Mike Luce Illustration
Web comic work, illustration work and other stuff I might feel like doing.
Friday, May 26, 2023
Sure enough, a near total color change. I think this is more cohesive and reads better. Inching towards the end of the first half. I know I need to take breaks here and there. I've consistently done so during all the comics. They still make me feel bad. At least there's forward movement. Soon, the track will end and then I will go back through all 150+ pages and see what needs to be fixed. I already know that I need to insert Silas into the others' tracks here and there, just a peek to keep him a part of the story and for his track here to make more sense, as much as it can. So here's to forward movement!
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Been far too long. Worked on this from scratch today, and while nearly done, it has that feeling where I should probably sit on it for a day and look at it fresh tomorrow. And so I will. Still, progress is always good.
Saturday, May 06, 2023
It's been too long since I did or posted anything but with some luck, this page of City Silent came together rather quickly. This is a good thing as I was struggling a little trying to figure out the next step. After this, the 'duet' will be more apparent with the different styles of Silas appearing together on the same page. The infinity symbols occurred at the last minute but I think fit him pretty well. I can totally see Silas wearing a t-shirt with that on it. Might make one myself.
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Finalized this today, a bit of work done instead of just playing video games, which happens. The top one is the logo used on the audio files and the one that shows up on podcast apps. The middle one is the special one I had to throw together because of course FaceBook has its own criteria and is VERY out of date when it comes to editing tools for things like that. The last one is the new banner for the website. I am NOT a graphic designer, as can be seen by the evidence above. That being said, I think they work and have a kind of circus or carnival feel to them and feel a good deal more solid than the old ones. In other words: they'll do.
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Thanks to a day away and a suggestion from Vince, I changed some of the background colors here. I think de-emphasizing the sprocket holes and the text helps things out a good deal. Thanks, Vince! Still thinking about this, though.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
A little side project is redesigning the logo for our podcast, "Max, Mike; Movies." The old one was...adequate but not really special. I'm trying to make this one a little more interesting, a little better. That being said, I am NOT a graphic designer and that is a totally different set of skills than cartoonist or fine artist. I've already made an adjustment past this and I think I'm close but I might want to work more on the lettering. There's no rush. I like the faces, it's the rest of it that I'm not sure about.
Sunday, April 09, 2023
Turns out there wasn't that much more to do, so I got this page done after doing the weekly sound editing on the podcast. Silas #1 will be back next page to continue his half of the duet.
Saturday, April 08, 2023
Thursday, April 06, 2023
And, with a little luck and pushing, I managed to get a good deal of page 151 done tonight as well. There's a haphazard look to this that I'm really liking. None of the vectorization has been done yet, and it will simplify things a bit. Who needs panels?
City Silent page 150. This one came together both quickly and well, I think. Sure, the words just came out of the can that way, no assembly required. Did a very minor tweak to the figure before moving on. This one wasn't nearly as complicated as the previous and will likely stay darker in palette than the A song on this track.
Also redid the Silas in the lower right as I said I would. This means that the word 'never' is repeated which I'm ok with. It had too much weight in this page to take it out and I think the meter, such as it is, would have been lost on the page above if it had been missing from there as originally planned. Minor issues which are easy to take care of because of how I work. I would really have hated having to redraw an entire page for that.
According to FaceBook, yesterday marked the two year anniversary of me saying that I was done with comics, that I wasn't going to make any more, wasn't even going to finish City Silent. I'd forgotten I'd even posted that, never mind thought it. Well, we see where that went. Just a momentary bit of depression, I guess. And I'm glad that it didn't work out that way. I think none of Act 2 would have happened and I think it's the strongest work in the comic, especially some of the pages with the mice and some with Digby. I'm still interested in portraits, which is where I was going to spend my time, but I can split my attention. Just means I'm slow. So be it. I will see this comic through to its end.
Tuesday, April 04, 2023
One last one for the day. Wanted to get a head start on the next page, so drew Silas painting which will take up most of the page. This also means that I'll be redrawing the head in the lower right corner of the last page, not least of which because it really didn't work. My partner told me so and he was right. This was fun to draw and ink.
