Currently I’m working on the prologue that’ll introduce us to the new comic. I’ve got a launch date set but I’m not ready to announce it. (I’d like to have material done in advance first.) What I can say is I’m figuring more out about the comic as I work on it. I’ll be releasing it in subchapters with each update being as long as that segment of the story requires. Once it gets rolling I’ll post blogs about the previous update with pencils, design sketches, and other development stuff. That way the site won’t just sit dormant in between story updates.
I think I’ll share some stuff now while I’m at it. I linked these on my twitter awhile ago asking for opinions on the rendering styles. It all started with a sketch of one of the main characters, Virgil.
From there I tried some toning techniques on him.
The first couple I tried different halftone fill patterns which can be a little unpredictable if they’re not uniform. I’ve done projects with them before and I know the headaches of trying to keep the same patterns consistently over multiple pages. By the 3rd I’d moved on to using grays. Then I thought I’d try using some colors so I could just play with the saturation levels. This would be handy for the things I’m going to do in color (Covers, posters, etc.) but I don’t want to spend the time rendering in color if I know I can’t print it like that. I also tinkered with knock-outs by coloring the outlines, which disappears on thin lines, especially when shrunk down.
I also tried to overlay a halftone pattern because I really wanted to invoke the feeling of an old newspaper comic or something salvaged from that era. Lowering the saturation on the second line of tests aged it a little but it also makes me think of tones in movies. If you look at the tones on Superman’s suit in Superman Returns, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I didn’t want the styling to call that much attention to itself so it’ll probably be more subdued in the end.
This is also just an early development sketch. His costume isn’t going to be as overly retrofied as this and his hair is going to be different. Over-all though he came out like I was visioning him. His structure is fun for dynamic posing and I’m looking forward to seeing how he looks in clean inks and finished rendering. I’m going to pencil each page per subchapter, then ink them, then render/letter them all. Cycle, rinse, repeat for the next subchapter. Meaning I need to complete each stage before I move on. Hopefully this adds some consistency and a little more polish to the whole thing.