Friday, July 17, 2009

Walters, writing the story visually

Once I had the story all scribbled and written out, I set to making my thumbnails and storyboards.

This was the part that was most important. I think I made it through this part in a week's worth of evenings. Originally Walters was a 60 page story. When I showed my first draft to Kazu, he suggested that I look for places I could condense the storytelling and combine pages. This turned out to be the best piece of advice I got for the project. Once I managed to get the story figured I got it down to the tightest 40 pages I could.

Truthfully, that was all the hardest part. Drawing is what comes most naturally to me so it was all down hill from there. Here's a shot of a several of the drawn spreads :

From there, as you might expect, I painted all the drawings. I watercolored pretty fast and loose. When I know that the final product is going to be digital I tend to only worry with color a little and just concentrate on getting the textures and values I want.

One a side note, I'll have several of the original watercolors (which will include a print of the final page or spread) available at our booth at Comic-Con.

From there I went to work on doing the finals. At this point it was early December. The work was due in the second week of January. I had gotten the first 30 pages completed when I decided (actually I think Erin suggested the idea -- this one's for you, sweetheart) to go to final. I knew I'd have at least a solid week over Christmas to finish drawing the last pages I needed to complete. I got the first 25 or 30 pages done when disaster struck in the form of shoulder dislocation. I knocked it right out which meant that I was out of commission over Christmas, I couldn't even move my arm until about a week and half afterwards. It was stupid.

In Spider-Man, Peter Parker calls his abilities his "blessing and his curse." This is exactly how I feel about my right arm. It's an essential component of how I do what I do; drawing is my great love. But my right shoulder is also the thing that keeps me sitting over in the corner for fear of dislocation. And I don't know what it'll be like when I'm 50. Will it even work then? I've had 2 surgeries and more ER visits than I can count.

Well. Determined to not not work I played Zelda all Christmas long. I played the original "Links Awankening" on the GameBoy. It was, in a single word, awesome.

When we got home I worked with sling-ed arm. I could make small movements so I worked all over the paper by moving myself around. Does that makes any sense? I couldn't reach my arm very far, either way. But, I say all that to say after a couple more weeks over very late nights I had the entire 40 page story of Larry Walters completed.

I was a little nervous about showing the final story to Flight veterans over on the Flight forum. I believed in the story, of course and I knew that I had done the best art I had ever done but I mean, these people are some of the greatest writers and artists working!

I received some incredibly kind words from people that I have enormous respect for. I was blown away by the supportive comments my story got and it was unbelievable to think that these artist and writers I admired so much enjoyed my story as much as they did. Once I knew everything was working I took my first night off in nearly 4 months and played Mario 3 the rest of the night. It was great.

All in all, making Walters has been a tremendously rewarding experience and I very much look forward to putting together my story for Flight 7. And I've got a ton of ideas.

* * *

I'm not able to show you the entire story but tomorrow I'll post the first 10 pages for you see.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

SixDayWarStories said...

Love the blog. You've really helped me to bridge the gap from doodle to digital. Will keep that shoulder of yours in my prayers.