Both me and my computer have been pretty sick so far this whole year, but I’ve made some progress in the last couple months anyways.
Intro, Page 10: My sister Dannika, helped with the coloring on the first panel (as shown in the featured image.) I got to take better advantage of her artistic skill in this one than I usually can, as it’s not such a literal panel. I told her to color it so the danger was present, but Kaya was somewhat isolated from it.
Intro, Page 12: Took the second half of the page all the way from pencil to full color with Dannika’s help. After all these dramatic shots, I confused the heck out of her asking for the final shot to be as mundane as a murder room can get. One, because we need a really clear shot of the spacial relationships before the fight sequence; and two, because as much as these two would like to be epic action movie characters, they’re honestly just a couple broken weirdos in a storage room. It’s important to start setting that up now, so when I start really stripping away everyone’s ability to stay cool, it doesn’t feel like a tonal left hand turn.
Intro, Page 13: Inked colored, completed. Changed the posing in the final panel so it has more forward momentum, and so I can drop a frame on the following page. Not happy with the gesture or expression… but it’s service-able for the moment.
Intro, Page 14: Since the chief ends with the knife raised on the previous page, I was able to drop the first panel on this page in favor of seeing more of the room. Putting the knife up front makes it clear what Kaya’s next move is going to be, and motivates the rest of the page better.
Intro, Page 15: Okay, I’m lying: this one actually isn’t updated on the site yet. I did a pass on the second panel, in full color, but it doesn’t have the icky wound in it, and the gesture isn’t as clear as in the sketch. It’d muddy things if I uploaded it as is. Looks like she sprained her shoulder, not severed a muscle.
Still need to fix the “getting up” panel. I’m just not good enough at figures to make it clear she’s getting up, and moving toward the camera.
Intro, Page 17: I left a lot of the original pencil on this page. It just felt good. Details are in though… enough that I have a continuity error to correct: Kaya tucks her laces in to keep them from getting caught on stuff. She thinks ahead like that.
Honestly, I also don’t like the coloring on the second to last panel. I was trying to go minimalist with the colors… but I was filming while I worked, and that’s distracting, so I made some bad choices. It’s in the uncanny valley of detail, I don’t like it.
Intro, Page 18: Changed the camera angle on the first frame. The frames before and after were both in profile, I don’t know what I was thinking putting the camera behind her. I assume it was a left over from another draft. Whatever. The sequence is all tidy in pure profile now. Also, the shoes are done.
Intro, Page 23: Changes here to the dialogue.
Kaya used to say “I’m looking for a job. I guess the force has an opening now. And I hear you don’t mind unusual methods.”
She now says “You weren’t really willingly working with a murderer… were you? Either way your department could use someone like me. I can give you a good rate.”
The old way was far too cocky for the way Kaya sees the world. She would absolutely not expect them to help her. This is just a flippant, last ditch shot-in-the-dark because they didn’t shoot her on sight. It’s still not the best writing I’ve done, but I really can’t spare the pages on this plot point. Hell, if I take too long explaining why the hell they bring her on, you might start trying to figure out why the Justice Department would try to carry out a hit like this. And that’s a can of worms I do not have time to go into.
Long story short: Stupid Watergate.
Oh, the coloring’s like… half done. You can tell I’m doing my inking and coloring simultaneously now. I tried to follow comic book standards: pencil, ink, color; but I’m better at painting than drawing, so the picture benefits if I lean into that.
Scene 1, Page 6: Lowered Kaya’s shoulders. Kaya doesn’t have shoulder tension. Also her arms were way, way too long. That panel’s been bothering me for… literally years now.
Scene 2, Page 13 and 14: Similarly, I’ve hated Jesse’s face on these pages for years. I remember working real hard to try to get the right expression back when I started. It literally took five minutes to fix both pages. He looks properly disgusted by the question now. And he doesn’t have creepy anime-sized irises for no reason.
Scene 3, Page 10: Again, shitty expressions were shitty.
Just look how over-worked that poor panel was: I just could not get it to work. Still not totally happy, but it no longer hurts me to look at the page, so that’s a big improvement.
Also, I changed the last line from “What makes you think I want to give anything to this fucking country?” to “Nationalism is a romantic lie for corporate shills.” Jesse’s character has grown pretty specific over the last couple years. Making him talk in his own voice is much easier now.
- I worked really hard on a promo image, but didn’t finish because I was too sick. But it’s now moot, because I re-blocked the scene–Oh that’s a theater term, ya’ll won’t get that–“Blocking” is the movement of characters in the scene. Jesse used to end up on the ground after taking a hit; but now he stays an active, influential player, so it doesn’t make sense to put him any lower in the frames.
- I designed a warning sign for the camp, which deserves a blog post of its own.
It took a long time to find something that clearly had a purpose, but utterly failed at communicating it, while also definitely showing something bad was going on.