Archive for April 2007

Tomorrow’s Musings #2

April 30, 2007


Tomorrow’s Musings #2, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Programs Used:
Scanning: Photoshop
Vector conversion: Illustrator
Editing/color: Flash
Final touches: Comic Life

Once again, faithful readers, I bring you a comic. It’s not that I haven’t been taking photos lately, it’s just that I’ve been having more fun doing artwork that doesn’t pay a single red penny. This time around, before you ask: no, you’re not missing any real backstory. It’s a one-shot bit about a video game called Comix Zone, which originally was released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis and was recently rereleased on the Wii’s Virtual Console.

The general point of the comic is that the game is devilishly difficult, like utterly insanely difficult. The problem is a lot of us allowed nostalgia to blind our memories of just how hard Comix Zone actually is. I still love the game’s art style (much of it was actually produced by legitimate comic artists), and it’s a blast to play… it’s just hellish. So, one had to wonder: why in God’s name would someone actually stick around an area as awful and burnt-out as the world of Comix Zone. As a result, this comic just wrote itself.

Again, I used the same illustration techniques as before, though this time I snagged some screenshots from Comix Zone and put it through the Photoshop “cutout” filter in order to create the stylized backgrounds.  While the overall result was something I happened to be immensely pleased with the overall looks of the comic, but this is definitely going to be the exception rather than the rule; as a result, most further comics will probably be 1-3 very simple panels at the most.

Intro To Boy of Tomorrow

April 6, 2007

Intro To Boy of Tomorrow, originally uploaded by foolscircle.

Programs Used:
Scanning: Photoshop
Vector conversion: Illustrator
Editing/color: Flash
Final touches: Comic Life

Aside from photography, I also do illustration and graphic design. This is a test cell for an upcoming weekly editorial comic that my friends and I might put onto their website. Whether or not it’ll actually go through and become a regular addition to the World Wide Web remains to be seen, but I used this as an exercise in using Flash to cut down on my cartoon assembly time.

A little background on the character: Boy of Tomorrow is a reference to that retro style of science-fiction… heralding to the “World of Tomorrow” that was prevalent during the pulp era of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.  I decided that I wanted to mesh that era’s feel with a bit of the today’s science-fiction look, infusing some futuristic gadgets and circuitry with the jacket, goggles, and flight cap to create a unique look.  The drawing had some minor errors and imperfections, but I knew I could correct those pretty quickly once I scanned it into my computer.

Previously, nearly all my comics and illustrations have been done completely in Photoshop… the process normally involves me taking a sketch and then tracing over it in the program. While the end results normally look great, it’s a rather painstaking process that often takes me a number of hours. This time, I took a cue from Scott Ramasoor:

By inking over a drawing, the image is a lot more defined than if I’d only used a pencil. Using Adobe Illustrator’s Light Trace feature, I converted the lines into vector artwork and then imported it into Flash. From there, I smoothed the lines (a process that would’ve taken me at least two hours in Photoshop) with the click of a button and colored the image in about twenty minutes.

From there, I moved the cartoon into Comic Life and added the text. Granted, it took me a few hours to actually teach myself the use of Flash and how its various tools really work, but once I had the hang of things this took me about two hours total to make instead of five or six.