new_style Ok, So after spending a good portion of my time drawing in a style that I really haven’t been completely happy with, I decided what I needed to do was to sit down and evaluate how I was drawing this strip and see if there was a way to improve upon it. The image to the left is a sneak peek of what I’ve come up with.

I have always been drawn to comics that are a bit rough and organic and really shows the artists hand in the process. I think that element has been missing from much of the work being produced today thanks to things like Photoshop and Wacom tablets. Many of today’s comics feel a bit to “clean” or… “computery” I guess. For me, it’s important that my comic has that classic “real” quality to it. I hand-draw this darn thing and I really want to revel in it!

I really am very happy with the look. This is a major improvement over what I was doing before. PLUS it saves me a LOT of time.

Anyway, the changes are as follows:

Drawing the Strip Smaller – I am drawing the strip significantly smaller than I was before. This allows me more control over my drawing and helps keep everything a bit tighter. I can also create two strips on a single sheet of Bristol board, thus saving me some money.

Hand Drawing the Word Balloons - This is a big one for me. I HATE doing the word balloons digitally. They take forever to get them to look right and are just a big pain in the butt to create. Drawing them by hand matches my artwork much better, looks much nicer, and takes far less time to create!

Adding more Detail and Adding Spot Blacks - “Spot blacks” are the heavy black areas in comics that are often used to represent shadows or to help separate the characters from the background. I didn’t really have any spot blacks in previous strips and so the drawings always felt real flat and lifeless. Including more detail also helps give the drawing more energy.

Simplifying my Coloring Process Because of the addition of spot blacks and more detail, I can simplify my coloring process significantly. The characters themselves will now be the only thing getting highlights and shadows, thus giving them a bit more dimension and reducing the amount of time I spend coloring the strip. I am also reducing the color saturation a bit so as to avoid the “Playschool” look that my strips have had in the past.

I am very happy with this new look. So happy in fact that I am going to be slowly going back over the first nineteen strips and re-doing them to match this new direction. It’s early enough in the life of the comic that I think I can still get away with it.

Anyway, Tuesday’s strip will premier the new look. I hope you all enjoy it! Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

└ Tags:

Discussion (4) ¬

  1. Will Terrell says:

    I’ve always been a fan of the more organic hand-drawn style. That’s pretty much all I do. I enjoy your strip. I’m really looking forward to seeing more! You’ve got good stuff man! And your site looks great, by the way!

    Keep smiling!

  2. Russ says:

    Sounds good! I had to laugh at “Playschool” comment, but I get what you’re saying.

  3. Yeti says:

    Keep up the awesome work Matt, I love seeing the progression. I would like to see the Bistro at some point tho… ;)

  4. Matt says:

    Yeah yeah yeah.