Friday, May 27, 2022

 City Silent page 129. This one was easy, which I needed or I wouldn't get a page done this week. Came together rather quickly last night with some finishing done today. Been productive so far; I already edited this week's podcast episode and finished this. Nap time.

Monday, May 23, 2022

 Haven't been in the mood to do the comic lately, which is bad. And today, I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything. There's been a lot going on, socially and with work and all. Still, manage to bang this out. It's not great, but it's something.

Or maybe I like this version better.

Monday, May 16, 2022

 One more version, and I  think I like this one best of all. Dumped the inked outlines and just kept the wrinkles. We'll see how it goes, but I think this is the way I want to go.

 Spent this morning with the big, chonk sketch of Ricci, trying out different approaches. The top version is using the usual pen I use for inking stuff. The second is a more traditional style, one I used to use but haven't since I switched to digital inking. The third was just using another, textured brush. There's something to say about all three, but I think the traditional one is the least interesting. I also did a straight to vector version (the bottom one) to see how that would look as it's the approach the current track started with. And last, I vectorized all three inked versions and laid them atop the vectored version. Again, I think the more traditional is the least interesting, and I like the way the lines and colors don't quite match. Colors aren't necessarily those I'd choose, though I think Ricci's track will have a more limited color palette than did Digby's. I hate having to spend so much time on this sort of thing while not getting pages done, but it's important to have some kind of approach. I plan so little as it is.

These are all the iPad sketches I did when hunting around for something I could use in the next track. I went really far afield here, sometimes pulling out my old, classic animation character design book from the 40s by Walter Foster, veering into some Tezuka near the end and dealing with the dog character while also looking into Ricci. The bottom one sent me into what became the chonk drawing from the previous entry. My partner noticed a certain resemblance to Ed Asner, which is not entirely untrue but which also fits the character. He also said, "This looks like a guy who's a boxer who hasn't been boxing in too long," and that fits Ricci. Thought I'd throw out some fumbling around as we all do it and it rarely gets shown.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


 Looking ahead. The next song with be done with a different character. I was originally thinking Riccin, from Fite! He's already shown up, briefly, in the overture. So he's established. He also showed up in Tamino, as Tamino did in Fite!. Then I veered off towards an African wild dog character I used only once in a print. But he never really gelled so I went back to Ricci.  The top one is the one closest to what I think will work, but I'm not sure if it's sustainable as there's a lot more realism in him and a lot more drawing involved. The middle is me feeling around, trying to find what I want. The bottom is the dog, some of which I like, but none of which feel right for City Silent. There's also a Procreate document with about ten layers of different sketches of different things which I'll make a separate entry on. For now, I think I'll continue with chonk Ricci.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

 FINALLY finished this page. There wasn't much more to do, just the text but the colors just weren't working so almost all of them got changed and changed again. That's ok. I'd rather take the time now and make them work than have to worry about it and be dissatisfied. So I can move on.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

 Only a little progress because I worked today and had to watch the movie for this week's podcast before going to work. But I think the colors balance better and I like how it seems to be exploding out of the upper Digby. Text to come and I can move on. This month, I've been at this comic for five years. That was my original, unrealistic, hopeful timeframe to be done. Well, not even half way. Guess I keep going.

Monday, May 09, 2022

 Got started on a new page of this today. The three poses we done separately and somehow managed to fit together really well. I'm very happy with the 'acting' of these as well. The middle one was really hard to draw as I have no real reference for Digby's muzzle from below like that. I think it works. As usual, the colors on the bottom WIP are not set in stone. I've already changed them all around multiple times. We shall see.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

 I was more in a portrait mood than a comic mood tonight. The bottom image is from what I think is my most successful real paint portrait to date. I think I'm alone in this, but there's something about it I really like. It took me about half an hour; it just came together and the palette was almost as spontaneous as the rest of the painting. It's acrylic on brown paper. I've been meaning to update it and tonight was the night. I tried to keep to a similar palette but used the iPad instead. I have less hair than I wish but at least I still have the same hoodie. This one, too I think is rather successful and took me about a half hour or so. Perhaps a bit more. I think there's a weird, almost photographic quality to it which makes no sense. And it does look like me. So, there's that.

Thursday, April 28, 2022


I wasn't satisfied with the Joe Wilkinson portrait so I went back to the pencil sketch and adjusted quite a bit. It's a good deal heavier with lines I don't really like than the final is, but that's because it only exists as a frame on which I can paint the final bits. It -almost- works without the lines but there are a few things that really define his face in that layer and I couldn't leave them out. Might be, with some more work, I could get them to work with just the flesh color and the dark hair/beard layer. As it is, I think it works and I like the warmer tones. It's less dour though also less "Dutch master" in palette than before.

Monday, April 25, 2022

 Page 127 done. The transition between the last page and this one isn't the strongest. This was one of those situations where I really needed to get past the page so I can keep going. Likely, when the act is done, I'll come back and add something, perhaps a page between 126 and 127 with a mural; something that Digby is reacting TO. For now, I can keep going.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

 Didn't work on the comic today because this was poking at me and I hadn't done a portrait in a long while. This is more a sketch than truly finished. I could and should spend a lot more time on this and perhaps I will. For now, it's out of my system and I can continue with the comic tomorrow. Comedian Joe Wilkinson and a more serious moment, though that's part of his schtick. I used the 'formal' colors I did when I did the most recent Rembrandt ones as brown his Joe's color and I wanted a more formal feeling to this.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

 Well, that didn't last long. I just wasn't feeling the other page. The straight on, boring angle just wasn't working for me. And while I wanted to reference one of Silas' pieces, this just wasn't the time to do it. So instead, the last verse is introspective, Digby trying to come up with inspiration for his next big piece. And he will. Turns out I had a couple photos I could meld together that gave me a much more dynamic feel and fit the rest of the track better. The alley is from Central Square and the background is from downtown Boston. I had to, once again, erase out the areas between stairs and other areas of the fire escape but it was worth it. I like the looming building showing through with just a touch of a brighter color. Played around with some tools in Procreate I never use, most notable the magic wand and 'liquify.' Worked for what I needed. One more figure and some text to go.

