Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Last page of grOw/cOmic#6, issue 4 completed!

A day later than I had hoped, I was finally able to complete the final page (p.74) of issue 4 ("Conflict") of grOw/cOmic#6 ("Milking the Plot")! I ran afoul of some software issues on this past Friday which made me lose at least 5 hours of work time. Wonky results from both Adobe Illustrator and the Wacom Cintiq driver, reinstalling and resetting preferences, and some emails to tech support really ate up valuable time on Friday. 

Once I was able to launch into some real work, the last page of the issue needed some retooling to start with. The original page was... "OK". While the final, half-page panel was (and still is) intense, I felt the other half-page panel above it had much less impact now than when I first drew it. Also, the text (dialogue and narration) was too sparse and a bit too vague. So I sketched, used Poser and my 3D program, and came up with a new and much better frame (actually breaking it into 2), and enhanced and added much more to the text. Add to all of that the complexity of the page — with plenty of liquidy effects as well as a complex overlapping of characters that well fit the title of the issue — which always takes extra time.

So, with 19 pages of this issue now done, what's next?  I need to draw and ink & paint the cover to issue 5. I also need to quickly review the script to make sure the idea I have for issue 5 is correct. (Those following my posts know I am mulling over adding an extra issue or two of storyline once this latest issue is released.)  THEN, after proofreading, correcting, and making final page images, it's time to make the 4 optimized PDFs (standard, premium, art-only, and commentary versions).  THEN, it's on to some HTML and CSS programming of my website, and THEN, setting up the "content-management" of the web store so that the issue can be pruchased.  WHEW!

P.S. -- My wife starting proofreading the issue last night even though I was still working on the final page. She likes to read it multiple times, with the first time a simple, casual read such as anyone would (and not like an editor or proofreader). She read through it, but it was late and we were tired so I didn't get any feedback right away. This morning, she texted me from work and said (edited for brevity), "I meant to tell you last night how much I enjoyed the latest issue...  I was tired last night, (but it) gave me some amazing dreams... You were in them... I had you pinned."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pages 72 and 73 of grOw/cOmic#6 completed!

I was so focused on working and getting as much as I could done yesterday that I forgot to post an update here! I had finished page 72 yesterday, but immediately went on to page 73. I was on a roll, and didn't want to stop to post to my blog, DeviantArt, and Twitter until the end of day. Then, I forgot. 

But that allows me to surprise you with 2 new previews for Chapter 4, "Conflict"!  This also means there is only 1 more page to go until the issue is finished (plus the cover to issue 5 which appears as a teaser at the end of this issue).

Of course, after these last 2 pieces, there is the standard proofread and correction phase (which my wife is about to start), making the PDFs (standard, premium, art, and commentary versions), as well as setting up the webpage and store, etc., etc.  I realllllly wanted to have this done by the end of September, but I am not sure if that will happen (to the date). But, if not, it will be very soon afterwards. I am definitely going to push to have a release, if not by Wed. Sept 30th, then by Fri Oct. 2, just 2 days later.

Enjoy the 2 previews!

Friday, September 18, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 71 completed!

I just had to work a little later to complete page 71.  I was so close to completion at the normal end of my day, that I pushed through an extra hour and a half so that I could have a second preview this week.  These current few pages are quite detailed, and, as said in previous posts, have a lot of character interaction and overlapping which requires more time. I also did a cool "camera shot" on this page that took a little extra time and Photoshop layers. Though extra work, I like how it came out (lots of masking and overlapping transparencies).

It's also getting harder to crop these pages as we near the end of the issue. I don't want to give spoilers away, but I still want to create excitement. The last few previews may have crops that become more and more vague as the progress due to this.

Only 3 more pages (and the cover to issue 5) to go until release!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 70 completed!

Well, it took an extra day, but I was finally able to complete page 70 of grOw/cOmic#6.  Once again, this page had a lot of visual effects, which take time.  Also, there were a lot of characters appearing in each frame, as well as many overlapping and interacting character limbs, clothing, etc. This takes more time because of all the little pieces of art that each require masking out before coloring and shading. The last 4 pages if the issue also have similar aspects to varying degrees. I hope to make the best time that I can on these pages, but know that each may take a bit more work.

Friday, September 11, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 69 completed!

It went right up to (and a little past) the end of the day, but I was able to complete page 69 of grOw/cOmic#6 today!  I really thought I was going to be able to finish this page much sooner in the day. However, the detail and effects (some of which are apparent here in the preview) were much more involved than I thought they would be when I began the page. 14 pages done and 5 to go, which means we are a hair under the three-quarters mark (73.7%)!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 68 completed!

Better late than never! Making this quick, as it's way past my bedtime — but page 68 is now complete. Couldn't sleep and decided to finish this page. When I ended my normal workday, I was disappointed that I hadn't finished this page, but, as you can see, it has lots of detail that took longer than I thought it would. But when I was antsy tonight, I decided to spend an hour and a half to finish what I couldn't earlier.  Enjoy!  13 of 19 pages are now done!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 67 completed!

Lot's of special effects were required for this page, making page 67 one of the more time-intensive pages to complete. Liquid drops, drips, splatters, reflections, puddles, as well as wet and semi-transparent cloth each takes multiple layers and careful crafting to get the right result.  12 pages down and 7 left to go — that's nearly the two-thirds point!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 66 completed!

I almost was able to complete page 66 yesterday, but a few "real life" work projects got it in the way. But I wrapped up the page today, and got a quick start in the next one. Without too much ado, here is the preview and I am back to work!