That’s right, John J. Hill delivered the finished letters late last week. All that remains are a few pages of design work, a final edit and then The Steamworld Chronicles #1 is off to the printers. It’s the stretch run, fans, and we could have gotten this close without all of you! Here’s a sample of what a fantastic job John did with the letters.
Hi, anybody who watches our site! I posted a cropped version of this image on our Facebook page. This is the final inks for page 11. I’ve been pretty busy for the past few weeks, but have finally sort of hit a groove in the inking process and will soon be all caught up with Ben.
This page is the first page after the intro sequence and double-page title spread. It features the first look at our hero, Dr. Quentin Bowlsby, hard at work in his very cluttered office/laboratory, then being summoned up to his boss’s office.
As we all are, Ben is a big nerd and has littered Q’s space with all sorts of fun stuff. Take a look and see what you can recognize.
Now, the way I go about inking, especially when I don’t have a schedule or am being pressed for time is this; I go through all the pages I have to ink and do all the panel borders, or in this case, the gutters. From there I work my way through the pages bit by bit jumping around from panel to panel, page to page, finishing bits and pieces depending on my mood, how much time I have, etc. I continue to jump around pages until I start to get a page that’s awfully close to being finished and then I just sit down and finish it. That’s my process.
This helps me to keep from getting to tired of one particular panel or job. It also helps me to get past the impending doom I feel about inking.
Inking is in my mind, is the hardest part of the graphic storytelling process. You are taking the sometimes soft and loosely defined shapes of the artist you’re working with and laying down a hard, defined line. Sternly telling the reader that THIS is the image you will look at, NOT that soft beautiful image you may or may have not seen prior to the inking process. (depending on the artist and the project)
As an inker, I try and keep the artist’s wishes in mind as I finish it. Staying as true to their line as I can. Sometimes, things don’t always work out that way, though. Sometimes, the artist was tired, or just decided they didn’t want to draw, whatever it may be, in that panel. So they leave it. Sketchy at best, sometimes completely open to interpretation. It’s always something different.
The interpretation game is why inkers have to be artists in their own right. It helps to know how to draw something, that your penciler decided they didn’t want to draw. Sometimes, your penciler draws something that just can’t be inked. That’s when your artist just has to trust you to be able to finish it. The perfect example? Ever see Gene Colan’s pencils? Look them up sometime and then go look at Tom Palmer’s finishes on them. Sheer brilliance. Another good one is Walter Simonson. He inks almost all his own stuff, so his pencils are often just mildly more than fancy layouts as he redraws the art as he inks. Try inking someone like that. That’s how I started, inking over copies of Walter’s pencils. After all , I didn’t know better, I just picked up a pen and started doing this one day. I didn’t know any better. I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years, and while some people tell me different, I still feel I’m only marginally better than when I started. I’ve got a long way to go. But I do think that I have within me the capacity to be better, and I’ll keep doing this until I can ink one of Walter’s pages and be truly happy with it.
If there’s a goal as an inker, I’d say that’s a good one to shoot for.
Just a quick update to start the week. I don’t know how many people are actually looking at the site in a regular basis, or if they only happen to stop and look when they stumble upon a link from the Facebook or Twitter accts. So I’ll continue to update the site with images and such and link back and forth across the accts. so no matter where you’re following, us you’ll know about other places to see more stuff.
I spent most of last week inking and working on some other projects. We have now in our hands, the first 10 pages complete from Ben. I have most of them started and several only a few details from finishing. As I finish up pages and get some scans, I’ll be posting some panels I really like.
When we got the first couple penciled pages done, I sent them off to our colorist, Adam to give them a shot to see some color samples and also to see about maybe coloring straight from pencils. (Saving me the time of inking and would give us back a little schedule time) Adam colored two pages this way, and now we will ask him to color a couple inked pages to see what way we want to go. Adam is on vacation this week, so by the time he gets back, I will have all these pages inked and ready for him. That way if it turns out we will go this direction, I’ll be all caught up with Ben’s pencils.
IN the meantime we are getting the details down for our KickStarter campaign which we hope to kickoff in mid-September. Details forthcoming, don’t worry once we start that, we’re gonna be shouting it from every rooftop we can get to.
I guess that’s it for now, I want to try and get the other guys to post here occasionally as well.
I would like to introduce Dr. Quentin Bowlsby, or as we’ve been referring to him for the past year, Q. This is a cropped version of the full image that’s available at the FB page here. This is Ben’s first shot at a character sketch for Q. He’s a little younger here that he will be in the book, but he really got pretty close to nailing it first time out.
So, Ben delivered this logo this morning. Thing of beauty, innit? We’ve updated the FB page with it and have decided that it will be the logo of choice for any promotional needs, titles, etc.
The actual titles for the dress for the comic books will be derived from this image. So, we’ll develop and reveal what those logos will be when we’re ready.
Until then, revel in this beauty, and tell Ben Risbeck how much you like it!