Drawing Fights and Back Office

Somehow these Fridays sneak up on me every week.  Well, here we are again!

The drawing is still going well, but I need to pick up the pace again if I’m going to get this book done in a timely fashion.  I think the cover is almost ready.  Alex came up with some nice text and Deena has been doing a great job making the thing look professional and exciting.

I’ve been drawing the final 10 pages, and they’ve been challenging but fun.  If you’ve been keeping up you can probably guess that I’m drawing a fight scene.  Last week I talked a little about drawing someone’s death, and now I can tell you’ve I’ve drawn another character’s death.  Any guesses?

This is a brutal fight, probably the most brutal I’ve ever worked on.  While fights are the bread and butter of most comic books and graphic novels they aren’t exactly our focus.  Our forte is character driven story, and I think we tend to approach fights that way.  The fights are meant to serve a purpose and propel the plot.  In this case it is advancing the plot and subplots of a lot of characters.

Alex tends to only write the key moments of the fight and lets me fill in a lot of the details.  He has an aversion to really laying out full fights, whereas I’m a big pro wrestling fan and tend to think of fights in those terms.  Wrestling matches can be really good at telling a story while giving you exciting action, and I try to do the same thing in comic form.

But action is not really my artistic strength.  I’m much more comfortable drawing characters sitting around talking, which works well since that is what Alex mostly writes.  Broad action can be more fun, but there is something to be said about finding the subtle emotions of a quiet scene as well.

In any case, expect a kick ass fight to commence!

In other news, I had a really interesting chat with Mark Egan yesterday.  And the part that will interest you the most concerns this…

Back Office Volume 1Mark had a pretty great idea, and I’m excited to say you’ll be able to buy his new book Back Office Volume One: Saving the World for Minimum Wage at my table at the Big Wow! ComicFest next month, and likely any other conventions I do this year.

It gives Mark a chance to see how the book is received here in the states and gives me a chance to attract some manga fans to the table.  So I’m really feeling good about that.

I already got my own copy of the book, and I’ve got to tell you that I loved it.  Even though I’ve been making webcomics for about 13 years now I’ve got a secret to tell you…I prefer print comics.  In fact, I think there is really no comparison, and given the choice I’d choose print every time.

So it was really nice to see Mark’s work collected into this printed book.  Of course I’ve read a lot of his stuff online over the years, but there is something that is a lot more compelling to me about holding it all in my hand and just being able to flip to the  next page to see what comes next.  It’s a lot more readable than looking at a computer screen, clicking a link to each page and having my peripheral surrounded by ads and open tabs to distractions.

Truth be told, I’ve never been much of a regular webcomic reader.  If I find a comic I like I’ll probably binge read a portion of it, then not come back to it for a long time.  So I don’t really practice what I try to make other people do.  Oh well.

But anyway, Mark’s book is really well done and I plan to lift a few elements from it when I finish Two Drink Minimum.  It’s really funny, and has a compelling satirical story that really plays off of Mark’s real life experiences working in a tech support call center merged with the over the top sci fi of Tron.  It kind of reminds me of Regular Show in it’s tone, taking something mundane and making it extraordinary.

I’d recommend it to anyone, regardless of if you like manga or not.  I don’t care for manga, and I still enjoyed the book.  If you do like manga, and I know a lot of people do, then you should really enjoy the art style.

And if you don’t want to wait to buy it when you see me at a con you can pick it up right now on Amazon.  Or if you like reading comics on the web you can check it out at http://rawrtacular.com/bo/

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