Inkling - my Inktober project

  • Jake Parker says "If you want to learn to do comics, just do one". So after watching his (awesome!) course on comics here at SVS I decided to follow his advice and put a story I had written about 2 years ago in graphic novel form - and use Inktober to ink it. Since I was aiming at Inktober, I had a hard deadline to finish the pencils...and I luckily made it! It took me 40 days of "sangue, sudore e lacrime" (a nice Italian expression that means "blood, sweat and tears").... I have a couple of days buffer with the inks (I have started inking already) and I plan to post half a page every day on the Inktober hashtag on my channels, and maybe post the full pages here as I finish them.
    Here is the first panel.
    It is 18 pages in total (a graphic short story, rather than a graphic novel?). I think many of the drawings are not that good, and if I started again I would take much more time to design the characters...but I am happy with the panel flow and with how the story turned out. I definitely learnt a ton in the process....the most important learning is that it is an awful amount of work to do a graphic novel....
    Also, I think traditional inking is definitely not my cake. I committed to it and I will ink traditionally, but I am not that fond of the harsh black line and I feel very clumsy. I guess it will be better by the end of the month.
    Hope you like the story...let me know your thoughts!

  • Can't wait to see this, you're off to a very good start 🙂 My only comment would be that even though I love (!) the level of detail, the person got a little lost in it. He's in the right spot in the composition, but perhaps need more contrast? Or some crosshatching to establish a light source (the screen) would make him pop more?

    I've never done a comic myself, but have read a ton. One of my favourite artists is Hans (Hasse) Lindahl, who drew the Phantom in the eighties. His artwork is very detailed, but he also uses a lot of black to create contrasts and focal points. This is a completely different style (sort of superhero-comics), but the principles apply still, I think 🙂 Unfortunately there is very little of his work online, but I found this page from one of my favourite stories (The mysterious well, 1983):

  • @Camomilla You are absolutely right, and I debated a lot about adding more black shadows....there is quite a lot of pages where I know the focal point will be missing because I decided to stick to simple line. I am not that much into superhero comics, but an artist I love with a similar style to your example is the great Will Eisner.
    There is a reason for not adding black shadows (you will see it later in the story), and at the back of my mind is to add color instead to drive the focal points. But I am not quite sure yet if I want to bring this that far, or rather use it only as a learning experience. I guess it depends if people like the story or not.

  • @smceccarelli Ah, if you plan on adding colour, it would be a different beast all together 🙂 If you decide not to, perhaps some more variation in line-weight would do the trick? I suppose that will come more naturally and easily as you progress 🙂

  • SVS OG

    Nice. Very brave project to take on for Inktober. Looking forward to this.

  • First panel looks great. @Camomilla has a good point for focal point but the other side of the coin is that you can definitely work more detail than light/shadow. It all depends on what you're comfortable with and how you push your medium.

    Check out Geof Darrow, he uses all line most of the time and focal point with color. TBH I get lost in his work sometimes, mainly his older work. That being said he has progressed with his technique and he creates focus by putting little detail where he wants the reader to look.

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  • SVS OG

    @BradAYoo feel sorry for the colorist on his

  • @evilrobot HAHAHahaha! I was thinking the same thing...

  • An exclusive preview of the finished first page 😉

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  • SVS OG

    This great. I should have planned a project like this. Looking forward to the rest of it.

  • @evilrobot It took nearly two months of work already. This will be the third (though inking goes about five times faster than drawing, so I can spare a bit more time for my other stuff). My inking skills are pitiful - it is worrying how much patience I lost by working digital for so long. Really flabbergasted by how much work goes into a graphic novel - now I have a much higher admiration for comic artists! The positive thing is that breaking down a story into panels is something I enjoyed enormously - and it gave me lot of other ideas....

  • Sneak preview of finished page 2, which will be posted tomorrow. I am posting half a page a day approximately - maybe sometimes I will be able to finish a full page. Technically it is not one drawing a day (more like inking 4-5 panels on already done pencils), but Inktober was a good excuse to tackle this project!

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  • SVS OG

    Looking good and great cliff hanger. I know how much work this is I use to do a weekly webcomic it's a LOT of work. Kudos for taking up such a difficult challenge.

  • @evilrobot Is it still online? Would love to see it!

  • SVS OG

    Only a few strips are still online at a free comic site.... HERE I let the domain go years ago.Lucky for me most of them are gone now except these I can't seem to get rid of them. The internet is forever I guess. It was a not so politically correct strip comic it got pretty raunchy at one point and I look back on it now and I'm not proud of it.

  • @evilrobot Oh yes, I see what you mean. Not exactly a goodnight story...;-)
    Still, I have been thinking about webcomics since I read a very insightful book by Jason Brubaker, the author of "Remind", which is apparently a pretty successful web comic (I do not follow his comic, but his book - which talks about self-promotion for artists - is very good).

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli I think a very good use for a webcomic is to promote your product. Like this one he did the webcomic and it was so popular that he ended up with over $90,000.00 on his kickstarter. I've seen this a couple times. So if you can get something that really catches attention it could make for a really nice pay day....

  • @evilrobot Yes, I see what you mean. Brubaker does the same. Still, it is really a LOT of work....I must have spent at least 8 hours per page only for the pencils - and it would have needed a lot more - this is more of an experiment to learn...

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @evilrobot Mac Smith is an awesome artist and scurry is a beautiful piece! I am taking inspiration from him on a graphic novel contest over at scholastic. I only hope my pages turn out as great as his.

  • @smceccarelli Can't wait to read the rest 😃

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