writing/art. All of your work has paid off, if you ask me, and it tickles my sense of curiosity that you were so meticulous in a detail like the price of insulin in October 1995 in Russia. I'm just one reader, and probably not typical of them, but I can imagine that your efforts shine through even for the less curious readers. :)

Russia has always fascinated me, and I know a tiny bit about it's history going back to the Middle Ages through more or less Cold War Era, but my knowledge of more recent stuff is only snippits I might pickup from random media sources; world news is hard to find in the US, especially on TV, which has always annoyed me, though it's only sunk to it's current near non-existence over the past 20-25 years.

Thank you for all the answers, I enjoy reading them!