This was the first completed page of Black Snow since I took my break back in October. I tried to work on it several times over my break, but just couldn’t get too far with it. This is where I really hit an artist’s block.
It is very frustrating when that happens, and it kind of makes you feel helpless. I was at a loss as to how I was going to proceed. So that is part of the reason I took the break and it lasted so long. Anyone who hasn’t experienced this type of thing probably can’t relate, and I can’t really explain it properly. Anyone who has experienced it likely knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Needless to say, I’m happy to have it done now. And I’m actually quite happy with the way it turned out. Like most of our scenes, this one has quite a bit of dialogue with not a lot of action or writer instructions. We’re at the news station, which we’ve seen once before at the cubicle area with Marie and Kurt, but this is supposed to be a different part of the office. I really wanted to make it look specifically like a TV news station, so that was a bit of a challenge. I think that panel on the upper left is pretty remarkable.
We’re also introducing a new character here, in Marie’s boss. Alex had written a pretty good description of him, so it was kind of fun coming up with his design. With the focus on the boss and Marie here, we’ve got another scene without any superheroes or villains, so less colorful/visually interesting characters. So these types of scenes are a little challenging for me.
But like I said, I’m happy with what I did here. I did some research on how other artists us reference photos, and that helped quite a bit. It’s also nice to know that so many other people do it, so it doesn’t feel so much like cheating now.
I’m really liking how the black and white is looking these days. It reminds of of black and white movies, which is what I’ve been going for, so that makes me happy. Black and white is a tricky thing. You can go to extreme contrasts, like Sin City, which is cool but tricky in a limiting way (and how I did it for most of the old comic books). You can go full shades of grey, which I have now, but that can be tricky for other reasons, like making sure everything doesn’t become too muted. You’ve got to maintain enough contrast to guide the reader’s eyes. I feel like I’m finding a pretty good balance.
It was a little hard to jump into this from working on Optimistically Cynical, as the styles are pretty different at this point. They require different skill sets, really. And one is a hell of a lot easier to do than the other!