Man, this one came together fast. It’s nice to be able to throw consistency out the window and just fiddle with the Make Art button. Shadow matching is always fun with the first page or two of a new environment, but after that it becomes a dreary exercise keeping things looking reasonably on-model. Could be one of the reasons ATC scenes are typically no more than eight or ten pages – it’s long enough to breathe, a good length for conveying a relevant point or two, and anything longer becomes a hair-pulling teeth-grinding tedium. Better to move on to a new environment and new shading challenges quickly, to keep things interesting.
Strip 211 – The top lit up for Lang, the second from the bottom lit up for Whitehouse earlier – which of the other two blips correspond to James and Yang is something of a plot point, to be clarified later.
Strip 212 – BIG DAMNED FACE. Not to be confused with Big Dumb Face. Intentional blurring here, and lots of it – not the detailed nickel-and-dime Layers Of Blur from the previous page, just a straight BLAM!. Cut the shading work on Yang, James and Whitehouse down to a minute or so, fortunately.
Also, nostril. The second or third in over four hundred pages. Possibly the fifth? I don’t know – it’s not something I keep track of, though nostrils are something I’ve proven remarkably resistant to, artistically. I have nothing against them, really – they just happen to be a lot easier to not draw.
Strip 213 – I’ve done this before, and really need to think long and hard about Transitional Voices in order to keep this from becoming leitmotif.
Strip 214 – My god, it’s full of stars.
Strip to page changes – 212 (panel two) got a slight shading tweak, as an attempt to minimize convergence issues with panel one.
Strip 214 is strip 90 of The Operative.
The buffer is toast. I’m rendering the last panel of the next page as I write this – like this page it’ll be plenty of photoshop, and it might be up in time for halloween.