A Walk in the Park: process post #1

All right. Here it comes. The first real post about my thesis. You may want to go get a change of pants. Or not. Yeah, probably not. That was kind of an arrogant assumption on my part. I apologize.

I have been working on this Thing since September and will be done by the end of April. I pondered and plotted and sketched for a few weeks. I wrote a bunch of beginnings of short stories, mostly about people being visited by some kind of otherworldly force or dealing with the strangeness of everyday life. Then, I took one story and sketched it out into a 44-page comic, tentatively titled A Walk in the Park. I have been planning, editing, penciling, and inking it since.

Some of these pencil sketches had such a nice feeling to them that I was hesitant to shift to ink. There are lots of great comics being done in pencil these days, without even counting CF. Blaise Larmee, who is definitely guilty of creating pretty pencil comics, posed me the question straight-out at the Brooklyn Comics Festival: “Why ink it?” and then he and Aidan Koch stared me down with those weary, I’ve-been-sitting-here-playing-nice-nice-for-seven-hours eyes for a good minute. It was an excellent moment. But right now I’m leaning towards inking the thing.

I’ve inked twelve or so pages so far and most of them aren’t working so well, but I think this one is. The eponymous park scenes are all borderless panels, so there needs to be a certain amount of shape and density to make them cohere. I really enjoy stuff by people like Jillian Tamaki and Wesley Allsbrook, whose linework has such a strong sense of movement that the whole thing feels alive.

And yes, there should be a question mark at the end of the squirrel’s line in the first panel. I swear I saw that before and didn’t just realize it as I was typing right now.

I also thought about doing a little colorization.

I like this type of palette, but I’m not sure it’s necessary. We shall see. I’ve also been experimenting with watercolor to make the double-page spreads pop. I’m not trying to be a full-color comic virtuoso like Farel Dalrymple, but I thought it was worth a try. This first one reminds me more of Brecht Evens though.

I think it’s best to have an open mind and keep your options open for as long as possible when making art. If you let your anxiety make your decisions for you, you’ll make stale work. If you don’t give yourself time to reflect, you’ll wind up making the same old thing over and over again.

So this is the first of what I hope to be a series of posts explaining a bit of my process in creating this comic. Let me know what you think.

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