This week I passed out on the toilet and barfed all over the bathroom. Don’t worry; I wasn’t drunk. Oh yeah, and I managed to finish some page layouts for my new webcomic Tinge. Let’s jump right into that first part: the barf part. Maybe you’ll learn a valuable lesson (or at least get a good laugh out of my stupidity).
Wednesday: The Barf Part
So, like I said earlier, I kind of passed out on the toilet Wednesday night. What started as nausea after preaching turned into projectile vomiting, an apple-scented stew of bleh. Well, maybe blargh! would be more accurate terminology (exclamation mark included).
When I got home, I downed some apple juice and a few pretzels, but apparently they weren’t going down without a fight. Within ten minutes, a barf bucket I had conveniently grabbed was over half full of something I’d rather not describe. And it was a big bucket, too.
Okay, I’ll admit that that’s a little gross, so let’s take a few deep breaths. Blargh!
Umm, sorry about that. Just trying to make you feel like you were actually there, barfing up a storm. It’s actually kind of amazing that the barf bucket wasn’t overflowing. Anyway, after a few more “incidents” (to be more kid-friendly), I was finally able to stand up.
Then the “muse” hit again. Cue the barf.
I remember waking up against the wall on the toilet with a wet leg. My mom says I decided to have a seizure or something. It all felt like a dream; surreal, even. And then I looked down.
The barfing finally concluded, I was able to keep half a piece of pizza down. After fighting to stay at home instead of going to the emergency room, I conquered the stairs and collapsed on the bed. Other than being really weak until like Saturday or Sunday, I felt fine. And, best of all, no more barf.
Turns out I was just dehydrated. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Saturday: The Art Part
Enter Saturday. The barfing was done, and I finally did some art stuff, namely comic layouts. My process is quite messy and hard to decipher, but here’s a few pictures just so you can see how it works.
In the past, I would never plan out comics, just going with the first thing that popped into my head. However, the vast majority of my old comics make my eyes burn. I didn’t even give page layouts a second thought; it was 16 square panels per page, no exceptions.
Nowadays, I do the exact opposite, often overdoing it. I don’t think I ever even revised any of my old comic scripts from conception to creation. For Tinge, I’ve been rewriting like crazy; I think I’m on the second or third complete plot reworking at this point.
Once I have a good chunk written, I move on to the layout phase. Thanks to three years of design classes, I’ve committed myself to repeating similar layouts as little as possible. As of the time of this writing, I’ve got four page layouts finished (I’m really slow with layouts ;__;). Like I’ve already said, my layout planning is extremely messy, and sometimes I have trouble deciphering what in the heck it was I was trying to do.
Another big difference in my layout process is that I use thumbnails rather than full pages. One of the standard comic layout methods is to work out page composition at full size with sketches, and then, with a light box, use it as a guide for more refined artwork.
My reason for using thumbnails is simple: less paper. Considering my workplace looks like a paper monster barfed all over everything, less paper is good.
While the page layouts for Tinge are nowhere near finished, I’ll probably start making final pages once I get a few chapters of layouts done. I tend to keep my layouts about 20 or 30 pages ahead of the finished pages. And, on top of that, the actual writing stays 30 to 40 ahead of the layouts.
Later on I’ll show some cool stuff like concept art, more diverse layouts, less barf, and my inability to draw cityscapes. Oh yeah, that reminds me, if you want to make a comic set in a big city, learn how to draw a city first. Don’t be like me. Switch to not DirectTV.