It seems as the semester begins to wind up for finals, time continues to slip through my fingers...
Assignment 8! Draw your good page as meticulously as you can muster! I honestly didn't really want to draw a Jim Woodring page, and had been flipping through MAUS recently, and working on Assignment 9, which references one particular page from MAUS...so why not draw that particular page!
The original (from MAUS, Page. 201)...
...and my travesty!
I actually found this to be probably one of the most rewarding learning experiences of the whole process, as far as teaching me how far I still have to go making that leap from rank amateur to semi-professional. When in the end you actually have something else to compare your work to, something both qualifiable and quantifiable...it really is revealing. All those little shortcuts I take that I can tell myself are alright, and just 'part of my style'...it really exposes them as just laziness. So, what all did I learn?
After scanning black and white images at around 600-1200dpi, black-and-white, into bitmap and tiff, I decided to dial it down to 300dpi...and boy do you really start to notice the pixellation when cleaning up! In fact, there isn't much to clean up, as most of that fine detail is lost in the process. A few weeks ago I discovered this .pdf of a zine Jordan Crane, Ron Rege Jr., Dave Choe, and Brian Ralph did called "Re: A Guide to Reproduction", and it is all pretty bang on and can't be ignored (find it here on Jordan Crane's website at the very bottom!)
I have always liked the idea of Chester Brown and Charles Burns (I think Burns does this) doing individual panels followed by assembling them on the final page for printing. It seemed to solve the intimidation of tackling an entire comics page each and everytime. In my mind, though, I never actually realized that there are indeed still problems that can arise without actually planning for assembly. It takes just as much time putting everything together and making it all look seemless! Also, free handing panels individually, thinking eye balling is going to cut it? It doesn't. I think I remember reading in IN THE STUDIO in the interview with Art Spiegelman talking about how any one comics panel should be able to stand on its own merit...Oh Some Kind of Irony!
I guess there really is a reason that stuff like rulers and white-out are worth having around!
I am still debating whether or not I should be pencilling first, than inking. I just find that inking saves so much time and still feels like fun instead of the job of inking over the same old material again. I don't know, someone beat some sense into me!
As much time as I spend getting better at drawing, I should be spending just as much time learning how to write/print clear letters. I want this stuff to be read, you know?
I really need to get an actual studio space. My squishy bed and the rug of my bedroom floor are limiting me in ways that I don't even want to think about (though Chester Brown apparently draws on a block of wood across his legs and produces LOUIS RIEL).
I should actually do this copying thing more often...don't know why I had to be reminded of this. Random observation: anyone ever read that MODERN MASTERS: BRUCE TIMM book? It is pretty amazing how Bruce Timm went from being amateur Bruce Timm to professional Bruce Timm while working under John Kricfalusi in the 1980s. From the sounds of it, Kricfalusi GRINDS YOU. This is one of the main reasons why I still go to John K's blog; I don't always agree with his personal aesthetic preferences (John K isn't even a fan of the Bruce Timm style....nor much of contemporary animation and cartooning in general), far too much good information gets put out there for absolutely free every week to ignore.
So...Week Nine: Full Colour "Sunday" Page. There wasn't any particular 'exercise' this week, but instead Brunetti going over colour techniques. You'd think in lieu of this, I'd have Assignment 9 all rearing to go...but that is still coming along. So what do I have to offer? What I will do is actually reproduce a pretty good page of instruction from the Brunetti book.
"Some common pratfalls..., Pg. 65
A. Who is talking first?
B. Spatially confusing tangents.
C. Clunky perspective.
D. Arbitrary framing.
E. Unintentional connections.
F. Awkward compositions, more easily seen if page is turned upside down.
G.Inconsistent character design.
H. Not enough space.
I. Lettering too small or close together."
Pretty good information that I think a few cartoonists out there in the land could probably heed, aspiring and professionals all...