I neglected this for the past 4 weeks (what it looked like then) so decided to put some time on it today. And after about 4h I think the ink stage is almost done, I need to decide on the contour (faint outline of circle in pencil). And, yes I’m building/creating as I go.
Note the two dragon open/close mouth opposition is loosely based of the guardian statue in Japanese temples.
I’m not sure I can salvage the ink smear, but I want to finish it anyway (finished not perfect). On the upside it’s removing a small amount of pressure from fear of messing up :P. I’ll get this shield design done.
With great power comes great responsibility. That is what my uncle used to tell me. Now he’s gone… And I have been looking for weeks to find the man responsible for his death. Who am I? You sure you want to know? I’m Spider-Woman, given a job to do. I’m also Beca Mitchell, in my free time a Bella and photographer for the school paper. Yes Bella as in Barden Bella’s the acapella group. How I got myself into it? Well there is only one person to blame and that is Chloe Beale, the girl next door. Oh boy, if she’d only knew how I felt about her. But she can never find out about my secret.
“Sorry I’m late guys…” I apologised when I walked into the Bella’s rehearsal room. I had gotten out of my Spider-Woman uniform and into some typical girl clothing. My hair was a mess, but I didn’t care.
“You’re always late Beca… Where do you go all the time?” Fat Amy asked me. They were still a little easy on me because of my uncle’s death. There was so much pressure at the moment, that they didn’t really had a message to my excuses. Our performance at Kennedy Center was just in a few weeks and there was still a lot that needed to be done, we would be lucky to nail it. “I was just… Uhm… I had some trouble with… uhh… things.” I stammered, trying to avoid the question. I can’t just exactly reveal my big secret, now can I?
“It doesn’t matter. You’re here now that is what is important.” Chloe said, moving on. “Okay ladies! Positions!” She clapped her hands.
They say you’re a freak when we’re having fun
Say you must be high when we’re spreading love
But we’re just living life and we never stop
We got the world
We got the wo-wo-wo-wo-wo…
It’s going down, I’m yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let’s make a night you won’t remember
I’ll be the one you won’t forget
We had been practicing for hours to get our pitch right. Chloe had been pushing us to the limit, but it was necessary. Performing for the president was kind of a big thing, so it was vital we got our choreography straight. Finally Chloe was calling it a day and everyone took their leave.
“Beca can I talk to you for a second?” Chloe signalled me.
“Sure, what’s up?” I said, walking towards her.
“You’re not here.” She pointed out.
I sighed. “Chloe I’m sorry I was late again… I promise I will work on it.” Once again I felt myself drown in her blue eyes.
“No I mean… You’re here, but not really here. Your thoughts are somewhere else.” She said, looking a bit worried. Chloe and I had really grown close over the last two years. She was my best buddy, that was never going to change. Still I couldn’t help myself but want to be more than just friends. But I couldn’t… Spider-Woman will always have enemies. “I won’t say I understand how you feel, because I don’t. Losing your uncle like that, I mean it must be rough.” I had no words. The memory was still fresh of my uncle bleeding out in my hands. Chloe rubbed a tear from my cheek with her thumb. “I’m here for you okay?” She said softly, pulling me into a hug. I wrapped my arms around her waist, pressing my nose into her auburn coloured hair. She smelled nice. “I gotta go…” I whispered into her ear. “Okay…” She replied, but didn’t actually let me go immediately. “See ya!” I said, taking my leave, as she let go of me.
“Becaw!” I heard someone calling from behind me. “Jesse!” I threw my arms around his neck, as I swirled around. Jesse and I have been close friends ever since high school. His father, Norman Swanson was the head of the very famous company, Swanson, and also one of the richest men in Atlanta. After the loss of his wife, he buried himself in his work and rarely had time left for Jesse. He wanted Jesse to take over the company when he got older, but Jesse had a different dream. He wanted to produce music for movies and bring people to tears you know. “How are you doing shorty?” That’s me. I’m shorty. “Good. You?” “Oh some ass just spilled his coffee all over my T-shirt… But I’d feel a lot better if you’d watch this movie with me.” He held Lord of the Rings up, and drew his sad face with puppy eyes. “I’ve seen it already.” I said. “But you haven’t seen it twice.” I laughed. “Weak arguments, movie boy. Besides I’ve already made plans.” I felt bad for lying. “Oh, well other time then.” He said slightly disappointed, to which I nodded.
I sat on the tallest skyscraper of New York, the World Trade Center, watching the city go to sleep. I enjoyed moments like these, though it didn’t last very long before I sensed trouble. The sirens of police cars echoed through the city. “Here we go…” I stood up, took one deep breath before letting myself fall from the pencil shaped building. “WHOOOH!” I shouted, feeling as how the wind was brushing alongside my body, over the fabric of my suit. The streets were perfectly mapped for me with its lights, showing me where I needed to go. “It never gets old.” I chuckled, and then shot out a web to attach myself to one of the buildings. Some thieves thought they could get away with robbery. How stupid of them.
