Tonight’s blog will be short as I need to explode somethings with an old flame, Rochelle.
Her hobbies include Depeche Mode, TV Producing, and zombie killin’.
I don’t know why I always wound up playing Rochelle, but I did. I couldn’t sing you a Depeche Mode song to save my buddy Keith’s life, so it can’t be that. I’ll leave you to speculate.
Longtime readers of the comic have no doubt guessed that Jim and I are huge Left 4 Dead fans. We played the game, as Jim has fondly noted, nearly every night for two years. I picked it up on Steam’s Summer Sale for $5 and find myself quickly falling in love all over again.
At this point in my life it’s an almost perfect game for me. It’s competitive and compelling, funny, and if my little guy wakes up I can walk away knowing that the AI will take over and my pals won’t be a Rochelle short when the horde arrives.
Man, oh man, does Valve know how to make a game!
After thumbnails, I work to size, with a #2 pencil and a smooth lightweight paper. No more small stuff, I rule out my page, and panel edges. I work from loose scribbles, slowly tightening and erasing. Dialogue is quickly scribbled in, to give me a sense of how much space it’s going to take up. Hopefully by now my research is serving its purpose and the drawings are flowing without much time spent comparing to reference. Sometimes a new pose or new way to frame the action occurs to me, and I re-draw that panel on a separate sheet because the panel on the main sheet is too cluttered to easily erase. I’ll composite that panel back in as I work on the tight pencils. This stage takes the most effort, as this is when problems in rendering and structure present themselves. It’s a constant effort for me to slow down, and fix or more thoroughly realize an element that’s troublesome, as it’s my nature to put it off. But if I don’t know how it’s supposed to look, and I try to wing it in the inks, it will only look like crap. It’s taken me a long time to learn that lesson– I’m still learning it! Drawing can be a constant fight against our own inertia. Without an undo button, I’m forced to learn good habits, or get used to publishing crap (or throwing a lot of stuff away).