Tuesday, July 21, 2009

V3 Sneak Peek 4: More Pencils

Anthrocon went fantastic this year - our car made it there and back! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table in the Dealer’s Room for the encouragement and support. Although admittedly, it was a bit intimidating how many people were swinging by to inquire about Volume 3... Yep, that Volume 3, the one that isn't remotely close to being finished yet. Yikes!

Fortunately I had new sketchbooks at the table to hurl forth as shiny, defensive distractions -but if V3 isn't ready by next year, we may have to upgrade to smoke bombs and cattle-prods. And, with the hefty page-count of this story, it's looking as though we have at least a year's worth of production yet on our hands.

Negotiations with the devil proved to be fairly pointless - it turns out my soul isn’t actually worth a fully completed color graphic novel. The most Beelzebub was willing to offer was 8 pages’ worth of Archie comics. On newsprint. Deferred over a 3-year trial period upon receipt of my soul... not worth a graphic novel, not worth start-up capital for my publishing efforts... jeez, souls aren’t worth crap. It’s like I have to work for everything I want.

That said, V3 production is currently humming along at full clip. Liz’s color blocking is suffusing the first scene with pre-shading detail, and now that I’ve moved beyond the circular-architecture-hell of the strip-club (It’s remarkably time-consuming faking all that perspective!) the pencils are really moving. I’m on page 14 of Chapter 7 currently. Here are some sample pics:

The sharply dressed Siamese cat dreamkeeper is making his first speaking scene in the saga - but, as noted by several sharp - eyed readers in the forum, this is not actually his first appearance. In the grand tradition of ‘Where’s Waldo and Why are you Doing this to your Readers you Prick,’ this character can be spotted intermittently in the festival riot scenes of Volume 2.

In addition to the bare-bones book pages, the occasional concept sketch is necessary to flesh out background and side characters:

The next major scene slated for pencils finally returns to our primary characters - Mace, Whip, Lilith, Namah, Bast... I’m really looking forward to it. Plus, the end of that scene will mark the penciling halfway point for the 40+ page Chapter.

One drawing at a time!