I’ve hustled on new pages to wipe previous pages off the top of the site before – usually because they suck and it’s easier to make a new one than fix one that’s already come out a bit “off.” This is one of those “off” pages – but it does knock a Giant Wall Of Text Is Giant off the root index. Victory!

Jesse still looks too much like Raven. I’m not happy with this – and I’m not happy with the fact that Raven looks a lot like Val, or that Val looks a bit like Xand. More variety with the guys – the girls, I need to work on. But then, I don’t draw much outside of comic production and it typically takes me a good sixty or seventy drawings to really get to know a character and start defining him or her. Characters like Greg, West, Alias (and to a lesser extent, Xand) have an advantage over the rest of the cast, as I’ve been drawing them since high school. My ‘handle’ on a character seems to mature quicker if they have distinctive facial features – faces, I’ve always had trouble with. Not drawingdifferentiating. Catch me at six in the morning waiting for the bus after an all-nighter and Men Are Men, Women Are Women. It’s a blur.

Here’s a fact: I have a big gaping hole in place of the “remembering eye color” bit of the brainmeats. It doesn’t bother me, but it has made for the rare bit of awkwardness amongst people I consider “close.”

So, features – West? Jaw. Greg? Cyborg bits. Alias? Stripes. Thad? Scar. Ornix? Nose. Xand? Glasses, right arm. Grij? Horns. Greymalkin? Sunken cheeks and flippy hair. Jesse? Flippy hair, dark skin. The rest, with any luck, will come to me. Hell, I’ll get plenty of practice over the next several pages!

Whitehouse, conversely, is looking pretty good. But I’ve been drawing him for, like, ever – so if I biff him, it’s either a weird angle (panel three) or Death By Over-Arting. I’ve covered that somewhere in the metadata for The Dualist – I can do roughly a DCR strip or two worth of art and expect it to be good. Adequate, at least. Beyond that – when the linework gets into the double-digits – quality starts to slide.

Strip commentary:

Strip 165 – Gratuitous boob shots one and two. Originally laid out the traditional four panel strip, I switched it to two-by-two after it became painfully obvious that this layout wouldn’t work with the 3x panel height. The sweet thing about that, as it turns out, is the strip wound up with more headroom for panels one and two, and some boob room in panel three. That four turned out pretty sweet is an added bonus.

Jesse’s boobs look huge. Yes. They aren’t, really – that or I’ve lead a very privileged life. I will admit to abusing the camera’s field of view to “enhance” various angles a bit… but who doesn’t? That’s kind of the point!

Also, first third-of-a-page strip, first of the first three-strip “stack” – using a template that was created in 2007. I knew I’d eventually get to use it – I just wasn’t expecting it to take this long. It has a few more options than the standard strip format, but also a few more restrictions, as implied above.

So far, so good!

Strip 166 – The “dud” strip, or the “bad art panels” of the page. Despite tons of cleanup and tweaking and whatnot, no less – Jesse’s just off on both counts. Field of view may work for boobs but it also makes for gorilla hands – a consequence of using the same render for three panels – a non-issue for two is a O_o for one. And so it goes. I would have done a redraw (plenty of time, as Work 2.0 has consumed my PC and consequently put my video game habit into twitching, spastic, Must Do Something Oh Yeah THE COMIC withdrawal) but – get this – I’m out of art supplies. Bristol, that is – need to restock tomorrow.

Strip 167 – Gratuitous boob shot number three for the page – being page 12 of what looks to be 30 for the chapter. More detail on Jesse’s lips than usual – a bit of artistic license, a bit of “it’s a closeup, need some detail.” White decal on a blank tank-top actually puts the focus where it oughtta be – Foreplay Unit! Still purely fictional, so far as I know.

So, three mid-height strips = one full page. It maths seamlessly, just like the standard strips and the doubles. While these do present some layout challenges, they look like they’ll work out well for swaths of yackety-yack. There’s plenty of that on the way. And some action too, believe it or not – though that’s still quite a ways out.

In other news, I really gotta do something about the shoulders on the CG dummies – much like the old dummies, they’re out there, and require constant, incessant correction. Insanity would be to stick with it. Moderately less insane would be to knuckle down and Master The Shoulder Already.


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