Backloggin’ It, Big Time!

(Feb 17, 2010)

My apologies for the last two weeks of silence. Things have been hectic since I’ve been hanging  with my man Michael Caine. You wouldn’t think it if you saw him, but when he comes to town, the party gets started. And if there’s already a party going on, “Sugar” Caine kicks it up to the next level, where they start spelling it with a “double-e”! There are about 60 hours from the last few days that are just lost from my memory.

Don’t eat Taco Bell around Michael Caine. He will cold smack you.

While I’d love to ride the Caine-Train from here to Partee Citee, that’s not how one becomes a Prince of Maine or a King of New England.  No, no. Rather, it’s time to awkwardly pull myself back onto the old blogging horse.

This week I’ve been working on my quarterly comic for the Viet Nam Literature Project.  This year I’ve been experimenting with using computer lettering for my VNLP comics.  The main reason is to speed up the lettering process, as these strips tend to be pretty text-heavy, but I’ve also discovered some other benefits as well.

Here’s how I start planning a page:

Each comic, for formatting purposes, is built on a 16-panel grid.  In my sketchbook, I rough out 16 panels and quickly sketch the major “beats” of the story.  Once I’m sure my idea will fit the allotted space, I scribble in the text of the comic to see if it will fill up too much panel space.  While imprecise, this does let me know if I need to start editing down the text.

Now this is where computer lettering has helped me with these comics.  Using a 16-panel template in Photoshop, I add the text from my layout.  Now I know just how the lettering in the comic will look.

Other advantages to this method is that this gives me a readable draft that I can send to my editor.  Also, when I draw the final comic, I can just paste the drawings into the template, and presto– instantly lettered comic!  How ’bout them apples?

Also, here are a few details from the comic AMATEURS, which I’m drawing with Jeremy Massie.  I’ll spare you the process details, and just show how the pencils look on the page compared to how they look when I remove the green pencils in Photoshop.

AMATEURS updates will probably take up the majority of my future postings.  There’s a lot of pages to draw, and Jeremy and I want to get this book to the people as soon as we can.  Unfortunately, the Fan Art Apocalypse of January taught me I don’t have time to draw the comic, and extra stuff for this blog…

…Though that is a lesson that I will completely ignore this week!

Last weekend I went to see UP IN THE AIR, which completes the triumvirant of George Clooney movies released this past holiday season (the other two being FANTASTIC MR. FOX, and THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS for those who may not know).  Instead of going into a lengthy review of each film, I thought I’d sum up my feelings in a humble illustration:

I’d hoped to close this post out by mentioning a movie that George Clooney and Michael Caine had done together (we in the blogging business call this “bringing it all home”), but it turns out there are none.  Their closest connection is that they’ve both been in Batman movies.  Perhaps the world isn’t ready for the team up of Sugar Caine and The Clooninator.

2 Responses to “Backloggin’ It, Big Time!”

  1. You are out of your mind and I like it!!!! ‘Sugar Caine’ !!!

  2. Thanks dude. Young Skywalker get you up early?

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