A Sasquatch in the Suburbs (p. 1)

  Concept I wrote the text to this story on a plane ride.  It was one of those narratives that just sort of “flowed” out of me.  Granted, it is largely based on a true story, but still, it came pretty easily.  I liked the text, and it could probably stand on it’s own, but it is fairly short.

I’ve been wanting to do a longer comic for a while.  This isn’t quite the story that wanted to do, but I think that it has potential to be decent.  I don’t think it’ll be as poignant as “That Terrible Pain,” but I hope that it does have a little more depth than most of my Cheap Shots.

I still don’t quite have the “perfect” ending, but I have enough of one to service, and I’m hoping that inspiration will strike.

Layout: I bought larger paper, and I knew that I wanted to have fewer panels in order to give each panel more weight (which in this case meant to make them larger).  This would allow me to spend more time on the images, and allow more space for the text.  Plus, I could try interesting layouts.

Clearly, the perspective in the panel is strange.  It’s partly correct, but perfect perspective always eludes me and I have to fudge it.  I guess the best way to describe the look that I usually go for is moderate realism.  That is, I want things to look largely realistic, but not so realistic that it requires numerous grey tones or that it has no “cartoony” feel to it that elevates it into a “hyper-reality.”  I’m still trying to understand how to create depth and different shades of “grey” using only black and white.

Putting it Together: I sketched this page out very roughly in my sketchbook, but the sketch includes (what will now become) the first three pages.  So I changed my mind considerably from the original sketch.

I bought a book on inking which is short, but still gave me a lot of good tips.  I tried to employ some of them here—although I’m still learning/practicing so I’m not sure if you can see much improvement.  Nevertheless, I’m seeing a little more consistency in line weights—but I still need a lot of work with the brush.

Lettering: I’m not real happy with the lettering, but I think it looks okay, and fairly even, which isn’t always the case.  I think that I would probably do the sizing differently now, but I did want to start off the text with larger letters a la old texts (although I’m not trying for a medieval style, per se, I just like to have distinctive letters.

Which is probably why I really enjoy doing titles.  This title is not separate from the page.  I really wasn’t sure if I could pull off the big foot walking behind the letters, much less have part of him “in front” of the letters and part of him “behind.”  Still I think, it turned out okay.  The houses that make up “Suburbs” aren’t quite as clear as I would have liked, but they came out okay.  The other words “a” and “in the” didn’t quite line up correctly.

Inking: Straight lines were handled with a ruler and a rapidograph.  The rest was done with a brush.

I really screwed up with the grass.  I decided to ink it with grey ink.  This was simply a bad idea.  Photocopiers can’t handle grey tones.  As a result, it came out either too black or completely splotchy.  I may go back and try to correct this page.

Likewise, the inking at the top of the main panel is just bad.  I didn’t think through how I wanted I to look, so now it just looks stupid and confusing—something else I may try to clean up.

Reproduction: As I mentioned, this was especially bad.  I included a lighter and a darker copy so that you could choose which one was better

Tools:

  • Brushes Pens: Rapidograph, black marker
  • Magic Rub Eraser Paper: 11 x 14 Bristol
  • 30-60-90 triangle T-Square
  • Ridgeways Horse Hair Brush X-acto knife
  • Black Acrylic Artist’s Ink 

What People are saying:

Mark sez:

Only so much to comment on with just the beginning but despite the setbacks I look forward to the completion.

I liked the title and the BigFoot as part of it especially his footprint and how it connects the visual of the title area to the start of the writing.  “Suburbs” is also fun and I wouldn’t be so down about it. The “A” looked a little lost but I don’t think it matters. The visual of the kids I liked a lot, although the kid on bike had a bloated face and the standing guy (you?) had a really defined leg mussel that I thought was a bit much. I notice that you have your people really buff with tight clothing. It’s not necessarily a problem or a bad thing, just an observation. A left over of the corrupt days of superheroes? Or of drawing naked people? I can’t give any advice on this cause I can’t draw it at all but I think that you might want to think of clothes and people as separate items. I don’t know if that helps (maybe it’s a big mistake) or even makes sense.

Back to the scene: I really liked the layout of it and see where things (like shading the grass) didn’t work but I still feel that the overall visual really did wonders to capture the concept of board youth on a hot summer day in bumfuck land. And to me, that was very important as it set up the entire mood/plot.  The “I’m Even” seemed a bit big for the start of a second paragraph but that’s subjective.   I do think that while what you are trying to write is perfect, the way it is written sounds often inverted. Have Jo read it out loud to you and see what you both think. Maybe you’ll disagree, but I think a rewrite would make it sound smooth rather then a little confused.