Thursday, 25 October 2012

#24HCD 2012 in the ibook store

The Last Dragon, my 24HCD effort is now in the iTunes Store for free.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Authoring in new iBooks

I thought I'd give the new iBooks Author a try on the stack of #24HCD pages.
The interface is much the same, some useful  new templates, and a little more helpful, right up to the point where the publication is submitted... then it's back to the old fun and games I had using the previous version.
I find it strange that even though it insists on an ISO date format, the field to enter the date has no normalisation, it just throws a paddy later down the line.
I guess I should READ the manual... then I wouldn't be surprised that the minimum image size is 1024*768...
ho well..

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

How to draw...

Looking at the stats for this site it seems like a fair few of you arrive wanting to know "How to draw..." "pirate hats"... "A dog made of pencils"... "dinosaurs"... etc
I wondered whether it's worth putting a couple of tutorials up? maybe You tube sketches, or progressive drawings like the Upstairs neighbours series?
Please drop me a line and let me know what you think?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Fin Fang Foom

hmmm what started as a nice turnaround of the Hulk rips wolverine in half story, hasn't worked so well with the red background.
No matter.
welcome to Fin Fang Foom

More dragons ( in pants )

This weeks ten ton sketch challenge is bizarre giant dragon in pants... Fin Fang Foom... No really, look it up..

Sunday, 21 October 2012

#24HCD 2012 - JOB DONE!

Completed 24 pages in 24 hours,
packed up using pages and exported as a .pdf.
I finished and put it on a shared drive at 9.32am... 2 minutes over the timeline I set, but as I started by walking over to my shed, I didn't really lift a pen till around 9.40, so I count this as a success.

Here's the comic..

Hope you enjoy it.

#24HCD 2012 Final straight - hour 20

I had a few hours sleep, because I'm an old man. I have 3 1/2 hours left to do... it looks like 6 pages.
My office work space has become more and more cramped, covered in eraser rubbings, pens, post-its, sketches and inked pages.
also, very important... coffee.

#24HCD 2012 hour 16 -rest time

16 hours in, and I'm too tired to carry on. I need a short nap till 6am, and will finish the remaining 6 pages then.
I'm reasonably pleased with how it's turned out.
Will have another look in the morning.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

#24HCD 2012 hour 9 flagging

Looks like I wrote too much story, and I'm having to trim back. Which I guess is a good thing, I can add the extra back in if there's time later. I'm still really in the preamble even though I'm up to page 10.

#24HCD 2012 hour 4

I've got some backgrounds done, and I've even inked up and scanned in a couple of pages. I've had some lunch, and have a bottle of Crabbies Ginger Beer to start the afternoon with a swing. The problem with the micron pen seems to have been a one off, so hoping to crack on now.

#24HCD 2012 bah! Microns

Just as I was beginning to think these Micron pens were the best thing ever, the nib started to fray... and then WORSE, erasing the pencil lines behind the ink lifted the ink, snagged the paper... glad I found out now, rather than later.

Actually now I've scanned the pic, it gives it an "aged" look... might be a effect rather than a failure.

#24HCD 2012 post 2 - the story

2 hours in my lovely shed and my bum is numb from the hard wood seat. Back to my basement office, and hoorrah for the storage heater which is making the room bearable. I have the story outline plotted in Byword, and am pleased with the overall direction. I've done a few internet searches and grabbed some reference images, and am now set to start doing a bit of sketching. I'll work on a couple of backgrounds first, and get them scanned so I'm ready to build the frames in photoshop... although I remembered the Comic-Book app I have on my iPad, which works very well for putting pages together...
It may be a really stupid idea to even consider switching to an app I haven't used too much, but it may well save a lot of time. It can export pages as .pdf and .jpeg and the speech bubble aspect is far simpler than the way I usually add text in Photoshop...
Time will tell.

22 Hours to go.

#24HCD 2012 first post planning

Ok so 9.30 start rather than 9am... And I'm over to my allotment shed for some fresh air, and coffee to plot the story arc. I've decided to do a story about the characters as I know how they look and behave. I think I'm going for an interlude type story set between wychwolf1 and wychwolf2. I'm also thinking it may be linked to the BrightAngel origins.
So open Byword, and start making the clackety noise.
More later

Friday, 19 October 2012

#24HCD The Final Countdown - arrrgghh!

Tired, and with a sore throat, the thought of spending 24 Hours drawing comics is looking less appealing. My basement office is freezing - I've spent the last few months working in the kitchen, so I've been warmer. My saving grace is a heated pad- I think they are designed to keep old ladies at room temperature, if I could have one for my feet too then I'd probably be sorted. Anyway. I have made my excuses, to no avail. I'll try and blog progress tomorrow from 9am, and tweet on @strangebiros


#24HCD 2012 Countdown to 24 Hour Comics Day - 1 day to go

Just one day to go till 24HCD. I've been looking at Hellboy short stories, which have the benefit of minimal dialogue, maximum action.... buuut I'm not sure I could do something like that for a whole 24 pages.
I guess I could string 3 or 4 around a central theme, but maybe not.
I also have an idea rattling about for what I planned to be a series of short - single page stories for "the Phoenix" comic - Alan Turing -Maths detective. Where Alan Turing is involved in iconic Scooby-doo plots, using maths to solve the problems.
Realistically I should probably stick with the Wychwolf characters as I've been drawing them for a couple of years.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

#24HCD 2012 Countdown to 24 Hour Comics Day - 2 days to go

In the past I've mentioned the "stuff" I use for drawing, but wasn't sure whether it's of interest to anyone, then I stumbled on a whole podcast about pens - 70 Decibels network "the pen addict" ... so I figure it's probably ok.
For years I used a trusty set of Rotring Isograph pens, for pretty much everything, but I used to have trouble when I had tight timelines on illustration jobs, as unless you let the ink dry really well it'll bleed when colouring.
So I switched to using Staedtler pigment liners, which are really stable, don't bleed, and are reasonably quick. The downside is I go through them at a fair rate, and there is a long period when there's too much life in them to throw them out, but not enough to do the job properly.

For this years 24HCD I'm going to try some pens I've been after for a fair while - COPIC liners, and Micron pigment liners.
They both produce good stable lines, and don't bleed.
I have a pack of Staedtler pigment liners as a back up in case I can't get on with them, but first impressions are very favourable.
I'm not sure whether I should fill blacks with DELETER ink and brush, COPIC markers, or in Photoshop.
Likewise with lettering, I'm happy to hand letter, but it may be faster to pick that up in Photoshop.
Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Countdown to 24 Hour Comics day

24 Hour Comics day starts for me at around 9am on Saturday the 20th October
Last year I succeeded in the challenge to write, draw and publish a 24 page comic in 24 Hours.

24-Hour Comics Day is now in its 22nd year? originally a challenge from Scott McCloud to Steve Bissett, it's now an international event, with comic shops, libraries and schools opening up to support challengers.  It sounds easy, 24 hours to draw a comic, but that 24 hours includes everything, creating the story, pencilling, inking, lettering, colouring layout and printing (or posting to the web), everything.

The 24 hours are continuous, you can rest but the clock doesn't stop.

 The first year I tried I failed dismally and stopped (the "Gaimen variation"), but last year was far better,  I bought in paper, biscuits, coffee, and pens, and cracked on.

This year I'm hoping to do a story related to the Wychwolf webcomic I draw. 

Obviously it isn't in the spirit of the challenge to do any planning before the event, except for the logistics of getting a wad of paper and pens together... Paper is ready, hoping to pick up some pens on a London trip on Wednesday.
Wish me luck!