Extras - Behind the Scenes

Page 87 (Thumbnails)

Author's Notes:

Thumbnails again. I’m still on the road, and getting a much-needed breath of fresh air.

For the record, I do these thumbnails in a small sketchbook specifically for that purpose. I tend to work from a script, and do a tiny rough thumbnail on the printout of the script itself first. Lately I’ve been doing some massive edits to my first draft of the script, so I’ve been doing rewrites almost directly in thumbnail form. In this case, this scene was going to play out differently, and the deer scene made me rethink it. So, instead of typing up a fresh script, I sat down on the coach and hashed out this page, working back and forth between script and thumbnail at the same time.

From that rough thumbnail, I then take out the sketchbook and draw the version you see at the top. I scan that in, break up the panels into layers in Photoshop, and add in the dialogue. From there, I can start pencilling directly over the top of my roughs digitally, or print the whole page out as bluelines and do final pencils and inks on paper. Either way, it allows me to do edits before going to final artwork.

As it currently stands, this is the process that is really holding me back more than finishing the artwork itself. Yes, I put a lot of time, detail, and attention into any given page of PS (16-20 hours on average – well above the 8 hours/page that many comics take), but it’s always the writing and storytelling part that trips me up. For all the experience I’ve accumulated, I’m very particular about telling the story right, and not rushing it or spitting something out that doesn’t do the job. This new hybrid scripting process is helping cut down on the editing cycles, so hopefully the process will come easier in the future. However, I’m realizing that the story might be better served if I allowed myself to work in larger batches. Frankly, the weekly deadline for posting this as a webcomic may be interfering with really getting my creative engine revved up so I could plow through large chunks of story at once. Stopping every week for 2 days of work to finish out a page really prevents me from getting on a roll. I feel like I’m always changing gears. Anyway, possible discussion fodder for the future.

I’ll just be getting back home next week. More later!

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