I’ll start by making clear that this second draft was mostly a bit of an experiment, I had gotten hold of an iPad Pro and decided to try out my fantasy of digital drawing on the couch. The reality didn’t quite live up to the dream, and I have since gone back to digital drawing on my Cintiq 22HD. Working at this desktop display has a number of advantages, among them having my files always in the same place, as well as the extra screen real estate for tabs and windows, and ready access to my Razer Synapse Orbweaver gaming device that gives me an almost intuitive and ergonomic ability to hit shortcuts as I’m working.
All of these things help remove the digital barrier, which I couldn’t seem to overcome working on a tablet. I need to be able to enter a flow state to be productive, and having to look for buttons and continually adjust the image was getting in the way of that. Using the rough sketches from my last post as a guide I mapped out a slightly more detailed pass.
Having all pages on one document allowed me to get a better idea of how each panel would transition to the next, and made it easier to swap panels around without messing with individual page files. Once this was sorted I created a PSB in Photoshop and laid all the pages out in order. At this point I was looking at five pages.
It was around that time that I got “inspired” and did some thumbnail storyboarding for some of the scenes, getting into more of Scott McCloud’s ‘moment-to-moment’ panel transitions.
I wanted to see how these would look combined with the existing draft, which was a bit of a process in itself. Or, as Jutta called it, a “waste of time”.
But sometimes I like to investigate possibilities if only to rule them out. Here’s how the pages might have looked had I kept the extra thumbnails. An odd mix.
This hopefully at least shows some of the thought (and fooling around) that goes into the drafting of a comic sequence. The extra panels were ditched, partly because they didn’t help communicate the message, and partly because this project is constrained by the number of pages that has already been agreed upon by The Conversation.
It’s the artist’s perogative to ramble around and experiment, but a professional needs to be timely. At this point I had fulfilled my artist desire to fluff around, and I could see I was already blowing my schedule. The next post will show me hopping into action, and finalising the digital draft.
Read the finished thing here: