I posted this comic about a week ago on Heeby Jeeby Comix but thought it proper to repost over here (with process) because after all, this blog is Drip's namesake! So, in case you didn't make it over to Heeby Jeeby, here it is again:
Below is some of the sketching that went into writing this 2-page gag. I typically write in doodles. "Drip is awoken by vacuuming birds and retaliates."—that doesn't get me very far until I work out the individual drawings. Often, the drawings come before I've figured out the story.
The vacuum crew: big bird, little bird (circled).
And my pencil rough on copy paper, where I plan everything out.
Drip is an older character (spawned from a sketchbook around 2003), so I'm glad he finally made it into a Heeby Jeeby comic. If you're interested, here's an old post where I explained some of the story behind him --> (Drip!).
And finally, below is the comic I drew for ARGH!#5 in 2008, where Drip made his first major appearance. I noticed the quality in this earlier post wasn't so great, so here it is larger, less compressed, and hopefully easier to read (4 pages in two spreads).
This was when I was predominantly inking with nibs; now I use a brush pen. More info on ARGH! at its website, if you haven't heard me mention it before.
It's become a yearly ritual to sort through my favorite albums come the first week of December. Now, it's silly to sort and rank things—let's just get that out there. And you're probably sick of seeing these lists already. But if you care about something, like I care about music, it's a good way to wrap up the year and especially fun to look back on.
This year, two albums rose to the top: Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Sufjan Stevens' The Age of Adz. Which is interesting, because the last time Sufjan released a monumental album (Illinois, in 2005), so did Kanye (Late Registration). That year, I was torn between the two. But this year, it isn't even close. It is ridiculous how much I love Kanye's new album. Not to mention G.O.O.D. Fridays. I'd say he is my favorite artist/musician of the moment. The man, the music—argue with me all you want. Ha!
So, you know my #1 and #2 spots. Here's where the music landed.
My TOP 10 11 Album picks*
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Sufjan Stevens– The Age of Adz
Gorillaz– Plastic Beach
Marnie Stern– Marnie Stern
Toro y Moi– Causers of This
Robyn– Body Talk*
Blackbird Blackbird– Summer Heart
The Apples in Stereo– Travelers in Space and Time
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Chromeo– Business Casual
*Edit: After listening to Robyn's new album, it definitely should've made the final cut. But I didn't think it fair to bump anyone out, so I now have 11 albums.
Because it's always hard to cut it off at 10 11, here are some other good ones from this year:
Best Coast – Crazy For You Candy Claws – Hidden Lands (for these guys, check out In the Dream of the Sea Life from 2009—better, imo) Ratatat – LP4 LCD Soundsystem– This Is Happening Vampire Weekend– Contra The New Pornographers– Together
And some albums that are newly growing on me:
Robyn – Body Talk(bumped up to the list!) The Arcade Fire– The Suburbs
As always, I'm curious what everyone else is listening to, so PLEASE leave your favorites in the comments.
If you think you share some of my musical tastes, look me up on last.fm (bobjinxmusic)
I've been very busy as of late (but what else is new). I hope to be able to share some new comics with you soon. In the meantime, here's a comic that's nearly six years old—from 2005, I think. I'm pretty sure it was the first comic I drew after a 2-3 year hiatus, post my college strip, Blake. At the time I was all about this little birdhouse character (you may remember him?). I still have a longer story planned for the guy if I ever get around to it.
I have another comic for you this week, which may ring a bell if you keep up with the blog. This comic, called "Discovery", is a 10-pager I co-created with Dan Mazur for the Boston Comic Roundtable's Inbound #5: The Food Issue. Here are some earlier posts (about the book, and my process).
Again, Dan approached me with his script (no dialogue, but he described the pacing and imagery throughout). I signed on immediately, because it was right up my alley being wordless and whatnot. It was a perfect collaboration in every way imaginable.
So, here goes...
If you like what you read here, there are plenty more fantastic food-related stories by Boston comics artists in the book—a 176-page black & white trade paperback featuring over 25 comics! I wholly recommend it. Click over to the BCR website to buy a book for only $12, and help support the Boston comics community. Thank you!
And for all you locals, copies are available at many Boston-area comic shops and locally-owned bookstores, including Million Year Picnic, Harvard Book Store, New England Comics, Brookline Booksmith, Comicazi, Hub Comics, and Comicopia.
Also, the Boston Comics Roundtable is hosting a release party this Friday night (November 5th) from 7-9pm at the Atomic Bean Cafe in Cambridge. Original comic art will be plastered all over the walls. People will be signing books. And I'LL BE THERE! More info, here.
When I was cleaning off my work table tonight, I collected some scraps to show some process for my latest comic. Thank you for your responses, and for supporting the bunch of us this Halloween season—which marked the one year anniversary of Heeby Jeeby Comix. If you haven't seen our new batch of comics yet, head on over.
The idea for this comic came together through doodling. Sometimes it's as weird as that. I was drawing cats and pumpkins, and the one in the upper right here struck me as kinda fun—I wrote "Lucky Cat?" and counted off nine lives.
I explored the idea of a cat interacting with a pumpkin, keeping the nine lives in the back of my mind. Again, working on paper. Drawing. I can’t emphasize this enough — I think a lot of us live in our heads too much. I’m guilty, as I’m sure many of you are, of lying on the couch staring at the ceiling, forcing ideas to come. Sometimes they do (for me, an idea will arrive on the bus ride to work when I’m lucky). But by drawing (or writing), you invite randomness and play to enter into the process, which you can spin into events and story elements. I’ll run an idea by my wife, too — talking out your ideas can help things coalesce.
Here's a key drawing: A cat on a cell phone, which spurred other ideas (a pumpin getting very annoyed). And after much spiralling, I had a story.
Below: my early thumbs, where I plot out panel layout. Here, the thought occurred to make it a scrolling webcomic (which I thought would lend itself to falling). But because our intent is to get these comics into book form eventually, I structured it in 4 pages over 2 spreads.
Then, on copy paper, I rough out the panels to scale (but smaller), and scrawl out the comic, loose.
These are the drawings that inform everything—where I try to infuse the most energy and life.
I mean, this is a mess.
But it gets me to where I need to go. I transfer this scrawl onto bristol, which I refine in my final pencils, and then ink.
Something is always lost in the process. But I consider it my job to retain as much of the life from the scrawl as possible, by limiting the steps. Here, scrawl to pencil to ink.
Then, it's time to color. Sometimes I have the color worked out in my head as I'm drawing. More often, I work through multiple color attempts.
Purple, red, and orange? This is my flats stage, where I block in quick colors as I paint things in. This wasn't working.
Then I realized the cat would need to be dark for the ghost-cats to contrast as light (knowing they'd be transparent). So I reversed the value field (background lighter, cat darker). But the colors still weren't reading night. And were a bit duller than I wanted.
Eventually I landed here (above). Which is a kind of primary color scheme, with the addition of some neutrals. Orange and brown were added later. Once I mapped out the color space for the free-fall panels (with the blue night sky), it appeared I had something. Comics are funny in that the color scheme needs to work across the entire comic. Sometimes I leave it for an hour or two and come back to it, to make sure nothing strikes me as looking off. It's all about solving various elements of the puzzle.
Here's the full comic below.
So, that's basically how this comic came together. Leave any questions or comments you have, and I'll try to answer them. Thanks for following along!