Friday, 20 March 2009

Done Done DONE!

One crap arse load of work and one huge learning curve later and I can sit here at 4 in the afternoon as the sun glorious teases me through the slits in the blind and tell you that the comic book is officially finished! Woot and yip!

The test print went without a hitch and once I had corrected a couple of spelling errors (Blush) and a few dud lines, I sat and colour the bugger in. Now, colouring in Illustrator is definitely worth a mention, because when you know how to do it its freakin' awesome. But when you don't and you need to learn very, very quickly, its a bit tricky.

Anyway, I got my head around it and got on and wowzers, its completely friggin' brilliant. Why doesn't Flash carry and of these tools? I tell you one thing. All future animations will be roughed on paper, drawn in illustrator and put together in Flash. It must be the way its done, because I've spent years trying to work out the best way and I think this is it.

Anyway, I am going to post a few screenshots of the colouring and explain the idea behind what I have chosen to do. I will also be posting the original scans, a rough computerised version and then the current stuff to show how the comic has progressed.

After deciding to do this project I drew up a plot for a full cartoon, but with limited time at hand I decided to cut the plot into a trailer. The plot was grossly over the top and disgusting, so I altered it and re-wrote it about sixteen thousand times until it was a satirical masterpiece. Then, with some of the spare ideas I decided that the 'alternate marketing adaptation' that the brief required would be a comic book. I then decided create a director character who stumbled across said comic book in a bargain bin and went on to make an up-coming action movie based on a none-existent comic book that was put out of print for been vulgar.

This is the universe of:

Captain Uber Vs. Pervert Man
A trailer for a film that will never exist, based on a comic book that was never actually made.

This is how it started...with a hand drawn copy of the comic book.
I started with a word document for the comic book containing the dialogue and some ideas for different panels, but first I read about a million comic books just to learn how they work. I then got out the pencil and paper and drew up the comic book.

Everything was laid out so that story flowed and the dialogue made sense.

I then drafted this up to see what the comic would look like in colour and with nice cartoony lines. I absolutely hated this so I went back to the drawing board and research inking and cartoon colouring.

This idea really struck me. Using black and white and one colour that related to the comic books theme. For example the one above is about a Bee, so the colours are black white and yellow. I really liked this idea and its a great cost cutting idea when it comes to printing. I decided that my limited time and money wouldn't allow me to colour and afford to print the comic book over and over without making some cuts, so this idea would work fantastically.

Here we see the final results. This is the front cover which is deliberately designed to look 1970's-ish. There a lot of little homages scattered throughout the whole comic book, but the front cover itself contains quite a few. The painted style is based on the new Spongebob Squarepants Season 4 box set. All the covers are painted with big wide brushes and they absolutely great, something I wanted to bring in.

All of the marvel comics have their own black and white logo on the front of the comic somewhere - Spiderman's head, is on the majority of mine. As a homage to a great comic book making company, I emblazoned my own cover with the symbol I thought most summed the comic book: a school desk comedy penis drawing.

The Pervert Man font is a homage to the same font they used for the 70's Conan comics. I found it on the Internet ands really wanted to use it for my own comic because it was supposed to be from the same era. I rolled with the USA red, white and blue colours for my main character and logo as a homage to Captain America. I developed my own publishing company specifically for this cartoon called 'Bum's the Word Publishing' - a company that went bust shortly after been sued for releasing this very comic.

Just underneath and to the right of the title you can see some small boxes. If you enlarge the image you will see that it reads: Unapproved by the Comics Code Authority. All comic books had to undergo approval by this Authority....this one didn't and that is why it got banned. Bit of back story dotted everywhere.

And here we are. The final result! I really like this style, i think its got a lot going for it. I liked the just black and white look too and it would have been cheaper print, but the scatterings of colour can be used to draw attention to important parts of the scene and also help the eyes to read what is happening.

It seems to suit certain pages better than others. It definitely works better with thicker lines that clearly divide the colour from the white of the paper.

And back to the original scene I initially drew up, which is now all sexified.

This is such a concise history of this comic book and doesn't really take into account all of the planning and thought that I have put into it. The true trial and error learning and development curve is completely documented on this blog for your reading pleasure...but even then, the hours and hours of my life that I have poured into this project are still not reflected.

I am really proud of this achievement and cannot wait for my ink to arrive so that I can start printing it. I am only going to run about 10 copies off and hand number them. I think I might adapt this into an online comic strip as well and even see about getting onto the G1 Market for distribution....not that I know how to code them, but I have a friend that does.

I didn't screen record a damn thing and have kicked myself all day upon realising that. I will be screen recording the entire making of the trailer though and making a featurette out of it, don't you worry!

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