Webcomic Workshop #9

This podcast we cover:

Ken: What do you do when you run up against one of your limitations? (not specifically but as an example: drawing hands and feet, characters at specific angles, from behind 3/4 view, etc)?

Dawn: Where do you draw the line at “shameless” self-promotion? (not on twitter, or at cons.. just regular every day life?)

Antoine: For a book,Β  is it OK to redraw & re-write an early chapter while the following chapters in the same books aren’t revised?

Byron: How to become a better illustrator? Are there individual courses for inking or how to color and do highlights?

Drink of the Week: Bailey’s and Coffee

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28 Comments

  1. Another great podcast, guys! Candid, and informative (hey, Byron, was someone pumping truth gas into the room, let it all hang out, man!) Great to have Antoine back as well (bosses just don’t understand webcartoonists, do they?) Dawn, love how you kind of ground everything, your reactions are priceless, and Ken, you have the chops and your caustic wit brings just the right balance to the table. Keep ’em comin’ guys, it’s a great perk for those of us in the trenches….

  2. Great podcast guys! Gotta say I love hearing Antoine’s voice again! (It reminds me of the French guards from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail and then I giggle. :D) More seriously I appreciated Dawn’s tips for drawing those tricksy angles, hands, etc. Keep rocking guys!

  3. I’m re-drawing the first big story arc I did in order to turn it into a big graphic novel, so I’ll be curious to hear what you all have to say about the re-drawing chapters deal.
    Can’t wait to hear this!

  4. Another great podcast!

    @Byron
    You know, another place to look for artistic workshops/classes and experts is the local art stores and local artistic organizations. I know that the local art store is always bringing in people to do day classes, and there are at least two artist groups in the are that have regular classes. Otherwise you might seek out ‘continuing learning’ or ‘continuing studies’ departments of any post secondary institution, and see what they are offering. I know some also offer distance learning, so even if you find a school with a class you’d like to take, if they offer it over video or distance learning, it might be doable to take it remotely. Although if you are willing to pay someone, that opens up a lot of options, because you can pick and choose your teacher from people who’s particular skills you admire or like. Although painfully many artists do not make good teachers. πŸ˜›

  5. Good podcast! I have some long comments.

    Ken’s point: You should check out stock photography sites like Getty Images, Fotolia, istockphoto, etc for reference. Plug in your keywords and you’ll get some decent reference.

    Dawn’s point: You should focus your promotion to people who have an active interest in comics and your particular subject matter. Friends and family can support you, but for the most part – they don’t care… unless they have an active interest in comics. You can easily gauge a person’s interest level in your work by the questions they ask. Otherwise, don’t waste too much of your time. Tell them things are going well, you’re enjoying doing it and you have quite a few fans. And that’s it – no need for particulars.

    Antoine’s point: Redoing artwork isn’t a bad thing – depending on how you tackle it. I rebooted my graphic novel because I managed to find a way to efficiently do it in the style I had originally intended. I didn’t want my work to look inconsistent in the book. But if you’ve got a pile of content and a number of readers, you may want to hang on to the originals and archive them as test strips or sketches, and just post the redone strips when you’re ready to publish the book.

    I don’t agree with Ken’s argument about Stephen King going back and changing his books after they’ve been published. Writers have editors to make sure they publish the best content at that time. Your comment would make more sense if Antoine had already published his book and decided to redo it in a new print run – that would be like giving it the George Lucas treatment. Right now, Antoine is still learning and heading towards a goal of print books – redoing the artwork is in effect, the editing process.

    If you worked for Marvel or DC and you submitted pages, you almost always end up redoing pages over and over again. Antoine doesn’t have the luxury of an editor – so he has to function in that capacity as he has time.

    Byron’s point: There are decent resources (books) available to teach you proper fundamentals of drawing – NOT drawing in the style of someone else. You already have a style, so you don’t need that type of info. Pick up books on dynamic anatomy, inking techniques, and painting techniques – you’ll learn a bunch of rules and fundamentals of developing form and color theory principles.

    If you’re looking for resources on improving your specific skills with inking and color, you should join digital artwork forums and get them to give you critiques and tips. At the same time, go through their galleries and try to mimic some effects and learn how to recreate them. A lot of artists use reference from other artists and a lot of trial and error. Definitely get a folder together of artists works you are inspired by and try to learn how to do the effects in the same manner.

    • Good stuff Drezz.

      Your point about the editing process is linear and inherently part of the publishing workflow. My point about going back and editing something that’s been published is consistent with what Antoine is trying to do. It’s done, it’s out there, it’s revising something that’s been presented for public consumption. I get the part about learning and heading towards a goal of print books, but in my opinion if you’re not happy with it – why publish it? There’s nothing wrong with redoing it, but I go back to my thoughts about there being an inherent charm to watching a comic develop. Have you ever seen the first Garfield book? What if Jim Davis went back and redid that with his current style? It would kill the charm of it.

      Again, in my opinion is the fastest/easiest way from A-Z is not to get to G and start over. But that’s not for everyone.

      Just keep moving forward!

      Like I said good stuff Drezz – thanks for commenting!!

      • I don’t think Antoine should tear down everything he feels is weak, not by any stretch. But the problem he has is the obvious discrepancy between his first few strips and his current strips – both of which would make their way into his first book.

        Jim Davis kept his style consistent through his first book – by the second the strips started changing. By the third, he hit the standard look for Garfield. If Antoine merely published the strips asi is throughout the first book – it would be appear jarring. Since it starts out lacklustre and improves significantly in a rapid period of time, it may be worth his while to tighten up the first few strips for the sake of consistency.

        Look at Jeph Jacques – he has enough material to make 5 books, yet he never published anything for Questionable Content until this year. He wasn’t comfortable publishing his old work when his newer work was vastly superior. So he painstakingly recreated the old strips in the new style until he matched up with the newer strips.

        THAT is the opposite end of the spectrum, and was complete overkill. I understand WHY he did it, but he didn’t have to, since his fan base was enamored with the content and didn’t care about the roughness. In that case, he’d be fine with keeping things status quo. In Antoine’s case, its still early in the game and he can improve upon some things he felt were weak without killing his fan base, and improving his product.

        The web is much more than “set it and forget it.” Its a lot more forgiving and allows for continual improvement – and it’s easy to simply replace something that is visually weak, where in print, you’re SOL.

  6. Hey Antoine! I’m in need of learning about color and how to use it. You mentioned a book about color theory. What was the name of it again and where can I get it?

    Great podcast all around guys. Thanks a lot!

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