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"Concourse" Postmortem

June 29th, 2010 | Comics, Process, Sunrise, Writing

I don’t like the word postmortem as used in reference to creative works. I prefer to think of a finished artwork is a living thing, and the implication of a “postmortem” is in opposition to that. Things are different for Sunrise Issue 7. The end of “Concourse” feels like a death, and not a particularly tragic one at that. This issue was a bad experience for me, one in which my careful planning system failed me and a perfectly good concept was driven into the ground by poor execution. Now that the issue is finally finished it’s time to take a look back and figure out how it went wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the “Concourse” postmortem.
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Issue 8 cover inked

June 25th, 2010 | Comics, Process, Sunrise

Finished inking the cover art:

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The next step is digital coloring.

Concept Painting: Crater Edge Lighting

June 24th, 2010 | Process

Here’s a simple digital painting. This is a lighting mockup for a yet-unannounced video game project.

john_frm_craterlit

Sunrise: Issue 8 sketches

June 23rd, 2010 | Comics, Process, Sunrise

Sunrise never sleeps. I finished Issue 7 yesterday and already it’s time to start working on Issue 8. Here’s some sneak peeks for you. Here’s an image of the new medical officer, Suri Sudeshna:

sketch_suri

Suri is my replacement for Kuruschov, who, as you may be aware, I decided to eliminate from the main cast. I did this for a number of different reasons, the most prevalent of which is that Kuruschov never really managed to interest me as a  character. Admittedly he never got much of a chance, but at the rate he was going I’m not sure he ever would have. Secondly, I wanted to add another female character to the main cast, so it made sense to replace Kuruschov for that reason. Hopefully Suri will be a bigger success than her predecessor.

And here’s a rough sketch for the cover of Issue 8:

sketch_issue8

That’s Hamete and Suri in the background, and a visiting character in the foreground.

The Indiana Jones of

June 4th, 2010 | Et Cetera, Links

In the tradition of Randall Munroe’s “Died in a blogging accident” I’ve embarked on a brief Googling experiment to document the snowclone “The Indiana Jones of ______.” You’ve seen it before, no doubt. Journalists adore labeling people the Indiana Joneses of their disciplines, I suppose because it makes things sound more exciting than they actually are. The experiment turned up more than I expected, though: 1,300,000 search results (0.12 seconds). Admittedly there is some repetition (and even a few references to Indy himself) but still, there are a lot of Joneses to keep up with. First result: Chris McKay, the “Indiana Jones of NASA.” Second: Mark Moffett, the “Indiana Jones of Ants.” (Moffett also comes well-recommended by Margaret Atwood, which certainly perks up my interest. Maybe I will check out his book. ) Third: Ron Wyatt, the Indiana Jones of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. (And one of the few people on the list who’s actually an archaeologist of sorts.) Exactly how Google ordered this particular hierarchy would be interesting to know in and of itself.

What else is there? You name it. There are, apparently, Indiana Joneses of knitting, photography, alternative energy, finance, rabbis, botany, the internet, fishing, and paper. Exactly what makes one the Indiana Jones of knitting I’m not sure, but there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. (Unfortunately I found no Indiana Joneses of quilting or cartooning. It’s time someone picked up the slack there.)

And if you ever wondered, the Indiana Jones of Shakespeare is Pericles.

Ink test

June 2nd, 2010 | Artwork

I’m still hoping to switch Sunrise to physical inking, which should make the art better and make me happier (despite being somewhat more expensive). This morning I did this little test to try some more potential methods.

inktest

The characters are inked with a nylon brush, the background with a nib pen, and the cross-hatching with a pigment liner marker. I tend to be kind of sloppy with a brush, so I probably will just use a nib for characters in the future. I’m planning to start doing all my crosshatching with markers, though, as that might potentially make my nibs last longer. (Whether Sunrise will begin to use extensive crosshatching remains to be seen.)