So I guess this shit just happened.
Things are gonna happen, I guess.
Daily Sketchbook 3/27/2014:
Monsters and critters, some of them used in the "Upstairs Neighbor" comic, others that are yet to be used!
I always like coming up with creatures.
The making of the onomatopoeia in the "Upstairs Neighbor" comic.
I find it easier to think of them as shapes instead of words, so I always start with a rectangle (or whatever shape is merited).
I wanted to mimic the cadence of footsteps, so I put in two pairs of two “Thuds.” These aren’t particularly vibrant or exciting noises, but that was what I wanted to communicate. The din of someone loudly clomping on the floor above isn’t exciting, it’s annoying!
"Because my bird is dead…"
Daily Sketchbook 3/21/2014:
Griswold the Blacksmith
Diablo has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one, except that blizzard’s NPC design for Diablo is both subtle and intriguing. No one is really vibrant enough to overtake your character insert, but they are all unique and well developed characters that each have something unique to say about almost every quest.
I also always liked that Griswold was the only man in Tristram brave enough to go into the Labyrinth and save Wirt. Good on ya, bud, sorry you got turned into a horrible zombie.
Daily Sketchbook 3/20/2014:
More Johann. Working on something with this. I might keep screwing around with it in the morning while I’m getting warmed up for the day.
What a strange character this is, yes?
Daily Sketchbook 3/19/2014
Some preliminary sketches for some more Hellboy art. I’ve been asked to do Johann a couple of times, but he is the Hellboy character that I am least familiar with because he does not appear in the primary storyline comics.
Still, Johann is a pretty cool design and something I’m excited to work more with.
Today’s subject is Ryan.
The Ryan character has not changed much from his original design, which was in the comic I drew for Daily Campus at Uconn when I was the comics editor there (“Editor’s Choice.” Pretty subtle, right?)
All the “Hell To Breakfast” main cast got their start in “Editor’s Choice,” but Ryan is definitely the least changed in both appearance and demeanor. Ryan has always been an easy character to write because I used to just take things the real Ryan did and said, exaggerate them slightly, and put them into a comic.
Ryan and I don’t live together anymore, so it’s been a little difficult for me to witness some of the gems I used to (One night he sat bolt upright on the top bunk, threw a water bottle at me and shouted “I’m going back to Zurich!” before falling directly back asleep. Not kidding.)
I’ve always cut out the middle section of Ryan’s character. He’s always either on a psychotic manic high, a crushing depressive low, or just straight up dead. I haven’t counted but I think I’ve killed Ryan 4-5 times in comics over the years. Moving the character forward, I’m trying to generate the feeling that everything he does and says is tinged with just a little hesitation and sadness.
Physically, Ryan is easy, because he’s always wearing that big shapeless black vest. It’s a running joke that Ryan never changes his clothes, so there are never any costume redesigns. I always need to remind myself that his hairline goes straight across his forehead. Not sure why I keep trying to give him diagonal bangs, it looks dumb when I do.
I have often considered ditching the “real life characters,” because I’ve felt that it hinders my narrative options. But that would just be the end of Hell To Breakfast, and at the end of the day I’m too attached to them. As a result, Kayla and Ryan pick up more fictional characteristics by the day, and while they are physically and thematically inspired by two of the most important people in my life, they have taken on pretty solid lives of their own.
Read Hell To Breakfast! There’s a new story starting soon with these characters that I’m pretty excited for.
Daily Sketchbook 3/17/2014:
Some Kaylas and some other things.
I like to redesign the characters’ wardrobe once in a while. It usually ends up being on a seasonal basis. For “Early Spring Kayla,” I decided to give her a sweater and a chunky necklace so she could have some nice, identifiable accouterments.
Kayla’s primary identifying feature in the past has been large eyes. I never feel like I’ve gotten the hair quite right, and I always seem to make it too wavy or curly when it should be straight. This has a lot to do with line confidence, as Kayla’s hair typically requires the longest smooth curves that I have to draw in any given comic. As an artist who used to have a horrible tendency to “pet the line,” it can be difficult to draw a single line that I like.
In fact, I will often spend 20 minutes trying to draw a single good line. Thank god for Ctrl+Z or I would go through a lot of paper.
That actually brings up and interesting point, when I consider that working exclusively digital may be hurting my raw skills as an artist since I don’t ever have to live with/learn from my mistakes. Of course I still make plenty of mistakes, so maybe I’m fretting over nothing.
After all, I think the digital medium needs to fight for legitimacy in it’s own right and not just be thought of as “traditional methods, but on a computer.”
My friend Zac, who is an excellent comic artist, told me hates computers because “real life doesn’t have pixels.” I can understand his frustration, but I still think that the digital medium is the one for me and my art. That being said, all of the above are pencil sketches. But I digress…
This is my favorite rendition so far, and I definitely feel like I’m getting better at drawing the character. She’s going to be in the new story, with the rest of the HtB cast. So get ready!
Daily Sketchbook 3/14/2014: Uhhhh….
Bit of an oddball day today. Some sketches to prepare for this week’s gag strips and the story that’s coming after that. Also, here’s Lord Death for some reason. Ryan wanted me to do a Lord Death and I started trying to do him, but I got distracted and ended up doodling like I was back in trigonometry.
As always, read tons of comics at Hell to Breakfast!
If you’re feeling generous and want to support my artistic endeavors, check out my Patreon page as well!