Line by Line

Work In Progress Report: Sorceress Comic: Character Design Progress

posted July 7, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

I'm officially behind schedule. There are several reasons for this, some of which may justly be called excuses or chalked up to poor time management on my part: There's the burnout I wrote about in the previous update, of course, as well as the mostly unrelated drawing I worked on to get over said burnout. There's the series of non-art-related projects I worked on for other people. There's also my work schedule, which has me spending a lot more time commuting than before, leaving me with little time or energy on workday evenings. Then, of course, there's my habit of getting bogged down in too many details.

First things first: I didn't get that other drawing finished, but I'm proud of what I have so far. I'll go ahead and share the WIP here:

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On Buff Guy Sexualization

posted May 20, 2018

Tags: morals and ethics, sexualization, social justice

Lots of people attempt to refute, or at least deflect, criticism of hypersexualized female characters by pointing to all the equally exaggeratedly buff men. Feminists often respond by pointing out that these exaggerated male bodies are power fantasies for men, whereas the implausibly voluptuous female characters are sexual fantasies for… well, also for men.

Actually, let me address that bit briefly: A big part of the problem is the asymmetry of how the hypersexualized women aren't for the (dubious) benefit of the female audience in the same way that the hypermuscular men are for the male audience.

There's merit to the idea that both forms of objectification are primarily for men, but there's also merit to the idea that these exaggerated, unattainable male bodies are hurtful to the men they ostensibly benefit. This is an important issue with a lot to unpack, from the historical prevalence of misogyny over misandry, to the double-edged nature of sexism, to the various meanings of the phrase “male gaze.” I don't want to dismiss all this as unimportant, by any means, but it's also not the part I want to focus on in this post.

Rather, my focus is the rejection of the argument on the basis that the objectified female characters are a sexual fantasy while the objectified male characters are a power fantasy.

This seems like a good argument on the face of it, and I don't fully disagree. The objectified male characters are given attributes that are directly associated with power, with the ability to act on the world and the people in it. …

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Work In Progress Report: Sorceress Comic: May Update

posted May 12, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

The month of April has come and gone, and with it, my self-imposed deadline for finishing all my location designs. How did these designs turn out? The answer, a resounding "meh."

First of all, I'm not posting any of that design work here due to spoilers. That's not to say that the comic is going to have a ton of plot twists or anything like that, but I still think it'll be better to read it for the first time without knowing in advance what's ahead. Pretty much everything I did on the location front either spoils something or just isn't interesting enough to show.

Don't get me wrong: For those areas where the location matters somewhat, I managed to think everything through and come up with something plausible. But I realized that most of the things I was agonizing over were going to appear in no more than one or two panels, and that at the end of the day, this is only a seven-page story. It's not like I'm designing a recurring location for a series. Sure, I do have some vague ideas about what I'd like to do if I decide to make this an ongoing series (please don't hold your breath) but if that happens, I can always update the designs then.

So in that spirit, I made the choice that, while I wouldn't give up entirely on caring about set design and props, I was done worrying about them. As far as I got, plus one or two references I can easily look up, will suffice.

Consequently, I did not spend the majority of April designing sets and props. And it's a good thing, too, because the character designs are due at the end of this month, and it turns out I had no idea what my main characters actually look like.

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Work In Progress Report: Sorceress Comic: Thumbnails Complete

posted March 23, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

Thumbnailing is usually the easiest part of a project for me. I don't have to sweat the details and can focus on just getting ideas down on paper. It’s the most creative part of the process, and I haven’t managed to “correct” all the energy out of it yet.

So I actually got these pretty close to finished a couple weeks ago. I decided to wait awhile and look back over them with fresh eyes just to make sure I hadn't missed any big problems, and I'm glad I did! Once I stitched all my "final" thumbnails together and read through them as a single comic, it dawned on me that the reader doesn't get a good look at the sorceress—the ostensible main character—until halfway through the comic.

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Work In Progress Report: Sorceress Comic: March Update

posted March 08, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

It's March now, and that means I'm more than halfway to my first deadline. So where do things stand?

