Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Creative Process

I thought I'd share a bit of the sketches that became the "Ninjas Don't drink Lite beer" comic. Think of it as a way to tide over my extremely large mass of rabid fans until the next comic offering. I'm sure my fan base is in the thousands at this point.

Even if Google Analytics says it's only about 10 people total so far. Liars.

When I got to draw a comic with just the main character (Chad), I typically just figure out how I want it to layout, which cell will have what in it, do a quick little doodle and go. When I'm creating new characters, however, I take a more time to figure out what they'll look like on paper before getting on the computer. That's why eventually, all my comics will have the same two or three characters, and get really lame and boring*. Hopefully they aren't to that point already.

This is the beginning of the creation of the ninja. I started by just trying to get the face/head/eyes thing going (click on images to enlarge). I liked the one line brow above each eye. The eyes I made with two tiny white circles - no pupils - since ninjas always seem to be kinda "soulless" and squinty.

So I started working on the rest of the ninja now that I had some vague idea what I wanted for the head. This first one here was almost too detailed (for my little comic strips anyway). He gave off kind of an.. evil vibe. I think it had something to do with the "V" shape of his eye slit. Also the downward slope of his "eyebrows" for lack of a better term. They're really just lines above his eye. I don't think real ninjas have eyebrows. They must be forced to shave them off.

In the next one, I simplified things a bit, taking it down to a foot soldier-ish level, but keeping the one line over the empty circle for an eye. By making the brow lines level instead of downward slanting, it kinda gave him more of an annoyed look than an evil look, so I stuck with that in the final comic.

And here we have the first two cells sketched out. I struggled a bit with the "smoke" at first, but once I got into Flash and played around with the alpha levels, I think it turned out pretty well.

That's about it. A short 4ish hours later the colored digital product was done and available to view. I'd like to think that if I were drawing it on a Wacom type pad that it'd be quicker, but I don't really know if that's the case. As it is now when I draw them in flash, it's all with the little mouse touchpad on my laptop. Seems to work alright.

Hope you liked the creative run down and sketches. Post a comment and let me know how ya feel. If you're a jerk I can always just delete it.

* This little star thingy indicates a footnote. Just wanted to let you know that I love Garfield and Jim Davis (the cartoonist behind the cat). I just feel like his strips have gotten a little stale over the years. He's one of the first comic strips I fell in love with though, and I own books 1 through 54 or something.

Family Circus I could do without.


Cody said...

Creative genius

Alaina said...

that's so impressive. I can't even do a decent smiley face.