Intro Page 11 – One of the rare occasions of a restrained expression on Kaya. Usually it’s all or nothing with her.

Pretty small update today! This is my reward to myself for finishing some paid work. It’ll be really satisfying putting up the two pages I finally finished.

Intro Page 11 – Inked, colored, done. Getting better at the way Kaya’s face works I think. I mean, I think the mouth in the last panel still isn’t shaped right for the angle at which her head is… but I’m getting better. Between technical improvement, and getting comfortable with her emotional pallet, she’s becoming a more expressive character. In her own stoic sort of way.

When I do restrained expressions on Jesse (scene 3, page 6 is a good example) you’ll see a lot of different muscles activating, because he tends to be dealing with more than one emotion once, and he tends to know how he wants to be seen. His expressions often have layers. (when I’m clever enough to get it right.)
Kaya… how do I put this in words? By the time an emotion has bubbled up to the surface, it’s either been stripped of most of it’s energy, or it’s more of an impulse than an emotion. She’s not restraining an expression on her face, she’s restraining an action, or a single unpleasant thought. Outwardly, we might only see signs the exertion: a furrowed brow, tightening of the lower lid, thinning of the lips. We might not see anything of the underlying feelings at all.

Scene 1, Page 10: Color and ink on a couple more panels. No background color yet. Few panels missing.

Scene 2 Page 10 Update

Scene 2, Page 10: Finishing this, Jesse’s intro scene is now complete. There are two small frames in the following scene with the desk sergeant that I want to redo (dysfunctional expressions) before publishing, but I’d be pretty okay letting that go. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’d like to recut the fight scene to take up about half the pages. But I think that might be the kinda thing I do way, way down the line. In couple years, when I’m more skilled, an edit like that will be a) easier and b) better informed by the pacing and tone of the later scenes.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
It felt right to leave them quick and light. These aren’t panels I wanted any time spent on, neither by me or my audience.

Script Changelog: Since this is a short post, I’m tacking this on.

This might be spoilery. As always, I don’t really know, because I don’t understand/care about spoilers.

– Figured out the key locations that are worth introducing when we get to the camp: the airstrip and the warehouse (establishing the limited resources, as well as the remoteness of the area), medical (in a dangerous situation, it’s worth knowing how far away you are from help, the mess hall, the showers, the toilets.

– I need to design a danger sign: “This sign is pretty much everywhere. It’s on every fence surrounding the camp, and used liberally out in the field. It should quickly lose its meaning as a warning. The design should be slightly too graphic for an info sign.”

At my elementary school there was a sign on the big electrical box outside that had a picture of a realistically proportioned man being thrown backward by a lightening bolt shooting out of a dark mass that had angry eyes. I guess it was that weird to make sure a six-year-old was properly scared… but I always thought it was kind of hilariously hyperbolic. I want a sign like that.

The medical building has it’s own water source, for safety reasons.

– You know that part in Breath of the Wild, where you have to use ice blocks to direct a large ball into a bowl? Well imagine that game, but it’s now hundreds of pages long. That’s the game I’m playing right now with the main character’s relationships. It’s not a plot thing. It’s a ball of emotion, and the bowl is full of theme and philosophy.

I subtly redirected Kaya’s ball (through some pretty minor dialogue and blocking shifts) so she’s more interested in Jesse as a person. I kept hitting walls where she’d try to get plot information, or make plot choices, and Jesse would just shut it down. Jesse’s hardcore built for not sharing his past. And Kaya’s basically only built for deep, but colloquial philosophy; and punching things. Without this inclination to get to know him (which she’s always had some shade of, I just can find the right ice blocks), she has no way of getting around these walls.

Again, the plot can totally move forward, whatever their relationship is, and whether he shares his backstory or not. But the closer they get, the more weird, interesting shit we get from them.

– The script is long enough now that I can tell that Jesse is spending too much time asking practical questions like “where do we get space blankets?”. It’s making him seem brisk and impersonal. I’m busy replacing those questions with actions. Just go get the space blanket, Jesse. The audience will understand that you knew where to get stuff around here. (It’s the warehouse, I established that for you.)

– I refined the hiccups scene. It’s quicker and better. Also, I’m taking Bill Waterson’s way of writing hiccups: “(hic)”. It interrupts dialogue less than “*hic*”. I want to be as good at typography as Bill Waterson. I want to be as good at everything as Bill Waterson.
I mean, what I really want is basically philosophy on a wagon careening into a ravine; crossed with MASH; crossed with the “Heathens” music video.

Is it a spoiler to say that? The only time I think I’ve been “spoiled” on something, was when an artist revealed they actually didn’t have a plan. At which point I bailed, because that’s how you write “LOST”, and I don’t have time for meandering meaningless stuff like that. But short of “The spoiler is there ain’t no spoilers” I really don’t care. Anyone with me on that?