Dude, I’m so glad you took the time to do so, it means a lot! Thanks! You rock. :D
Phoo- what a weekend! I am thankful and exhausted.
Yesterday we wrapped up our PAX East streaming and whatnot for Dawngate. I repped my new Howl’s Moving Castle shirt (which they may have to bury me in, because I shan’t remove it)
If you guys tuned in live, bless you. If you missed the streams and, for some reason, want to see me sketch and blather on- I have links:
Day One (Marginally professional; Spirits of Decay, Fury, and Desecrator with a sad Dibs) http://www.twitch.tv/waystonegames/b/518954056?t=02h25m25s
Day Two (Going off the rails…The victory of Dibs, the one that got crazy; Dibsecrator, Fridge Dese, Hammertime Dibs, Ice Cream Zeri)
Day Three (Some kind of middle-ground- Hipster Fenmore, Chibi Voluc and Ashabel. I chat about character design theory)
Also, if you’re keeping tabs. Today is the first regularly scheduled update of the Danwgate Chronicles. Page 4 is live at www.dawngatechronicles.com (and it’s an important one. Should set the tone for the kind of thing we’re doing. There is kissing.)
I love you guys- thanks for all your support this week. Hope I done you proud. Now? Sleep.
This is beautiful and it’s amazing to me that it had such a positive outcome and not lifelong hateful grudges, which is probably what these attackers deserved.
Good morning, friends!
Today is Day 2 of PAX East and, to celebrate the convention, we are releasing another page of the Dawngate Chronicles!
After this weekend we go to a Mon/Wed/Fri update schedule. So check back at:
The full page is up there, and tomorrow the story will continue apace!
This is actually the first page I did at the start to set the style for the lines & color.
When they first brought me on to the project, our goal was to set a strong style for the look of the comic that felt related to the colorful palette and stylized characters of the game. Something that would be beautiful, evocative of a world of magic and history, story-centered, and possible to produce on a rollicking schedule. I say rollicking, because this stuff is MAD FUN.
When I realized they were actually going to let me work on a webcomic for reals, my head started spinning and I reached for my art books. It may not look like it immediately, but NC Wyeth and Prince of Egypt were huge inspirations.
(aside: if you haven’t seen Prince of Egypt in a while, you should watch that again. It’s a heartbreaking masterpiece of color, composition and just…everything. It’s also about God, who is the best.)
One of the challenges of more painterly comic styles is the visual-noise trap.
When an illustrator who loves to paint and render comes to a comic page, sometimes we can get overexcited about the details that have to significance to the storytelling itself. As a result, a reader is stopped while they admire the beautifully rendered fern in the corner, and they lose track of the thrust of the narrative.
In comics, that’s antithetical to the whole point. That’s tragic.
It’s the visual equivalent to when someone is telling you a joke, but they stop in the middle to try to explain EXACTLY where it happened, and wait- was it? It was…nono…not green, blue. He was a sea-cucumber…wait wait, let me start again…
So, the dream of the Dawngate Chronicles visual style is to give you guys something to look at that has nuance and depth but if focused in on the story. In composition, pacing, and layout we want to draw you on to the pertinent details and let everything else drop out of focus. Ideally that’s down to acting, scene design, costuming, even speech bubbles- when we’re doing out job well, every part should be telling the story.
I was also really inspired by the stagecraft and lighting of theater and opera- sets designed to tell the story, rather than to look pretty- lighting that is expressive of the narrative undertones. I totally geeked out when I realized the tone and themes of the story lent themselves to designing something between a theatrical production and an animated feature. Dream. job.
So, in the spirit of giving you guys a peek into the process, I’m posting some of the sketch work. This stuff starts basically an inch high on napkins- I literally scan that in, blow it up, and start drawing. It keeps me from rendering the ferns and focuses me on the pacing, composition, and acting. Hopefully you enjoy the final process as much as we enjoy putting it together!
Also, Page 2 is alllll about orange-purples. Because that is the palette of my heart, and when you let me set something at sunset, that’s what I’m gonna do.
Hayao Miyazaki: “I’d like more of the world to go back to being wild.”