Building out the Warren

This time around, I want to create a greater sense of place in “Furry Widdle Bunny”. While the 1st two months of strips (already queue!) are the familiar sparse environments, I’m building out 3D models of the more frequent locations that the strip will occur in.

First up, for December and January strips, is the common living space in Simon’s co-op house. I’ve got a large piece of that work done and just need to put in things like couches and tables and such.

LivingRoom

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Who’s Joe Meek?

My friend Tim is a Joe Meek super-fan. When I first met him, back around 2001 or so, I had to keep asking him who Joe Meek was, and I could see it was exasperating him. Eventually the name stuck in my head, and I no longer fear ejection from his car.

I drew this for him around 2003, I think. If you don’t know who Joe Meek is, and you would like to avoid immolation by satellite, check out his Wikipedia entry and/or watch the biopic “Telstar”.

Who's Joe Meek?

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Kickstart a Nightmare!

Originally posted on Tales of the Atomic Zombie:

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My friend and sometime collaborator, Rafer Roberts, has been quietly producing the most delightfully disturbing comic strip I’ve ever read. “Nightmare the Rat” follows the escapades of the title scamp as he pilfers the choppers of the slumbering citizens of Hell City. And illegal tooth extraction is the least perverse thing in the series.

See for yourself!

Now Rafer’s running a Kickstarter to collect these strips for publication in the Hell City newspaper. There are, of course, some cool rewards, so please check out his campaign!

Kick that delightful scamp!

View original

Expanding the Borders

Some times three panels just aren’t enough. Then you have to figure out where to fit an extra one. Here’s what I wound up with for the layout of a Furry Widdle Bunny strip I worked on this afternoon.

4 Panel Layout

Crazy, right? Even with this I’ll wind up with art breaking through one of the panels…

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Pencilling the FWB Strip

With six weeks remaining before the debut of the weekly Furry Widdle Bunny strip, I’ve started pencilling the first storyline. Here’s an in-progress peek at the very first panel, awaiting finishing and colors!

1st Panel of the FWB Weekly Strip (Pencil)

The lettering is completed, barring any minor nudging, and I’m pretty happy with how the custom font is working out.

I’ve settled on really thick borders, not rigidly squared. It has a nice bold feel to it that I like. FWB started without any panel borders at all, which I still think worked for the opinion page look it was shooting for. Funny page strips thrive on borders, though, so I’m over-compensating by giving more border than required.

Onward to “inking”!

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Panel Patter Spotlights Rafer Roberts

Hula Cat friend and collaborator Rafer Roberts is going to SPX, and Panel Patter’s Rob McMonigal has some nice words about what’s in the works.

Panel Patter: SPX Spotlight on Rafer Roberts

If you haven’t read “Nightmare the Rat”, I heartily encourage you to check it out. It’s goofy and unsettling, all at once, and the eponymous tooth-stealing rodent is hardly the weirdest or worst denizen of Hell City.

Nightmare the Rat

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This Is Only a Furry Widdle Test

With the deadline for prep work looming, it was time to bite the bullet and actually test out the theory that I could produce a comic digitally. This meant learning the tools at least well enough to make myself look silly. This, I feel, has been accomplished. Behold the test strip, written in seconds and taking hours to produce. At least I have an idea of what I need to do for the real strips… that I need to start drawing by this weekend, if I want to keep my schedule!

FWB Test

Probably my biggest concerns are getting the panel and word balloon borders in shape. The rest of it is relatively under control. Anyway, I’m still feeling excited about this. Now back to work!

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Modeling Cartoon Anatomy

From the time of the third Furry Widdle Bunny strip I drew, I fretted over how to handle characters in side view. The full circle head works for the front view, but looks bizarre from the side — and it honestly doesn’t make any sense. A spherical head on a cylindrical body would have a squashed bottom, like a Fisher Price toy. But I wanted that full circle from the front view!

For the new strip, I wanted to solve this problem. I downloaded a 3D modeling app and worked it out.

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It’s a bit rough, but I think it corrects the biggest problems. And, yes, that’s a butt bump in back.

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Learning to Draw Again

I plan to dive back into producing webcomics later this year, and as part of my preparations I’m learning how to draw on the computer with a spanking new tablet and pen. Wendi advised me to begin by drawing over text. Letters are comprised of the basic shapes that underline any drawing, so it’s a good way to make the adjustment to working digitally.

So I fired up my drawing app and wrote a long sentence in a word balloon.

Text-Based Drawing Goal

Then I took my first stab at digital art.

1st Attempt to Trace with Tablet Pen

I’m going to need just a little more practice.

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