Got page 149 done. Things worked out well. The flow of reading came out in the repositioning and resizing of the characters, direction helped by the perspective of the paintings. It's a bit busy but that's graffiti for you. The first word of the second track, "never," as it turns out by accident, is also a response to the end of the refrain of the first track here. Things really just fell into place with this though there are a LOT of elements.
I also made a few changes to page 148, mostly in the colors and the addition of the same windows in the background that I added to page 149. The new version has been switched out on Flickr as well. I'll leave the original on tumblr and Instagram because why bother? This is the new version:
It's been a bit and things have progressed rather piecemeal, which is how I work. This page is coming along though I did some alterations to the two images I made in Silas' style. I also angled them a lot more like the background graffiti, giving them a more dynamic feel. I need to color Silas and change the colors on the art. There's also one more Silas to go for the lower right and he'll be in a different style as he's the second part of the duet. As a background element, and as a way to tie this back to the first track of the act, I pulled the skyscraper windows from page 90 and added them to the way back. I'll need to go and add them to the previous page as well. Things progress. There's also this:
It's a secret project, a present for a friend's birthday. I had a gift certificate to Blick's. I don't really do much with real media any more but I have wanted to do some painting. So I ordered a few things including some very nice cradled board for paintings. This is Belle, their great dane and probably the sweetest dog in the world. I see her at sunday dinner. I am not a dog person but she's an exception. So this is an initial sketch for an actual painting on board I'll want to have ready by June. I have to learn how to gesso the board and get it ready. Then, I'll transfer an enlarged sketch and paint the thing. It's been a couple years since I did anything with real paint and it's time. I hope it turns out well. I'm looking forward to it.
Sunday, March 26, 2023
I walked away from that last self portrait: couldn't make it work at this time. But I forgot I had started this one awhile back and never finished it. Did a little tweaking and finished it tonight. It came from the tools I used making all those flyers for City Silent. I wanted something vague, used, imperfect and this is all of those things. Done in warm greys, I think it works well enough. Not one of my best but an interesting experiment.
Friday, March 24, 2023
Monday, March 20, 2023
This might seem to have come from nowhere. I supposed it sort of did. I managed to take photos, sketch and ink the figures last night then assembled the rest this morning before work. I'm channeling an old Bob Dylan video, believe it or not where he holds up cards with choice picked lyrics from the song that's being played. Through a simple mistake, I flipped which side the card's being held on but that's fine, too. This track, "Personal Best," gets one or two verses before the second, "Doubt" starts. I want the two Silas to be obviously different. "Doubt" is the more aggressive of the two tracks, so I'll likely try and draw him more active and in brighter colors, maybe even dulling the background. Here, I wanted a feeling of him fighting against visual 'noise,' trying to be heard, which is what most of the comic is about. So, page 148, last track of the Act. Haven't pulled out the curtains pages in a long while. :D
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Did some work on these today. Pretty happy with the way they turned out. I think they need to be made to look more like actual graffiti; some drips, spray, that kind of thing before I can use them in the comic. That being said, they're fun to do and will work. Might dull Tamino down a little. Otherwise, forward progress.
Working on Angel today. He had only one appearance in Tamino though his suicide was what started Tamino on his quest to find out what the hell was going on. Angel was the ears of the City. I suppose making a rabbit 'The Ears' is a bit obvious but as he only appeared once, I didn't think it was such a big deal. Besides, it made one tiny part of the metaphor slightly more obvious. The top drawing was the original which I liked very much, channeling some Courbet and an artist I've only known about for a little while, Rick Barton. There was meant to be some Modigliani in there as well, but there just wasn't room. When I got the sketch done, I decided to see what it would look like warped and the pose pushed even further than Courbet. And I liked it better. There might even be a bit of Haring in there, too which is a good thing considering his background.
Friday, March 17, 2023
Was kind of lazy today, mostly as my voice is shot and whatever's causing it is likely making me tired. That being said, I looked at some of the stuff I'd sketched for Silas and decided to push at least one of the drawings a little further. This is a portrait of Tamino by way of Modigliani. It will get a final bit of graffiti treatment but for the most part, I'm pretty happy with it and think I have Silas' style down pretty well. I'll probably do two or three of these, partially as they'll be needed for upcoming pages and then get going on the duet.
