Issue 2, Pages 6 + 7

May 30, 2013

As promised:

BranchISSUE2page6j

BranchISSUE2page7j

I’m rather pleased with page 6 and the sense of energy carried over from its predecessors, Scratch actually looks like she’s running – instead of dancing as in my early sketches – while the background work and people give a sense of place I often worry is lacking in my recent efforts.

Page 7 isn’t so successful but it’s worth bearing in mind I raced through it in a blur of caffeine and panic to meet the print deadline; the establisher in panel one is modest but efficient, setting the scene without resorting to my usual OCD detailing tendencies while the general flow works pretty well. Not amazing but at least not the distaster I had feared.


Issue 2, Page 5

April 18, 2013

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I’m running late and have a full day of stuff tomorrow so I’ll keep this brief…

The good:

– Second panel came out EXACTLY how I wanted it; has just the right combination of motion and sexy murder eyes 0_O

– I seem to be getting better at design and placement of SFX.

– Curt’s expressions of horror continue to amuse me.

The bad:

– Backgrounds are a little too sparse this time around.

– Panel three could have done with more exaggeration and breathing space.

The ugly:

Perspective and anatomy on the guard is waaaay off in the last panel.

Till next time ;)


Issue 2, Page 4

March 27, 2013

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Hey folks! Stuff on the jobbing front has been quite intense lately so unfortunately I had to put this page on the back burner, particularly frustrating given that I’ve had it sat on my hard drive in a near finished state for a week or more.

On the bright side, for my first real shot at action this turned out remarkably well and there was even room for some experimentation along the way.

Besides the anatomy and poses – which I covered in detail a couple of posts back – I spent a long time mulling over exactly when I’d break the tension and how I would make the transition over to an action sequence. I settled on going big, bold and sudden to maximise the impact and perhaps communicate some of Curt’s evident shock over to reader; I doubt that it was too hard guessing that this was coming but my hope was that in going from 0-100 mph in a single page I’d have a shot at creating a real surprise.

More importantly a major shift has taken place here, over on The Duck someone commented on this being ‘the page that defines your character’ and now I think about it they couldn’t be more right. I gave this moment a whole page and extra effort not because I want to make a masturbatory display of excessive violence but rather because this is the point where we begin to get a sense of who Scratch is. Up till now she’s been little more than a scowl and trench coat; crude and unpleasant as it  may well be, this is the first genuine expression Scratch makes and it’s one that provides the lead in for much of her future character development.

Lest I begin to sound too pretentious objectively speaking there are some areas that could have used some reworking: The background is a little sparse, the  floor shadow appears to be fractionally off and I felt like I was forced to include the SFX caption to maintain stylistic consistency, but considering how much I’ve dawdled with releases this would be an ideal point to really push forward and rekindle my production efforts as things kick up a gear.

Now forward! Like an elbow to the face! THWACK!


Issue 2, Page 3

February 16, 2013

It’s aliiiive!

BranchISSUE2page3j

I was initially undecided on whether making this page or skipping abruptly to the next would be more effective; it’s likely fairly obvious where this is going but I dare say the sequence will be far more effective when read in one sitting as intended as opposed to weeks apart…

Still at least Branch lives again and now I’ve made a proper start I have no excuse not push myself for more regular releases, I’ll also see to it the blog gets frequent updates too rather than radio silence for weeks on end.

If I lie may chickens attack me in improbable numbers and sap my metaphorical health bar…


Issue 2, Page 2

September 18, 2012

Considering the absurd amount of time since the last proper page for Branch, saying I fell of the proverbial horse doesn’t quite cut it at this point. Saying I fell off, got kicked in the nether regions, trampled and then ran over by the cart would be somewhat closer to the truth…

I’m not going to give any excuses though since besides being predictable (employment, misery, motivation etc) I’ve spent too much time apologising for failings on this blog and not enough time actually doing something about it. In other words, instead of wasting time with long-winded sorry’s and shallow promises I’ll just get back to the my desk and push ahead without a fuss.

Unfortunately I really can’t make any promises on when Branch’s next release will be either as I’ve gotten caught up in a few other comic related things which will likely require a lot of my time during the next few weeks. I realise it’s a bit cheeky going off the radar again after a such a long hiatus but my hands are tied on this one – on the positive side I should at least have something to show for it afterwards and justify my inactivity this time around.

Anyhow, with this page I was trying some new stuff with my compositions and layout. Not all of it worked as planned but the use of dutch angles – an idea I skimmed from Marvel’s guide – seems to give a greater sense of rising excitement and visual variety. My angles have all been relatively flat and level thus far so a bit of experimentation in that department should hopefully result in stronger hike in tension and atmosphere.

In other words: Jaunty angle = EXCITEMENT