Back from the Wilderness: Post vacation rumination

Having spent a week thrashing about in the sea on the Welsh coast I’m feeling somewhat refreshed, with the step back giving me time to approach again with a new perspective on my work.

Getting the biggest change of plans out of the way first: after lengthy consideration I’ve decided not to rough everything out in thumbnails as suggested by Paul Gravett. I realise that this is advice from a professional to disregard at my own peril and yes, I formerly referred to the method as ‘inarguably superior’ stating that I would ‘definitely’ set about doing it with my next script draft. The truth is that the more I thought about it, the more ill fitted the process seemed to my working methods.

I’ve been told repeatedly that I need to step out of my comfort zone and experiment; which I am doing with almost every other aspect, but this approach just isn’t for me. To reiterate a point made by Scott McCloud in Making Comics ‘there are no rules‘, everyone has their own methods. One of the things I love most about this project is the flexibility it allows, stepping away from the rigid systems of film making I formerly worked within into a more fluid situation.

It’s not as though I’m improvising here; I have a script along with detailed concepts and I do plot out each page in rough before I draw and colour the real deal. I do however make small alterations and improvements on fairly regular basis, generally being things which won’t affect the overall narrative and execution too severely but invariably have a knock on effect with the following pages – in other words, experimentation.

Therefore, it’s my conclusion that any long-term visual plan would inevitably be made redundant by these tweaks, ultimately amounting to waste of time which ironically would also hamper me from experimenting. For its precision I see the value of roughing layouts and visuals before production, but in my case it would ultimately constrain creativity and prove to be frankly demotivational. Sorry, but I’m no Alan Moore…

The other realisation I had on holiday was considerably more embarrassing:

Yep, I drew an anatomical impossibility and didn’t even realise. I’ve fixed it now in the gallery and original post but the question begs; how could I miss such a glaring error? If there’s something to take away from this it’s that more care is required checking over before I post pages up… seriously it’s like someone’s slapping his head out of frame… Ack.

Anyway, with the module conclusion and its requisite essay on a frighteningly near horizon I’ve still got a lot of research to do but I should/need to keep the pages coming while I’m at it. As a part of the module aim to ‘locate my practice externally’ I think it’s about time I start putting my work out to webcomic sites so I can begin to assess the reaction and type of audience it draws.

Expect another post and comic page in the next day or so ;)

2 Responses to Back from the Wilderness: Post vacation rumination

  1. demontales says:

    Good thing you spotted the mistake soon, especially if Branch is going to be put to print, where it cannot be edited anymore :P

    I personnally do not even see the point of thumbnailing all the comic in advance. Unless it’s a huge project with a big team and it’s pretty much someone’s job to do it.

    • Ozy says:

      @demontales: Indeed, lucky I did see it though I still can’t believe I missed it the first time around! XD

      With the thumbnails the main advantage would have been getting a better idea of how many pages I’d need to do, but yeah, with it being a solo effort and alterations being so common it struck me as an inappropriate approach given my goals :/

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