Monthly Archives: June 2007

Shades of Gray

Doing Swordmaster Odyssey purely in solid tones of grays means that finishing up a page is a realitively simple task. There’s generally not a whole lot of work that goes into plopping the gray in there.

However, the system has its drawbacks. It doesn’t look quite as polished as it would had I done an ink wash style, giving it a painted effect sans the color. But the most annoying thing of all is the exact tone of gray. Getting just the right shade of gray is simple enough–But when you look at it on another moniter, it’s a completely different shade! Not only are shades lighter or darker, they’re even closer together or farther apart from each other than I may have initially intended! And it looks different yet again when printed, which may turn out to be a small challenge when Book 1 is finally completed and ready for press later this year.

This issue is something I was aware of before I began and, really, it’s not generally that big a deal (color and tone is much greater issue in television, for the record). However, the art style I chose to do the comic in had an unintended side-effect. You see, getting to tone just right for the lips is one of the hardest parts of cleaning and finishing the line work. If the comic were in color, or even just painted grays instead of solids, the differences between formats and screens would be less noticable.

Heh. Always the little things. 🙂

Chapter 3 Comparison (Part 1)

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the original draft for page 4 that we showed off a couple weeks ago and the final page.

Swordmaster Odyssey rough draft preview Swordmaster Odyssey rough draft preview

Quite a few differences, aren’t there? Even though I know where I want the story to go, it’s not always clear how it should get there. While I have a rough idea of what works best when I put together the draft, I spend a good deal of time thinking about the exact way things should appear on the page before I ever put a pencil to the bristol board.

In “part 2” we’ll look at what’s changed in the second page we previewed… But we have to get to that page first. 🙂

Jessie’s Hair

One of the more interesting aspects of drawing the same character over and over again is that you begin to fail to notice certain… Inaccuracies. Take Jessie’s hair, for instance. In the original sketches of the character she has a moderately-sized pony tail. In the first few pages of the webcomic, however, I noticed that I had drawn it much larger than I originally intended. “Oh well,” said I, “I’ll just draw it that way from now on. Of course, by the end of the chapter I had noticed that I had continued to draw it larger and larger. Blarg.

In any case, I’m slowly whittling it down in size. The same thing happened to her eyes. I drew them the wrong way for the first ten or twenty pages, then switched back to the way I had originally meant. A sloppy way of progressing, no doubt, but it works, I guess.

No! Don’t Die On Me!

In a hurry to finish a page that should have been done yesterday, I tripped over my entire PS1 collection which, ironically enough, I had specifically put there so that it would be out of the way. Suddenly, I could feel and hear the horrible sound of crunching plastic. Oh no!

I quickly set about tallying the damage. (My initial fear was that my brand new PS2 games I got here recently had been the one ruined.) Everything was okay… Except for my copy of Final Fantasy VII! While far from my favorite game in the whole world (or in the series, for that matter), it was (before today) in mint condition and the only PS1 game I ever bought new. The case had been shattered. The discs? Not of them were cracked and they’re only a little scratched, but disc two took the worst of it. I’m not sure disc two is going to make it… Later I’ll have to see if the PlayStation can even read it. A pity since PS1 games are scarce now days except on EBay. 🙁 Why couldn’t I have stepped on my PS1 Chrono Trigger port instead?

The morale of this story? Meet your deadlines, or your video game collection will get stepped on. -_-

Chapter 3 Preview!

As promised, here’s a sample of what’s to come. These are two rough-draft “storyboard” pages done on index cards. What do you suppose is going to happen in Chapter 3? (The two pages are not back-to-back, they come from two different sections of the chapter.)

Swordmaster Odyssey rough draft preview Swordmaster Odyssey rough draft preview

If you can’t make out the text, I’ve included it below (in the order it appears on each page):

JESSIE: “I’ll consider it, but tell me why.”
KEVIN: “I need to go to the capital.”
JESSIE: “What for?”
KEVIN: “Hmm.”
KEVIN: “Can’t tell.”
JESSIE: “Count me out.”
KEVIN (out of frame): “Remember that I saw someone do that before?”
JESSIE: “Yeah…”

???: “Lord Silver, you’ve come to my aid!”
SILVER(?): “Get lost!…”
SILVER(?): “I’m sure Kevin knows why I’m here.”
KEVIN: “…”
SILVER(?): “Hmm?”
???: “?”