Saturday, July 14, 2007

Comic Sweatshop

This weekend is the moment of truth...we have to get enough finished this weekend or we're really in trouble. Laurie's on her third page of the day right now, I finished up our pre-production section (4 pages this time), plus I've got a bunch of pages to clean up yet tonight...and it's boiling hot here in Calgary today...and it's supposed to get hotter tomorrow. So it's really like a comic sweatshop...

There's nothing more satisfying than working like crazy while sitting at a desk, but smelling like you've been outdoors moving boxes...yum...the stench and sweat is uncomfortable to say the least. Anyways, here's that page I was mentioning before (pg 19), completed and shaded.

And here's a sketch from the battle scene (by Laurie of course).

Back to pages!


Friday, July 13, 2007

Road Blocks

I came to a quick realization tonight, it's how much I actually struggle with writing dialogue, and how this happens with every issue. When we're working on the book, we have almost a set routine. We work out the story, pencil & clean up pages, get too close to our deadline, ingest lots of caffeine (and other unhealthy foods) and squeak by.

When it comes to developing the story, we write everything as plot points, as in figuring out everything that happens. In our thumbnails, we usually jot down some quick notes like "Zhen says something to this effect"....which is great in one sense, but really tough in the other. So, lettering the book becomes really painful.

Did I mention I hate doing dialogue?

The idea's there, but the specific words are not. It's tough. Writing something like this, or our pre-production sections is really easy, I guess it's because it's essentially my own thoughts, but coming up with what people say? Without out it sounding corny or really stiff? Yeesh!

There's not a whole lot of days left to finish up the book. We're both pretty confident that we can make it in time. We even changed our flights to give us a few extra days to get things ready for San Diego. Lots of excitement going into it, and hopefully we can channel that energy into solid production time.

Well, that's it for now!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Late night thoughts

Laurie just finished up this totally awesome page...normally, she'll pencil up a page then pass it over to me to clean up, then I'll pass it back to get shaded, and finally all the digital stuff (letters, cropping, etc.).

This time, she handed a page that was penciled & shaded, with partial clean was really cool to work on. I ended up 'punching up' the main characteers more, so they pop off the page better. It took her a while to get the page to me, but overall I think the process was faster because she could shade parts (in this case all of it) of the page in.

Looking back (although it's really not that long ago) it's funny how we've changed our production process...I think it always starts out the same, but we tweak it as we get closer to our deadline. At the moment I'm helping with some of the shading, but I don't think it's anywhere close to as good as Laurie's stuff. I'm also only shading the soldier characters too...her stuff seems to have so much more energy & fluidity to it.

It's late....going to bed now, gotta go to work tomorrow!


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Creeping Deadlines

It's been a couple days since our last post, and we're getting closer and closer to our deadline. Laurie & I moved an extra desk downstairs so we could be working side by side during this deadline crunch. Normally I'm working upstairs in the studio room, but it's also gotten really hot (weather wise!) here so it's much cooler downstairs. I tend to get distracted when I'm surrounded by computers and I figured the less distractions I've got, the better.

We've also got very different work habits, I can get a good head of steam going early in the morning, while Laurie is like a night owl. I like to have loud music with heavy beats going, and she like to have a movie (usually animated) playing in the background. So we've done some compromising between the two of us.

So we're now at our second last weekend to be working on issue #7, we're both pretty confident that we'll make the deadline. I think it's important when you're trying to make a deadline is to eliminate your distractions and to not give in to your temptations. Case in point, there's a couple of movies that came out that we both want to check out really badly, Ratatouille and Transformers...under any normal circumstance, we would've checked them out opening we're saving them as our 'reward' once the book goes to print.

Well...that's probably my cue to stop writing this blog, as it can also be a distraction!


Monday, July 2, 2007

Last day

Well, we're into the last day of our 3 day production fest, yesterday's scores were the exact opposite from Saturday. I was able to clean up 3 pages, and Laurie penciled one. We talked about it last night and today is going to be the ultra-production day. I was thinking about how many days we had left before we need to send this to print, and I started freaking out because I was 'a weekend short'...after I got a grip on reality, I didn't feel so bad.

We pretty much need to average 2 finished pages a day, which isn't too bad. I know I've been able to clean up 4-5 pages in a single day when I'm into it. Laurie's been able to do 6 pages in a single day it'll be a good challenge, but not impossible.

My wrist & hand hurts like crazy, I always grip my pencil super tight, so it's like I'm getting a workout on my wrist. I've never found a way around that, unless I'm actually inking with a brush. I usually end up icing my entire forearm when I'm at work because of it.

Here's a peak at page #5 inked, so far it could be Laurie's favorite page out of the entire Monk's run. Well, that's it for now! Onto to Booster Juice & crazy page production!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canada Day!

So at the end of day one of our three workfest, here's the score...Kandrix: 1 page of clean up, some shading on a few pages (first time I've done some of the shading). Laurie: 4 pages of pencils. I just got my butt handed to me....sure, she stays up late, but I get up I've got plenty to catch up on Sunday.

Here's a quick glance at page #5 from issue #7, it's Laurie's pencils 'untouched' by me.

We also had our good friend John Carmichael drop in from Winnipeg for a few hours, had an afternoon BBQ, so at least we had some fun on the long weekend!