In the Real “Metaverse”
Without naming names, I’ve been frequenting a Twitch streamer who draws daily webcomics. He’s a really talented artist, and watching his process has been interesting, educational, relaxing, and fun. He really puts a lot of work into his art, and it shows, but the way he produces his comic is so very different from the hackery that I’ve been doing. It’s refreshing to see a demonstration of how it’s “supposed to be” done.
My comics usually start out as a vague idea. I may or may not have the “script” already written, but I have a good idea of what I want it to say. Then I build the character poses, select or create a set. Though not perfect, I generally know how much room I’m going to need for the text so I try to arrange the characters on the set in such a way that I have room for the speech bubbles. I crop the panels, resize them, place them on the panel template, add in the speech bubbles, tails, finishing touches. Save, upload, write some commentary, proof-read, schedule, and call it a day.
I think it’s important to note that I’m using some pretty antiquated software, so there is no automatic text formatting, only a single undo level, no layers, and the drawing tools are primitive. If I fuck up a panel along the way, I usually have delete it and rebuild from scratch. I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing what I do. It’s just a really backwards process.
Regarding today’s strip, I had a script in mind, but it took me so long to finished the artwork, that once it was done I had completely forgotten what I was going to say in the first place. Oh sure I could have easily come up with another idea, but then I decided to turn this into an opportunity to give a behind the scenes glimpse of how a joke is written from my point of view.
It’s no Twitch stream, but it’s better than another weekend with no updates.
Now that it’s all finished, I finally remembered what the original script was about, and I think it turned out better this way.