Thursday, July 21, 2016

Here's a bit of serendipity.

This morning I looked at a page of pencil I did yesterday for a strip I'd just written and I was a bit pleased with it. As I said in an earlier post I hate the inking process. Copying the drawing in ink seems to kill the fun that I had doing the drawing in the first place. It's such a slow laborious process (for me anyway) I just can't be spontaneous while I'm doing it.

Today I thought, "You know, I'll just scan the pencil and see what that looks like."

The strip didn't have to match anything I had done previously - these were new characters - so I'd had fun and played a bit more than usual.  I scanned the pencil drawing in and it's okay. A lot less constipated than my normal stuff.  A bit of tweaking in Photoshop and I'm happy.

Later, while having a cup of coffee, I pulled down a book of Berkley Breathhed's Bloom County strips to read - this is a book that has been sat on my shelves undisturbed for maybe five or six years? - towards the front of the book Breathhead has included a page of drawings from his sketchbook.

Every idea - good or bad - started just like this.
 The tragedy is that pencil drawings never look quite 
as good once they've been civilized and transferred
 in ink onto the blank strip - a pity. 

Huzzah!  I'm not the only one.

Here's the strip:


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Keeping focussed on editing the Geeks comic is hard. Yesterday, my comic drawing time got sidetracked into drawing this, which popped into my head as I was falling asleep the night before - ALWAYS keep at least one notebook and art materials by the side of your bed!

Nice to have a rest from wrestling word balloons - and we are now 200+% funded on Kickstarter. Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I post my strips up on Flickr.  The last strip I put up there had 139 people look at it yesterday.  Because I can see how people arrived at the page I can tell you that of the 139 - 130 got there via Flickr's search  tool.
115 were looking for "boobs"
12 for "boob" (just one?)
and one was looking for "july 10 2016 boobs"

"July 10 2016 boobs"  is so weirdly specific that there has to be a story behind it.  If you work out what it is please let me know and I'll see if I can draw it.
I have often thought that the best way to really appreciate something is to try and do it yourself and find out how bloody hard it is to get right.

At the moment I am slaving away at the comic book and really coming to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the lettering of comic books.  It's a bugger!  I'm also spending a lot of time wondering what the hell I thought I was doing this time last year. 

When I draw the strips I draw it in pencil, then again in pen, then I scan that pen drawing into Photoshop and 'colour', and tweak, and letter on the computer.  When I have finished faffing about it's not uncommon for a strip to have 40 or so layers.

[For the uninitiated think of Layers as transparent sheets with bits of the drawing on. Pile all the sheets up and look through them and the image is complete.  You can draw, erase, and  slide individual sheets around or stack them in different orders - or make what's on them more (or less) opaque as you wish - or... well, the possibilities are endless and, as you can imagine, it's sometimes hard to keep track of which layer, which bit of drawing is actually on.]

Most of my finished files have a background layer (the original drawing), a 'Black and White' layer on which I tweak lines and erase mistakes, two or three layers of greys, a couple of layers of word bubbles (sometimes bubbles overlap and it is easier to nudge them around if they are on separate layers), the tails of the bubbles get their own layer, as does the 'Whiteout layer' where bubbles join, each separate speech gets its own layer (whether you want to or not, it's a Photoshop thing) etc. etc.etc. 

It soon mounts up.  As I have gone on I have got more organised.  I now diligently name the layers as I make them and have them organised in a, by now routine, set pattern.

A year ago I was all over the place.  The files I'm working on are total chaos.  Half my time spent relettering and tweaking the old strips is just spent trying to find out where the word bubble I'm supposed to be altering actually IS.  I mean I can SEE it - but can I find it?  Can I buggery?  

It's very frustrating not being able to find the thing you can see right in front of you.   

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Merriol and I have started work in earnest editing the comic book.  The first pass through the strips and we'll be working on the text working pretty strictly - though not slavishly - to the comprehensive and well set out rules of comic strip grammar here:

I came across the site last year.  I wish I'd come across it earlier.  The lettering on some of my earlier strips is just plain UGLY and I'm having to redo them panel by panel, balloon by balloon.

Going to be a bit of a slog but will, I think, be worth the effort.

Friday, July 01, 2016


That went a lot more quickly and easily than we had any right to expect.  Our Kickstarter thing has 27 more days to go and we're already over our target.  This is a good thing.

As this is our first project we're not going to complicate matters by adding new targets and offering new rewards - so called 'stretch goals' but we're not going to turn down additional pledges.  (For one thing I'm not sure if we can, and if we are able to I don't know how we do).  The money from additional pledges will go towards an increased print run and upgrading/buying art equipment, like some posher paper for me to draw on, and Letraset ProMarkers - ooooooooh....Letraset ProMarkers*.

All we really have to do now is finalise the page order, proofread the thing to death - we WILL miss something. Get the artwork fitting the templates from the printer, wait till the Kickstarter campaign has finished and get everyone's names ready for the backers' Thank You credits...   (Should they be in alphabetical order? or order that people backed us? or in order of their shoe size?  This sort of thing still needs to be decided.) We have to get their addresses, and make all the mini-comics, buy packaging material, and... etc.... etc....

Well, there goes our summer holiday....

It's going to be brilliant!  And we can't wait.  Thank you.

It sure as hell beats Skegness!

*and cakes

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

eXTReMe Tracker