Tuesday, 4 October 2011

#24HCD Exit through the Gift Shop

An exciting experiment in digital publishing,  starting around 10am on Saturday the 1st Oct, I've gone from story conception to publication in the Amazon Kindle store. in under 3 days.

I just bought a copy, and it looks fine on the iPad, will have a look on the Kindle when Adam gets home.
Perhaps I'll get round to drawing a prettier cover... maybe not.

Monday, 3 October 2011

#24HCD published to kindle

One of the good things to come out of doing the 24 Hour comic challenge is that I now have a neat little story that I can use to test the kindle store publishing process. I've often thought that when I complete the wychwolf story I'd collate it as an ebook, and put it on the kindle store.
It's clunky, and I had to use my windows pc,as the version of WORD I have wouldn't save in the correct format, and then the mac command line tool didn't want to convert the .htm file.
So aside from the usual frustration caused by using a pc, forgetting my admin password,it wasn't too bad, and I had the wholething done in under an hour and a half.
It takes a couple of days to get the book into the store, and I'll post when I get a link.
I put it up for the lowest price I could, which seems to be pegged to 99c.

In the mean time I've put the pics together as a .pdf

Sunday, 2 October 2011

#24HCD reflections

I nearly gave up.
I was tired, I have always been very good at calculating workload over time, and when I reached over halfway without having done half of the work, AND had to get some sleep, I thought I was just punishing myself.
BUT I didn't stop.
I'm not sure why, I think it was seeing various tweets from people dropping out, that made me keep going.
I've looked at the finished article, and found only one typo, "Overcomes Gurads", should have read "Overcomes Patrol"
I realised I missed out a couple of pages, that would have made the total up to 24, plus a cover.
- The "Inside Jail" page should have been a separate page.
- The "Killer Leeches" should have been a separate page.

When I have a little time, I'll finish inking up the pages, and add some colour. I also aim to collate the pages into a kindle book, just to check out the kindle publishing process.

In theory I should crack on with a little more drawing this afternoon to get the final pages of Wychwolf done , but I may give myself the day off.

#24HCD Success

had to skimp on shading the final pages... and found I only had 23, so had to pull out a title page.. but I have done it.

#24HCD post11 -hour 22.5 - 8am ALL outline inks done

Ridiculously simplified, outline inks done.
massive erasing of pencil lines about to start...
then scan session, and paint bucket fills.
See you on the other side.

#24HCD post10 -hour 20 - 6am back in the room

I had a brief nap.
I feel terrible, but I'm back in the cellar.
Dom was awake till around 2am I reckon working on his 24HCD entry, and has till 3pm today to finish it.
I have a massive mug of coffee, and a pile of pages to ink, scan and post.
The race is on.

#24HCD post 9 -hour 15- bed

I had a dip, and was tempted to give up, at around midnight... but strangely a tweet from someone who actually did give up, spurred me onward.
So now I have 24 pencilled pages... I've inked another 2, so am just over half way.
I'm off to bed, and will start again at 6am, when I'm a bit fresher, to see if I can blast out the remaining pages..
quality will go down, but I might just be able to do it.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

#24HCD post 8 -first ten-

#24HCD post 7 - very very tired

I'm flaking out.
don't think I'm going to get the whole 24 pages done, as I'm just at 10 pages, and over half way.
I'm going to post what I've done.
Here's how I did it.

Initial sketches on loose copier paper, to get the shape of the page. I like organic panels, breaking out of panels, but really like having panels...
Once I had the general shape, pencil sketches done on DELETER manga paper, using a pentel technical pencil and 2B leads, then inked using a mix of Faber Castell pigment felt tips, Rotring Isograph 0.25 and 0.5 mm pens, and DELETER no 3 and 4 ink. No 4 spreads really well, but No 3 is a far richer black.
As I'm going to be scanning just black and White the black density isn't such an issue.
Rub out the pencil using an old Rotring eraser, and scan using my basic Canon Lide 25 USB scanner...( I bought my original old parallel port version of this scanner late at night to scan some sketches to send to mentorn Urgently, and the only place open was pc world..II was using an IBM thinkpad (500MHz) at the time which was the best pc I've ever used.)
Scans are done from photoshop elements 4 on my mac mini at 300 dpi.
Save as a .PSD file, and then convert to grayscale to tidy up, as it allows me to blend some of the lines, without the overhead of going straight to RGB.
Drop to 72dpi, resize to 600x800, add a few highlights, and spot colour.
Save for web, as .png.