“Tommy! Through that alley!” The broad man said to his partner. In his hand he held a bag of money. They had robbed an honest man for it, who was just doing his work running the store to get some money to take care of his family. The broad man stopped when his friend, Tommy found himself stuck in a web that was created between the two walls. “What the fuck is this?!” He said, struggling to get loose. “That’s not going to work.” Spider-Woman said, leaning with her back against the wall taking a relaxing posture. “Don’t move!” The thief took out his gun, aiming with a shaky hand at me. “Hey! It’s rude to point a gun at a woman. Didn’t your mother teach you manners?” I said, fooling around a bit, as was my usual routine. “I said don’t move!” He repeated himself, raising his voice.
“Not the greatest pick up line.” I casted a web around the gun the man was holding then shot a web around his mouth. “That will keep you quiet.” I said, dodging his kick and pushing him towards the brick wall where I secured both his wrists and feet. I came closer and pulled his sleeve down to check if he had a tattoo on his wrist. “It’s your lucky day pal.” I told him sincerely. Boy I wouldn’t know what I might be capable of if he had been the one responsible… “FREEZE!” I heard shouted behind me. It was a police officer pointing his gun at me. “Ah my friends in blue. I got the thief no worries.”
“I said freeze! I’m taking you under arrest.”
“For what? I just did 80% of your work, and this is how you repay me?!” I jumped over him, taking the pistol out of his hand in the same move. Somehow the police couldn’t appreciate my work even though I was only trying to help out. I made a run for it, removing myself as swift as possible from the scene. I heard sirens in the distance and swung to that direction.
I got home late. Aunt May had probably retired to bed. I got some food out of the fridge and drank some milk out of the bottle. “For God sake Beca, how many times do I have to tell you not to drink out of the bottle!” I got scared by Aunt May creeping up on me. “I can’t take this anymore Beca… All these secrets, lies. Do you even know how late it is?”
“Please go to sleep Aunt May…” It was more pleading, than asking
“I can’t sleep!? Don’t you understand!? Beca what is going on? Is it your uncle? Are you doing drugs? Alcohol? Just tell me!” Aunt May said. “Aunt May… I- No… No I am not doing drugs or any of that kind. I just…” She could never know my secret or she might get in danger. I was Spider-Woman, the famous vigilante. I’m not really a bad guy favourite.
“What Beca?! Look at me when I am speaking!” She yelled, her voice almost a little desperate.
I turned around, my cheek red from a hit I had gotten and jaw bruised. Aunt May covered her mouth with her hands in shock. “Beca… You’re hurt, who did this to you?” Her voice was breaking.
“I can’t tell you…” I told her, tears beginning to show.
“Beca… secrets have its cost. They are not for free.” She said, stroking my cheek with the back of her hand. I pulled away, quickly going to my room while Aunt May stood there. She had never felt so far away from me.
I’m up super early due to a stomach ache, so I thought I’d post something while my insides get sorted.
These are two pages from The Nameless City (my current comic project, check the tag for more stuff) that I redid. I don’t normally redraw comic pages, but one page required some heavy revisions, and I was pretty unhappy with the other page, so I figured I’d just scrap them and redo them (the original pages are on the left, the redone ones on the right). The nice thing about my recent switch to digital penciling is that “redoing” basically meant edits to the digital pencils, which I then printed out and re-inked. So I didn’t have to completely re-draw the pages from scratch. Bless you, digital penciling! This was so much less time consuming than if I’d had to completely redraw the pages traditionally.
The revisions that I needed to do were on the second page (row two). My editor said that the way I’d drawn the top row of panels in the original page (on the left) made the character (Kai) look he was fainting, rather than stepping back, missing a step and falling backwards. I totally agree, and feel very ashamed for not noticing that when drawing the page originally! :D That is why I like working with an editor: they catch the things you miss.
So I re-drew that row of panels, so now the focus is on Kai stepping backwards, rather than his dad rambling on.
The other page (first row) is the previous page in the book, and it actually didn’t have any revision notes, but as I mentioned, I was unhappy with how I drew it. So I did some edits to the pencils, making the building a little more impressive, and adding in some bleeds (when a comic panel bleeds off the edge of a page) to make the panels have more impact.
To Bleed or Not to Bleed is something I’m always struggling with. I like bleeds a lot; I think they can have much more impact than non-bleed panels, because the panel becomes larger, and thus more “important” in a reader’s mind. Or that’s my theory at least. ;) I don’t really have a particular technique when using bleeds. I tend to use them intuitively, in instances when they feel “right.” But I tend to think less is more with bleeds, so I don’t like to always have panels bleeding off a page. It’s fun to break things up and try different things. Keeps the readers on their toes!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little peek into my process of trying to make the best comic possible. :) (Oh, and that is not final text, just text dropped in to make it easier for my editor to read & give me notes.)
Drawing of The Flatiron building, New York. Quite a challenge to work out the composition on this one. How to portray the buildings distinctive shape against a background of 2D buildings? I think it worked out quite well and captures a sense of the atmosphere around the place. Drawn in Pencil
From my sketchbook, some reportage from Bologna, Italy. A toy exhibit, the Piazza Maggiore, The Fountain of Neptune, Italian waiters. When we weren’t at the Children’s Book Fair we tried to squeeze in some doodling.