Monday, March 13, 2023
Potential road block on the upcoming pages and in the comic in general: I know what Silas's style looked like when painting for the City, but on his own? Yah, I have to decide on that. And that's what this is an attempt at. I started with something more abstract, something based on an old painting of mine. But it ended up too different from the rest of the comic and I didn't feel I could use it. I want something that will fit but will also be not the usual graffiti thing. Damned hard to do.
That was the first go around. Probably should have posted these in reverse order. The one at the top has the three players from the previous comic: Tamino, Angel, who appeared in only one panel, and Silas. I'm going to play around with this some more but it appeals to me and, with some more mural like details, I think I can make this work for what Silas wants to say and how he wants to try and be heard. That's the whole point of the whole comic. So there has to be some elements that don't quite work. Otherwise, if he's too successful, I'll have to rewrite the whole thing.
Thursday, March 09, 2023
Possibly the quickest and 'cheapest' three pages in the whole comic. The idea was cemented in my head and came together quickly because of that. I did print out the last flyer and crumpled it, took a photo and used that as the direct drop into SuperVectorizer. It worked like a charm. The hands were mine, minus the finger. I'm kind of amazed no one's ever called me out on that; why three fingers? I like the colors as well. So yes, a cheap three pages, but three pages none the less. I also decided to take the last two tracks in this act and combine then as I didn't need both but couldn't decide which one to drop. Then I thought about Silas doing a duet with himself, and that, at least in my head, seemed to work. So that's how I'm moving ahead.
Monday, March 06, 2023
After a lot of finagling, I got page 143 done. The warping is still not my favorite but it fits the aesthetic of the track and I like the flyers. The one above, #4, is something I could see on a t-shirt. Zippa needs a slogan of some sort, but I might well work on that when the track is done. And it almost is. Going to work on the finish now. This track is going to stick out of the comic a bit and that's ok. There are stylistic differences all through the book just like there are in graffiti. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it.
Thursday, March 02, 2023
Thursdays are busy days, what with the podcast, grocery shopping and laundry to be done. I also managed to get some time on a new video game I've been interested in. This means I didn't leave a lot of time for the comic, which is bad. Still, I might have got further if I hadn't had to struggle with the perspective of trying to make the flyers look as if they'd been folder over a mailbox. They're not perfect but I think they'll do considering the time I took to play with them. I wish there was a straight line warping tool instead of one that so wants to make things curve. Still, got a background, setup, warped flyers and a third flyer drawn and placed. So that's not nothing.
Monday, February 27, 2023
A lot to do today, including having the nice HVAC man come and do a year check on the furnace. These things always make me happier when they're done than the original sketches do. These are the pre-vector versions. More to come...
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Page 141. It came together rather fast, which is the whole point with this style. Can't remember the last time I got two pages done in one week. If only I could keep that up.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Managed to get a couple more flyers done before the end of the day. Not too bad considering I am a lazy bum. I am enjoying this part but I also miss drawing Silas. It's been awhile. This track, when read, will go by in a flash. That's hard to remember.
Monday, February 20, 2023
This is as far as I got before one of my podcasts tonight. I like it but have to tweak the colors of the background graffiti a bit. Otherwise, coming along. More work tomorrow as well as watching what is going to be a terrible movie for podcast #2.
Haven't posted any in process kind of stuff from Procreate in a long while. Also forgot to scan the sketches used to make the current set of four flyers. Top image is the sketches, with one left over from the previous page. Zippa was fun to draw before and is even mores now. There's some heavy Mickey Mouse in him but it's mostly sanded away with rough inking and coloring. The video shows what I do to make the sketch into the flyer, hoping it looks as genuine as possible. It's amazing how much tech it takes to make something to look like it's torn and taped together. Still, this track has been a lot of fun so far.
Been a bit since I was able to draw anything as I was away for a week in Boston and then had to go back to work on my return. Have a couple days off and want to get at least one page done. So far, I have these four flyers done for the page which is the hard part these days. Pretty happy with these. Part of me wants to print some of these out and when I go back to Boston, tape them up here and there. Maybe I will.