Keep Moving Forward

Click here to read the comic! I’ve added links after each instalment back to the corresponding blog post, so it’ll be easy to find your way back here.

I warned you, didn’t I?

When I started this blog, I wrote that I’d be experimenting as I went along. Well, the first big change is here: I’ve decided to continue Fantasy Story in black & white. As much as I wish I could say this was solely an artistically-driven decision, it mostly comes down to practicalities. With my current time constraints (a toddler at home, other work that needs to take priority) and after looking into pricing for printing (which I do plan on doing) it just made sense. Colouring takes me a long time. Maybe one day I’ll be able to hire a colourist, or revisit colouring myself on future projects, but for now, for this comic, greyscale it is!

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Some Pros & Cons

As a reader, I often find it takes me a minute to mentally adjust to reading a black & white comic if I’m expecting colour. Colour is so seductive and exciting, and my eyes want it!  But one I’ve made that shift, there’s something I like about reading in black and white. Maybe it’s that, in well-done black and white comics, I tend to focus on the story and ideas more than gazing at the art.

As a creator, there’s so much that thoughtful application of colour adds to the storytelling. However, it can also be a crutch for sub-par linework, and now that I’ve made the switch I’m looking forward to focusing on value contrast, shape design, and other aspects of the art that need to be on point without the pretty colours to keep readers sticking around.

I’m going to leave the pages I’ve already posted up in colour for awhile before I convert them all to greyscale. If you’ve been reading since the beginning, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how you felt when suddenly the world went black & white. Confused? Betrayed? Wondering if there’s some tie to Oz you weren’t expecting? And if the change didn’t totally turn you off, did you notice any difference in the way you read the story once it wasn’t in colour anymore?

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A Few New Faces

Hopefully, the lack of colour wasn’t the only thing you noticed in this instalment. Two new characters were introduced, and though we still don’t know much about any of them, I’m excited for their stories to begin to unfold over the ensuing pages. I wish I could publish more at once, but as it is, I hope you’ll come back to see what happens next!

Oh, by the way: I’ve been posting some detail and WIP stuff over on Instagram @jlprentice in between posts here, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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So that’s it for today. Hope everyone had a great weekend, and the Monday Blues don’t getcha down tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Jessica

They Meet in a Tavern…

Welcome to the Fantasy Story process blog!

Fantasy Story is a comic project I’ve been developing over the past year, in between juggling school, illustration work, and raising a tiny human being. FS is the first comic I’ve ever let escape out into the world, and I’m so excited to finally be sharing the first three pages today.

If you just want to read the comic without interruptions, head on over to The Story So Far.

In addition to hosting the comic itself, though, I created this site as a place to share progress shots, creative trials & tribulations, and commentary on the story as I release it. If you’re into that sort of thing, well then read on, my friends…

Ok first here’s a look at page 1. Meetcha below 🙂

(Again, if you just want to read the pages without the commentary you can find them here).

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PROGRESS not PERFECTION

Alright. Confession time: for years I’ve been labouring under the dumb impression that before I could make comics, I first had to be good enough to make comics. So I’d do other things: dream up story ideas and character designs and read a lot about making comics and I’d do other illustration work… but I almost always stopped short of making actual sequential pages.

As I said above, this is dumb. As illustrated beautifully in this great quote by Ira Glass, if you want to GET good enough, “the most important possible thing you can do is make a lot of work.” Fine, Ira Glass! You’re right.

With Fantasy Story, I am explicitly giving myself permission to experiment, to try different approaches and techniques, and to grow as an artist and storyteller over the course of the work. If you stick around to read more of Fantasy Story as it’s released you might notice a major theme of the work is identity. This is no coincidence: as Elinore, Tav, Max and David (you’ll meet them all soon don’t worry) discover who they are and how they relate to their world, I’m right there with them on a mission of creative self-discovery.

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Whew, That Was Easy!

I learned so much throughout the execution of these first few pages, especially inking, colouring, and lettering them.

I’ve almost always used Pigma Micron pens for inking in the past, but have been perennially dissatisfied with the lack of line width variation and character they give, so I decided to ink these pages using a dip pen and a Hunt #102 nib. If I was smart I would have practiced on other things before using a totally new tool on my final art but hey, I said this project was a learning process, right?

I’ve definitely still got kinks to work out with getting the ink to flow smoothly, not gouging the bristol, and just generally getting a facility with the pen, but page 2 went much more smoothly than page 1, and page 3 was… almost starting to feel comfortable.

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I could go on for pages about the time I had drawing and troubleshooting these initial pages, but I think that’s enough for now.  If you haven’t yet read all three pages together without the chatter here’s your last chance (just kidding).

Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it, and your curiosity is piqued enough to come back for more.

Below are a coupla progress shots. I plan on basically alternating between posting new pages and doing process posts… Work stuff and my little mini me at home keep me from being able to keep a tight production schedule, but I’m tryin’!

WIP Shots

 

If you’ve read all the way to this point you get an extra-special thank you. Shhh don’t tell the others!

Jess