#24HCD post 6- 10 pages inked

Back from my shed,  I've outline inked 10 pages, of which 4 are finished (in as much as 24HCD pages are really finished).
I'm starting to block out some of the black for these pages, and will take a break at 7ish to nip upstairs and watch the DrWho Finale, whilst I pencil up some of the other pages.
Hopefully I should be able to have all the pages in pencil outline by 10pm, my halfway mark.
I reckon I'll work through to maybe 1am, and then restart at 6am.

#24HCD post 5, six hours in, 4 pages inked, 10 pages pencilled

My achey, achey eyes!
6 hours in and I have a full plot storyboarded. I have 10 pages roughed in pencil, and I've inked up the first 4.
Frozen to the core from working in my cellar office on the warmest October day in years, I have returned to my allotment shed, which is more like a sauna.
Time for a cup of tea and a quick post to the blog before cracking on.
I've just cleaned up the pencil lines on the inked pages, and it's a delight to be able to flick eraser scurf straight onto the shed floor.
I'll add some pics later, as the post editor for blogger on the iPad is useless.

#24HCD post4- page 1 inked and scanned

Just over 4 hours in, and I have managed to ink up page one... because it was an easy page... borrowing from the 10 ton studio logo.
I've scanned it, and resized it, but had no time to do any tidying up.
I have to go have lunch now.

#24HCD post3- outlines done, 10 pages of pencils

Nearly three hours in, and after two cups of coffee and a packet of biscuits in my sunny allotment shed, the first draft of the story is done.
I managed to get a whole arc out of the A-Z format, without having to draw too much boring tosh.
I'm not sure if I want to have additional text, or whether that will spoil the purity of the idea.
These are the basic pages:

1. Atomic Bomb, agent bob, again, blast
2.  alien brood, alert breach

3. Certain Death, containment down,
4. criminal deviant

5. Evil Fiend, electric fist,
6. energy field,

7. Great Hero, gorgeous hero, get him
8. glistening husk, glowing hole, gelatinous heap, giant

9. Intergalactic journey,
10. Idiots jetpack, intense jailer

11. Kryptonite Laser, killed limp,
12. killer lemmings, killer leeches, lost, last

13. Missile Nuclear, mind numb,
14. massive nest, mad now, marbles, never,

15. Orbital planet, ouch painful,
16. over panel, only professor

17. Quiet rescue, quick rocket,
18. quantum replicator, quick robot

19. Sonic thruster, super tunnel, space technician, stupid technology, said Ted
20. swift Titan, space turtle, silent threat, squid terror, slick tentacles

21. Ultra Violence,
22. under volted, under valued,

23. Walking xmen, wild excitement,
24. win excellent, wild xrays,

25. Yesterday zero, Yellow zero, yes, zero.
26. Yes zombies. Yeti zombies

#24HCD Post 2

As I've said before Mike Mignola is a huge influence on me, I love the style of his work, and perhaps more importantly I love the fact he just wants to draw monsters. I too think I would be quite happy just drawing monsters. I briefly had that gig at the turn of the century when I worked freelance for mentorn and the BBC visual effects dept on visualisations for "robot wars" house robots, and other shows.

So to make this whole process enjoyable I've really got to add a few monsters. We all have our recurring  memes, and mine tend to be giant squid creatures, killer robots and brains in jars...
I'm sure they are going to be appearing in this 24hcd project.
Off to my shed for some initial sketches, 6 mins till start of play.
Soundtrack: the sighs of Ali and Dom as England are beaten to a bloody pulp by Scotland, Radiohead - House of Cards.

#24HCD first post

24Hour Comic day is a challenge to create a 24 page comic from scratch in 24 hours. I've tried before and failed, because I drastically underestimated the effort involved. I've spent a year getting to grips with digital tools working on www.wychwolf.com and have settled on a workflow which suits me, though I still struggle to break out of the basic side view shot of characters from the knees up. What have  found is that adding more constraints in terms of time and theme actually help me work, so to extend the constraints even further I have also added the idea that I will tell a comic story using a format akin to a child's  A to Z book. One of the first illustration jobs I had years ago was doing just this, (apple on a bed by Collins educational ) and I really enjoyed the invention around the simple script.