Well, let's start with that first deadline itself: The thumbnails. The good news is that I have five pages pretty well nailed down. The layouts of some of them still need some work, but I've budgeted for that. That's what the separate layouts step is for.

The bad news is that I'm stuck on page 6. So far, every page has been a single story beat. Page one (of which I've already shown some draft thumbnails) shows the sorceress ambushing someone. Page two is a fight scene. Page three is a couple actions, but basically one story beat. Page four is another beat. Page five is a location change. Page six…?

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Work In Progress Report: Sorceress Comic: Tentative Schedule

posted February 11, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

I think I've come up with a tentative set of deadlines for completing my comic. I'm giving myself the whole year. This may seem like a long time, but if you've seen my blog and art gallery, you know I'm not exactly Mister Rapid Content Creation. Besides, I'd rather give myself a lot of time and be able to get ahead of schedule than fall behind a shorter deadline.

Here's the breakdown:

Thumbnails/page breakdowns March 31
Environment designs April 30
Main character designs May 31
Minor character designs June 31
Page layouts July 31
All pages pencilled October 31
All pages inked November 31
All pages flat colored December 31
Shaded colors I'll get back to you…
All pages posted January 7

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Work In Progress Report: Planning a Comic

posted January 18, 2018

Tags: art, comics, WIP report, writing

Last summer, I said I wanted to update this blog more with works-in-progress and the like, to give myself some motivation to finish things. Since then, of course, it's been radio silence. Turns out I'm not good at finishing things.

So this year I've set myself a goal. Call it a New Year's Resolution if you want. I have a project that I've been sporadically chipping away at for the better part of the last two years, or maybe longer. This year, if at all possible, I'm going to finish it.

The project is a short comic featuring the sorceress lioness character from the drawing I posted at the end of 2015. Not everything is nailed down yet, but here's what I do know so far:

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About Page Updates and a Couple Blog Post Edits

posted July 30, 2017

I made some updates to the About page. I got rid of all the links to forums I barely ever visit anymore (and BumbleKing, which closed). I also spruced up the Interests section to stay on the subject of my interests instead of morphing into a list of Webcomics I've read. (One of these days I need to do a post on that subject, though.)

I also found some typos and broken links in a couple blog posts from 2014, namely the 7 Posts in 7 Days wrapup post and the 2014 reading list update.

Managing Projects and Site Inactivity

posted July 30, 2017

Tags: art, site, writing

You may have noticed that this site doesn't update very much. Every year I say I want to post more, and somehow it never happens.

It's not like I'm not doing anything. Let's look at the projects I have going right now:

And maybe that's the problem? I have so many projects on the back burner. I mean, on top of those listed above, I have all the ones that have been sitting back there, untouched for months or years:


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Sonic, Comics, and Me

posted December 07, 2016

Tags: comics, Sonic, video games

I apologize for the length of time it's taken me to get this post out. This spring, after a series of Sonic-related misfortunes, I decided to take a hiatus from all things Sonic for the duration of Lent. You can read all the details in my earlier post on the subject, so I won't recap them here.

Since then, a few things have changed. For one, I started getting Sonic Universe again. It turned out that the reason I didn't get part 4 of the Silver arc was a delay on Archie's end, so no subscribers got the issue. After a couple months, it did show up. It was also a huge disappointment, like the finales of SU arcs usually are, but whatever. I continued getting SU issues until my subscription ran out, which includes all of "Eggman's Dozen" and the first three parts of the next arc starring Knuckles, Amy, and Team Dark. I never did get the issues I missed from the start of the subscription, or any STH issues.


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New Art: Inktober 2016

posted November 3, 2016

I decided to try my hand at the Inktober challenge this year. I figured I didn't need thirty-one individual drawings in a row added to the gallery and I definitely didn't have the time to draw and upload something every day, so I put them all together sketchdump-style.

If we're being perfectly honest, I didn't actually manage a drawing every day. There were a few days I didn't get anything drawn and I had to make it up later, and one drawing ended up taking two evenings to finish. But I still had 31 drawings done by the end of October 31st, so it still counts!

You can check out the complete set of Inktober 2016 drawings in the gallery.