Monday, October 26, 2009

Page 7 - Finding a Connection

We just keep rolling along... three more pages and we are at the halfway mark!

This page shows the first real interaction between Maddie and her grandfather. She's upset about her knee because she doesn't want to end up scarred like her grandfather. Being a child, she doesn't know what kind of impact her words have on him. However, he notices her book and sees that she is a storyteller, like him. 

This was a simple page to do, but it's one of our favorites. The interaction between the two, the quiet moment of hurt that Ridley has, the flow of the page, we are really happy with how it all turned out. I think we love it so much because this is the beginning of them finding their connection. This past weekend, we spent in North Carolina reconnecting with our "art family". It was much needed, two days of talking art and comics and board games and even a little work thrown in. Life is all about connection, it's what it comes down to. So, we're loving to see our characters start to connect as they come to life. 

We did have a scary moment where we thought we had lost the entire page, though. (We're using dropbox to share files between us now, but we need a better solution, any suggestions? I was thinking about a shared hard drive but if you have something better, let me know!) Fortunately, it magically appeared on one computer and not the other. That was a heart attack and a half! We seriously need a better solution, I'm wondering what all of you use...

We're really excited to start working on the "fun" part of the book soon...with princesses and trolls and whatnot. Looking forward to that immensely! 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Page 6 - Run away, run away!

In this page, Maddie runs terrified from her well-meaning grandfather, trips in her haste to escape, and scrapes her knee. I really love how she checks out the damage before crying. So kid-like. Her face in the center bottom panel is pretty priceless. Maddie is none too happy about that scrape on her knee, which you'll learn about in the next page.

This was a nice, simple page to get done. It's very character-driven, so the background detail is at a minimum - just enough to suggest their setting. So glad we could use that willow tree again, though. I really like it!

In studio news, we spoke to our publisher at Archaia and it looks like we are going to have an April release. Even though we'll be done with this issue in about a month (if we can keep our current schedule going), he wants to make sure it is marketed properly before it comes out. Which is great! Also, both of our birthdays are in April, so it's fitting that this project's birthday will be in April, too. It seems like a long time, but we'll be bringing you LOTS of good stuff before then! And this blog serves as a great tool to keep on target.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Page 5 - The Granddaddy of all Dragons

Maddie, deep in her sketchbook, narrates a thrilling tale of evils dragons, eviller ogres and the fair princess and noble woodsman. And then her grandfather says hello.

This page sets up the relationship between granddaughter and grandfather. And this relationship isn't as warm as Maddie's relationship with her grandmother.

I like how dapper Ridley is, and how the sun shines behind him. Also, the children's drawings are kind of adorable--I wish I could draw like that! The sun should never be sad...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Page 4 - Notice a pattern here?

Or two, or three...on the walls, on the aprons...

I love vintage patterns, linens, prints, aprons... I think I stressed out more over the pattern for grandma's apron than I did over any of the characters' designs. It's important to keep the appropriate tone of the time period for our characters, so a lot of research went into making sure the patterns and furnishings are believable. I found this great vintage 50s apron (which I absolutely covet) and used the pattern for grandma. Mom got a little more fun design with a random geometric pattern. I love that wallpaper, taken from a 1940s print. I figured that the grandparents would probably be slower to update their trends. The little touches like the cuckoo clock and china cabinet just make it feel more lived-in to me. I want to go there and make cookies.

The willow tree in the garden is probably my favorite tree to date. The ivy was a lot of fun to create, more playing around with patterning and layering of custom brushes in photoshop.

I love how we get to see Maddie's playfulness and curiosity begin to come out in this page as well. Outside with you, girlie!

Now, I have the strange hankering to go tie on an apron and put my hands in flour. Side effects of comics? Hmm.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Page 3 - Maddie's Sketchbook

Maddie's sketching is the conduit into our fantasy storyline. Within this red notebook's pages are dragons, princesses, heroes and ogres. A creative mind, Maddie can always be found sketching and these drawings set the tone for this fanciful backdrop.

In this page, Maddie pulls into Albersfield Station to meet up with her grandmother. It's early morning when they arrive but it's never too early for hugs. By the way, you can never have too many fedoras in a scene.

On a creative note, it was hilarious to watch Guin draw the top two panels... Watching her draw with her opposite hand clutching a China Marker on bristol board is one of those memories that will live in infamy. The things we do to tell stories!