Making of full-spread pages.

I enjoy making full-spread pages. They allow me to fill them with a lot of information while being visually descriptive. They take a little bit more thinking ahead.

I usually start by writing down the speech bubbles, to see how much I need to say (or how much I can say within that space without over-crowding the page with information).
Telling a story with panels and speech bubbles is a lot problem-solving.
I pay attention to the page division in the middle, where I want to avoid any text or important visuals (which would get cut off or difficult to see in the book binding).
I can choose to divide the image in as little or as many panels, too and I like to stretch the panels horizontally from left to right. It gives for interesting composition. Sometimes it’s not about showing the characters straight on but their motion, the distance between them, the speed and direction of their walking. I took advantage of the horizontality in this page to show the icy water of the cave and the characters’ reflections on the surface to describe their emotions and to bring variety to the point of view. Too much of the same angle becomes quickly boring and it’s important to show the environment where the characters evolve.

About AP

Before I start rewriting the lore articles, I thought I’d put some of the history behind this comic back on this blog first.

About Angels’ Power

This ongoing version launched on July 13th 2015 but I tried to launch it several times before.
The idea for the scenario started around 2011. I first began drawing it in 2013 as a school project and back then, it was very different. Evadrion was a dude (first noticeable difference) and she wasn’t Constance boyfriend (although that would have been pretty funny).
The first cover looked like this:

2013

The rendering process was very painful and time-consuming. Each page was taking me more than a day of confusing work and I didn’t understand how to compose panels properly. (It was a mystery). I drew the first seven pages before deciding to redraw them again, as nine, right off the bat.
They were awful.

I did not understand perspective either back then. Any scene with architecture was terribly difficult. After twelve pages or so, I gave up.
I looked for other ways to render my story without having to spend so much time on each page. I wanted the story to come out.

In that old version of the script, with Eva being a guy, Constance was also way more ambiguous. Power-hungry and self-serving, he was a lot more sneaky and stabby. He fell more into the villain box than he does now.
A lot of characters from that script did not make it through the numerous revisions. Here is an old character sheet from back then that inclues Evadrion-the-dude, Constance, Evadrion’s mother and a Diabolic:

2014

I relaunched the comic with a different approach: I wasn’t any good at composing the pages and that process took me the most time and was never satisfying in its result, so I gave up entirely on it. In my mind, the story took place as a movie, in one format. So I decided to tell the story as a one panel composition, one image at a time, with speech bubbles.

Constance giving a speech, from an experimental panel, 2014.

In this version, Eva has already become a woman.
The style was still line art and texture-oriented. I was convinced that line art was the key to drawing a comic back then and I always sucked at line art on the computer, probably due to an Intuos3 medium size which isn’t the greatest for line art. To remedy to it I would draw the lines with the free-hand pen tool in PS and used a lot of custom texture brushes. A weird rendering decision…
It didn’t work.
Each panel alone took me a day to make. Even though I loved these very much and made quite a few panels, I had to give up again.

Here are all the panels from 2014.

2015

I changed tablet then and it gave me new possibilities and comfort, but I also reached a better conclusion: I did not have to work with line art. It took me to experiment a little but before figuring this out.

Here is an experimental page for Mordigor The Damned before I figured it out.
In this one, the line art begins to fade out.

Here is another experiment, trying with texture brushes and mixing with 3D models, how much to render and how much to leave as un-rendered noise…

…Until I reached this result. (This is the second page to the Mordigor The Damned test pages). Here I have no line art at all and the page is all painted, based on silhouettes, colors and texture. I also begin to relax on the speech bubbles and slowly understand where to place them.
And all of a sudden, the environment is a blast. I suddenly considered relaunching AP for the last time. I had found a method that suits me and it was extraordinary (to me), like a large horizon suddenly opening.

In a matter of a month, I had rewritten the script and was getting ready to launch the comic again. I had set myself the date and yet, I still wasn’t sure how it would go or what to do with the introduction (probably the pages I’ve re-drawn the most, ever… I’m redrawing them as I write this!!).

Today, April 2017, the end of the first volume approaches. I have drawn all the pages to the end but I am still making adjustments in between: an extra scene to Chapter 2 and rewriting the Prologue is going to make it 40+ instead of 8…
Again, I will try to finish them all before I reach the second anniversary of the launch, July 13th. Wish-me luck!

Amélie

Blog Accident and Life

So last month I accidentally deleted the database for this blog. My bad. All my few posts are gone so you’ve got to give me some time to gather myself in order to write them again…

I don’t like to write the same things twice so I’ll have to be a little creative about it in order to bring the lore back into this blog.
Beside, I’ve been feeling down for the past month or so. The little energy I have left goes into drawing the page once a week and into my art students, my current job, which takes a lot out of me. The school semester is almost over though and then it’ll be all illustrations and AP.
I’ll work it out.

Amélie