Line by Line
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:
- I have the story more or less outlined, at least in the sense that I know
all the major story beats.
- I have the ending figured out. After rejecting a few different endings, in
probably more than a dozen variations, I now know the exact tone I want to
strike and the actual events the plot moves toward.
- I have a rough page count of six to eight pages. This isn't nailed down yet,
but I think it'll be close to that. That should be short enough to be doable but
long enough to give the short story space to breathe.
- I know the cast. The sorceress from the drawing is the only main character,
but there are three or four others who are important, plus two or three
background characters who exist for one panel.
- The comic will be silent, with no dialogue or sound effects.
- Most of the design work for the main character is done, obviously.
Of course, there's a lot I still have to figure out:
- I'm not sure yet how I'm going to approach the drawing. I haven't decided
whether I'm going to do all the line work traditionally or just do sketches and
put them together and ink them digitally.
- I don't know if I'm going to color it or not. I want to, and if I do it'll
probably be digitally, but I think that's just going to depend on how well I can
keep my schedule. If I can't color it, I might get a little fancier with the
inks, but I'm not sure about that either.
- I have a lot of costume research to do so the characters at least feel
plausible. It's not historical fiction, but I want to avoid blatant anachronisms
and designs that look obviously made-up.
- Based on that research, I have to create the actual character designs,
including some tweaks to the sorceress' design.
- I need to figure out the blocking and pacing of each scene, which will let
me nail down the page count. Instead of writing out a formal script or page
breakdown, I do all that work at the thumbnailing stage. Basically, the
thumbnails are the script.
- I need to write out a fairly detailed list of all the tasks involved in the
project, and come up with a tentative schedule for completing them.
- Oh, and eventually I'll need to come up with a name.
Where does the project stand right now? I've done some of the thumbnailing for
the opening page, and after discarding some old Ideas I think I know roughly
how it should flow, but I'm nowhere near done with it yet. I've also started on
the costume research. I figure I know all I need for one of the background
characters, and I've cut another because some things I learned made the
character not quite work.
I'm fairly happy with where I am, but I need to get that project breakdown and
tentative schedule done soon. I'll post it (or at least parts of it) when it's
ready. In the meantime, here's a peek at some of those thumbnails. (Sorry,
they're kind of messy.)