2018 has passed, and with it, my soft deadline for the pencils on the first panel of the first page of my comic. And no, I didn't get that panel finished.
This time, though, there's a good reason! I actually accomplished more than I planned to. When I set the goal of finishing panel 1 by the end of December, it had slipped my mind that my process involved doing the layout sketches for a page digitally, then printing it out and drawing over it in pencil.
You see the problem: I had to do the layouts for the whole page before I could even start the pencils. I mean, I could just do the layout of the first panel, cut that panel out of the page, and then tape the whole thing back together when it's done, but that's unwieldy. Besides, I ended up having to make changes to the first panel based on how the later panels ended up, so it's better to have the whole layout done before pencils.
But I did get it finished, and have since made good progress on the panel 1 pencils, so I guess it's all good. Here's a sneak peak:
Panels 3 and 4 ended up needing quite a bit of work, panel 4 especially. It took me quite a while to nail down a pose that I liked. I even managed to find a pose reference from SenshiStock that I liked, only to decide that it looked too awkward after my attempt to adapt it to the different perspective. I ended up going with something simpler.
By now, I'm much farther ahead than when that photo was taken; I'd estimate that I'm more than halfway done with the panel 1 pencils. The mid-ground scenery still needs a few tweaks, but most of the remaining work is tightening up the figures. I'll have to figure out the costumes in at least the broad strokes, so I've given myself the rest of this month to work on all that.
Goal for January 2019: Finish pencils for page 1, panel 1.