January 20th, 2010

Smile

Tracing.

Shortpacked!: Sex drive is the one gear he doesn't have.

I am knee-deep in preparing Shortpacked! Book Three.  The reason it's been taking so long is, well, my laptop totally died... like, three years ago.  And that was the period of time in which I drew my strips on my laptop.  So, because I was stupid, I gotta redraw some strips.  Book Three was almost entirely the Draw On My Laptop stage.  And, y'know, I draw plenty enough strips per day already, so it's a slow process, especially when I get discouraged by the sheer overwhelming boringness of the endeavor. 

So what I do is grab a strip off the web, super-size it to 600dpi, and then trace it on Maggie's Cintiq.  (Secret: I married her for access to it.)  

Though it sure beats redrawing them from scratch, this is not a perfect process.  It's rough to balance the spontaneity of the original drawings while also respecting the linework.  I didn't really realize this until digging into the process, but my art has changed a whole lot more than I'd realized!  (This is a relief, as I thought maybe I'd stagnated.)  When I ink, it's very quick.  I'm a speedy guy.  And so as I trace over the old art, my current style kind of elbows its way to the surface. 

Check the shape of Ethan's cheekbones, for example, not to mention the shape of his hair. 

I do try to fight it.  I don't want these strips to stand out in the midst of all the strips I didn't lose, and sometimes disregarding the underlying art is completely impractical, anyway.  The underlying anatomy of Robin and Amber, for example, is completely foreign to me by now.  It just seems so very wrong, and it's not something I can gently correct.  And so those have been modified less, just because it's so different that I can't just scribble over them in a hurry.  

Hope this has been interesting!  And I have multiple backups now, so.