I thought about it and, as I took a few more photos for reference, I'm going to put multiple figures on the fire escape and then the one in the foreground I'd planned since changing my mind. So here he is, moved back. Two more of those to come with another in front. Now I'm happy with the layout.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Spent the day trying to replicate page 50's background to bring it into the current track and to remind people that Silas is still out there somewhere. I really like how the photo collage worked out, especially as I had to piece together the brick wall from six pieces, the window from another photo and then had to erase out all the negative space from the fire escape and place it in. The graffiti went atop that and looks ok. I used the original Spirit from page 50 and it's my favorite part. There needs to be adjustments on color, more graffiti on the wall and just...SOMEthing. I'm not really sold on this but I think I can make it work in the long run. At least I worked on it today.

Monday, April 18, 2022

 This page took way too long and had way too many elements. It is a fairly simple page, all things considered but I wasn't satisfied with at least two of the heads, maybe three. So I redrew them. As it stands, I think there's some decent movement and emotion there, at least enough for an 'in-between' page that's meant to just give a pause between refrain and verse. The background was cheap and easy; a photo of graffiti I took in L.A. just twisted and reduced. From here on in, things are going to get a bit more solid and the colors are going to 'fade' back to the more subdued ones of the beginning of the track, suggesting, I hope, that Digby is either coming down off something or is coming out of his dream and back to the 'real' world.

Monday, April 11, 2022

 Got started on the next page today which I needed to do. I've added a new bit for reference; the Memoji on my iPad, for expressions. There might not seem to be a lot of connection between it and my drawing but it actually does help a little. Digby doesn't look at all like the cartoon fox, but because it's rendered in real time 3D, it gives me hints I might not have seen otherwise. That and photobooth, an otherwise useless app help me out a lot. So it's a pause as Digby 'comes down' and tries to figure out what was just going through his head before seeing the next bit. More to come.

 Page 125 done. It only took about 45 minutes to do the finals on this one. It's a bit busy, but it does what it needs to do, fits the theme and you can still read the words. I realized, as I finished this, that there's one more verse to go in this track, three tracks left after that in the act which will bring me to the halfway point. I'm still too slow on this project but that seems like a good indication that I will finish it. At some time. Little steps.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

 Got some progress done on this today, though not finished. I AM lazy and have been playing too many video games, being slightly sick or not. At least I got somewhere. The background text took long enough but does have that psychedelic look I wanted. I also did a different version of the coloring of the Digby figure as I'd done in previous pages but it was too messy, too busy and didn't work. So I had to redo that. The colors are not final and I still have to do the text. There might also need to be some other kind of detail in there somewhere. We'll see. For anyone interested, this is what my actual AD window looked like without cropping:

Monday, April 04, 2022

 Didn't get a lot done today. It actually took awhile sitting and looking at the lyrics and previous pages to get an idea. I didn't want to be literal this time around. I think there's going to be a lot of graffiti as mandala kind of art around him. At least this is a start. iPad pencils over real ones.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

 Finished the page today. There really wasn't much I needed or wanted to do except put up the text. That was easy enough though I had to redo it a few times as it just wasn't what I wanted. Easing into the refrain, then the last verse. I've been consistent but I still need to pick up the pace somehow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Meant to post this yesterday as that's when it was made. I'm trying to make more entries about process and as such, take more WIP images as I go along. I like how this is going and likely won't change too much about it. The buildings are all from photos I took when in LA though none of them are near each other. One of them is actually a total amalgam as I took the front, duplicated it and sheared it to make the side. Up in the far left corner is a very famous landmark, the round office building destroyed by aliens in "Independence Day," though I've cut it enough that it shouldn't be noticeable. After seeing this, I decided to go back and add line detail to the sketch as the folds, in this case, aren't working the way I want. The sky was a blowup of an overcast cloud in a panorama shot, dumbed down to three colors with them re-colored so they were a lot less contrasty than they were. I like how they came out as, to me, the sky still looks overcast. This page is the most obviously photo-reffed one I've done so far, but once the text is in, that will recede somewhat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

 Managed to get this done this morning before tackling other things. The colors are...bright. Digby might be on some kind of trip or dream or something. I managed to deal with the issue I was having by basically not dealing with it. An overall overlay was used though I'm still pissed that my custom one simply would not work the way it always has and should. I just hope I don't keep running into that problem. Page 123 done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

 Got started on the new page today which is the most abstract of those so far. I got the drawing done easily enough, got things shaded and then vectorized. Things were going along just fine but then AD simply wouldn't do what it's supposed to do. Some areas of the overlay simple WILL not let me cut areas out and when merging the pieces that make it up, closes open areas that are supposed to be there. Might have to rethink this mechanically because otherwise it'll be a pain in the ass. That being said, I was able to add highlights to the hands a lot more easily than I thought. So we'll see where this goes.