Zombolette’s Floppy #1 is finally at the printers! Very soon she’ll be in your disgusting, meaty paws. I can’t wait. Now I just want to get stuck into issue #2!
By the by, I’ve been using Jeffries Printing Services in Sydney for all my self-publishing efforts, and couldn’t recommend them more highly.
I cracked open my watercolour set today – huge fun!
Six hours later and I’m nearly done on the sexy cover art for the new Zombolette floppy…
Two Zombolette stories are now totally done! I have plans for a few mini one-page gags to squish between them, then I have to paint the cover, then I’ll have another floppy out!
I’ve made a page about it at my amazing new website, too:
I’m pretty much a professional web developer now. Only, I’m one who just uses pre-programmed themes and doesn’t know how to do anything.
I’ve done SO MUCH editing of the inked pages in the most recent story… lots of cutting and pasting, rearranging, trying to get it just right. I want to go back and re-ink some of the panels from the other story I finished (the yoga one), but my inking has come such a long way since then I think it would really stand out!
For the page below, I wanted Zombolette’s world to be more clean and crisp to reflect the plot. I normally draw very scraggly environments, but this was fun.
Progress snaps as I ink a page of the latest species-bending Zombolette episode:
I have loved inking every second of this, even though I had to re-work several entire pages just to get it to a place I’m happy with story-wise. As I’ve mentioned before, this one is darker and less jokey than a lot of other Z’lette stories. It’s also closer to what I personally enjoy most in a cartoon. Since I was little, I’ve enjoyed cartoons that are somewhat unsettling, nightmarish, and highly emotive; I hope I’ve managed to capture some of those qualities in this new story.
Finally finished pencilling this new story! This one gets kind of dark and sad. A really fun one to write, though.
I cannot wait to ink it. Inking is by far the funnest part of the process. All the hard, boring, smudgy, annoying, STUPID pencilling is done, and all I have to do is add the fun details and see it all materialise. I’m trying really hard to love pencilling more. Really really. Maybe when I get better at composition, I’ll enjoy it more.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at my comic-creating process, in case anyone’s interested. I love reading this kind of thing from other artists.
Once I’ve come up with one of my genius story ideas, I write out a beat sheet (kind of like a list of the key points in the story). Then I write out the script, breaking it into panels and pages–a delicate process. Each page can fit maybe up to 12 panels, but it must make sense as a single page of action, and capture a specific mood and rhythm. I also try to end each page with a natural ‘rest’.
My scripts are very bare, since I do all my own art–I don’t need to communicate artistic ideas with anyone else, and I flesh most of the visuals out when I’m drawing drafts rather than scripting. Maybe I would get better results by writing out some art direction, but I find this effective enough.
The next thing I do is make rough thumbnails of each page, to make sure everything fits, and to get an idea of how to compose the panels into a page that flows nicely.
These are super crappy and rough. I never used to even draw the action in the panels at this point, I’d just sketch out where the squares were gonna go–I find drawing thumbnails super boring. This means that I spend a lot of time erasing stuff, whiting stuff out, and swearing during later stages. I know I’d save time by drafting more thoroughly… maybe this can be a new year’s resolution.
Anyway, as I’m drawing thumbnails I might find that some pages are too squishy and rushed, or too empty or whatever, so the script tends to change a bit here.
Next, I do full-sized pencil drafts of every page. I should probably do more comprehensive thumbnails, too. I’ll let you know when I’m done I guess!
The graphic novel of Zombolette that I’m working on is going to take ages. Ideally, all the inking will be done by hand (rather than digitally), and it’s going to be around 200 pages. That’s a lot of work. And I’m a lot of lazy. But there are loads of little Zombolette stories still to tell, so I’m going to try to release a single-issue Zombolette comic pretty soon. I’ve really missed drawing Z’lette and Cam and monobrows and walri and brains and bellies.