Sunday, November 14, 2010

That went longer than planned, but better than expected

Yeah. That's better.
I finally finished my three-page narrative assignment for the expressive anatomy class. Only two weeks late. Too much going on at my day job and in my real life. Also, I came down with another dang flu bug. (Really, immune system? Really?)

Page one was actually done on time, although I decided later that the decision to have Sally's hand outside the panel border and her cape inside it was a dumb one. The drawing doesn't make sense, so I tweaked it since then.  She's more legitimately flying into the story now.

Don't try this at home.
We had some time in class to work on the rest of the pages. Unfortunately, page 2 didn't turn out as well. Even while I was working on it, I realized I had totally misplaced the video store, which is only the most important element on the page, when I was plotting my layout. It ended up way too far to the left hand side, almost into the bleed, and it was too far in the distance and therefore too small. Also, one of the narrative elements I planned for the panel was to put a hipster taking a video of the Godzilla attack with their iPhone because that's the kind of thing a West Queen West hipster would do when faced with a Godzilla attack. But the only spot I had for it in the composition blocked the already obscured and too-small video store. So between that and the stuff in panels 1-3 that didn't thrill me, I had to redo most of the page. I worked out the frustration over this by drawing a hooker on fire and a naked guy running in the other direction with his junk flopping around* because I knew I would be scrapping the page anyway, and because hey, let's face it, this is Parkdale**. 
(*junk not actually drawn to a level of detail that is easily identifed, but I'm sure you can use your imagination. **not quite Parkdale, which starts a few blocks to the west.)
The new page 2.
Now with 100%
less hookers on fire

 In the end, I went back to my friendly local independent video store, and took some more photo reference so I could put it more into the spotlight, and also give the last frame some better context and a bigger reaction, based on feedback I got from the instructor on the first draft.  I shot it from a low angle, because the idea of the boy mirroring Godzilla's pose in panel 3 with his own triumphant pose in panel 4 made me smile.  And while I was doing the extreme page 2 makeover, I fixed the wonky perspective on the backgrounds in panels 1-3. And I gave Sally a better science station. And I threw in a CP-24 news helicopter because it seemed like a good idea. And it's hard to tell from this, but I tossed in a DNA ladder on the bulletin board.

The fact that Godzilla seems to be squishing my other school here is completely unintentional. It's just collateral damage based on where the video store is.

And, here's page 3. There aren't draft versions of this, because I mostly just worked in non-photo blue and did a lot of erasing. I'm more or less happy with how it turned out, but I'm going to lose all the heavy black up top behind panels two and three. I was torn for a while between having the fight take place at the CNE grounds vs. Ontario Place. I picked the more useless of the two to take the hit. So yes, this one was squished on purpose. If anyone from Ontario Place sees this, I can only assume you'd side with me on this one.

The biggest challenge was actually the damn boat. I guess I should add the jibline to it. I kind of forgot to draw that part. But what I like about this is that Godzilla is flying out of the last panel of the last page, which gives a nice overall bookend symmetry to Sally flying into the first panel of the first page.

Even considering the mistakes I made along the way, I'm surprised these pages turned out as well as they did. Maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this whole drawing thing.

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