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Chipping away...
by Singring

There's only so many hours in a day, so you've got to use them effectively. That's what I keep telling myself, at least...

In between working late hours at home, I'm managing to carve out pockets of time here and there to not only continue work on upcoming pages and at least maintain a small buffer, but also do some other bits and bobs - like open a facebook page for my comic, which will be developed into a direct communications hub for the comic in future months and create a new YouTube channel, where I will be uploading tutorial videos in the next few weeks and some 'behind the scenes' stuff on how I create my pages. I know there's quite a few great tutorial channels on YouTube already, and most of those people are better and have much more experience than I do, *but* I still don't see many videos that deal with the nuts and bolts of how to creata a comic book page. Yes, hey cover thumbnails and what they do step by step, but they rarely tell you *why* they do it. For example, why decide to have three panels instead of four? Where and how to add dialogue on a page and how to plan for it in the layout stages? How do you slow the pace or pick up the pace of a stiry from page to page or panel to panel? These are details that can really make a difference, so I want to cover some of those, making reference to some of the great literature that is out there on the topic. 

So much to do...so little time...but at least it's going to be fun!

Thumbnail weekend!
by Singring

I'm going to try to update this blog more often with random bits and pieces as I work on the comic. I've also recently bought a cheap, but servicable webcam, so I might start recording some 'tutorial'/'making of' style videos to go along woth the pages as I  create them.

The big news this week (at least in the world of 'The Cull'), is that I used the long weekend to knuckle down and not only pencil a full page, but also do thumbnails for the next 40 (!) or so pages of The Cull, which should take us to the end of the second chapter in the story. I'm quite happy with some of the story beats we'll be hitting and there are plenty of pages of action, adventure and even some romance in store for the coming year or so worth of updates. It feels good to have a mid-term objective to work towards and it has really energized me.

As it stands, I foresee the first chapter to be wrapped up at around page 30 and teh second chapter will be another 40 pages. All being told, I think the trajectory is to tell the entire story in about six or seven chapters - but it may turn into more. That would be a total of about 250 pages - daunting, but with a goal to work towards, I feel much more confident I will actually be able to finish this. It might take a few years, but we'll get there, with lots of fun and drama along the way. 

For those of you interested in process, my thumbnails are very rough, barely a sketch - and I add little snippets of dialogue and point out things I want to do in key panels with notes that I hope I'll be able to still make sense of in half a year when I come to doing the actual page! Here's an example of thumbnails for four pages (I do thumbnails for four pages on a single A4 sheet). Don#t worry - you'll see they are so illegible to the anyone but me that there will be no real spoilers here

 

I also  was able to rework a character design I have been working on - many thanks to the folks in the forum who commented on an earlier design and (rightly) suggested I simplified. I know it's still quite busy, but much less so than the one before:

 

 

ComicFury debut!
by Singring

Hi everyone,

   thanks for checking out The Cull on ComicFury. This is my debut on the site and it looks like there's a vibrant community here, so looking forward to your comments, feedack and questions.

   A bit of history about the comic - I started it some three years ago when I was still a PhD student and it is the first project that I have carried through to double-digit pages. I've found that the trick for me has been to abandon the idea of a set script - this comic is being created the 'Marvel Way'. I have a rough idea of the plot in my head, but the exact pacing, plotting and dialogue evolve from page to page. I used to write scripts for comics, but I soon realized that I would go back and forth over the cripts to make sure they were as perfect as could be - but I never actually got around to drawing the damn thing and when I finally did, I had run out of interest!

  This one is different, because I'm discovering the story myself as I go along, which keeps things interesting for me and hopefully for you.

   I knoew taht ins oem wasy it may spell disaster to go about it this loosely and I do find myself sometimes going back and rewriting dialogue to fit with later plot developments or characterisation, but so far I'm quite happy with the results and I hope you are too,

   One thing I will be perfectly honest about is that I am slow - I have a very busy day job and as you will probably see, my artwork tends to be on the detailed side, so at the best of times it takes me two weeks to finish a single page - crazy, I know.

   I have a backlog of pages that I will be uploading weekly from now on, but at some stage when I've caught up with myself, I will be going to a bi-weekly update. So if you want to follow this comic, I'm afraid you will need patience.

   Anyway, let me know what you think and hope you enjoy it!

   Singring