Tuesday 2 August 2022

The Wrap that Unravels

Hello Readers!

Well. What a journey it has been. I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure you won't like the abruptness of this ending, but let me know (I can't imagine you, IG, not voicing your thoughts, good thing too!). 

In my defence, had I put in a bit more background and a panel here and there (which, I could still do, Your Honour) it might make a bit more sense and feel less abrupt. Anyway, here you go.  The final installment of Flight of Fancy.

Page 130

Page 131

You might not care about the artwork and I am delighted you don't stumble on the drawings and they help tell the story seamlessly such that you're in it, not seeing it.  That's great.

But I care about the artwork, which is why I put this thing up here; to (as you requested IG) tell a longer form story, to draw it and talk about the drawings and the process. I've never written or drawn a graphic novel.

That first panel has some of my favorite tricks - drawing cars and people small, as if they are models we're looking down on, but putting Fancy and Amar closer to the camera adds some nice depth and allowed me to put the dialogue in context.  Panels 2 and 3 are nicely drawn, especially the image of Fancy.  If her design wasn't settled before this (2nd last page), it wouldn't ever cement!

And page 131, inside the trailer. I really like these two panels - nice perspective, characters placed well. I had to draw and paste in a few more people into the photo (2nd last panel) which is why the blue lines are a bit of a jumble.

So... about the story and the way I told this ending, I really didn't want the shouting match and forced dialogue between Fancy and Lawrence in which he reveals why he did all this.  I don't believe those shouty shout-fests are realistic. I think they are there for the audience to understand why things were done.  If the storyteller did their job right (which I didn't) and shows a character's experience well enough (I should go back and add more from Lawrence's past), then they should piece together the reasons for the character's actions.

About Lawrence, he doesn't care if people know why he's done what he did, so why would he explain? For some reason he feels justified.  Isn't that how life is... why does anybody do anything, and do we even know why we, ourselves do things?  Not always completely.

Regarding Fancy's line about "a cork board covered in a spider's web of yarn strung between pictures and cryptic messages on post-it notes", I find that (cork board) is a tired image that speaks about someone's convoluted, often crazy plan. If you have to make a plan so convoluted that you can only keep it in your head by making one of these cat's cradle things, how do you put on your pants in the morning, and if the police have to make one up to figure something out, maybe they need to go to the "the simplest explanation is often the correct one". 

Lawrence might want to blow up as many jets as he can and wreck Fancy's life, but he's not crazy.

... and yes, I see as I write this post that Lawrence should not have said he didn't want to hurt Fancy and her mom.  He's obviously got a hate on for Fancy's (dead) father, so why not spread the hate around a bit further!

I did want to work in a thread against the Canadian Government and Canadians in general thinking they are helping when they should probably just stay out, especially in over-seas military conflicts.  I don't know, I'm no politician or global strategist, I just draw stuff.

So... there you go.  Again, I hope you enjoyed the ride. After all said and done I think it worked out pretty well, even though I didn't write out the story before hand. The only thing I wrote was one page of dialogue (about mid way through the story) and the epilogue. It is more fun, and more challenging, not to write it out ahead of time, but I think doing so would have helped the story turn out better, but I felt by doing so, I'd be killing my interest in drawing it - I needed to discover the story as I drew it.

So... what to draw next?!

Thursday 28 July 2022

Down to Earth

 Hello Reader(s)!  Well.  Well, well, well.  

We're in the home stretch and for your patience with my slow posting (and my need to get this thing outta my office!!) here are three whole pages!

Page 127


Page 128

Page 129



Page 127 looks good.  I like the high shot as the jet comes in, flying over the wreckage.  The shadows helpled "sell" the idea.  In the next drawing down I wanted to show Fancy leaning forward and to her left so she's look a bit more intense.  I had to draw this panel twice. Jet landing... nice.  Maybe you noticed in the last image on the page the panels are broken apart a bit.  I did that because I needed to show as much of Fancy's arms and hands to make it clear she'd taken her AR goggles off so that meant I had to push that panel vertically.  I hope it doesn't break the reading flow.

I like page 128 a lot. The 2nd panel, where she's sitting down but looking back behind her is a pretty good drawing. I knew I wanted to draw this but it took a few tries. I know I crossed the axis between the first and second panels, but I hoped with the lighting, dialogue and sound FX, the audience (you, IG) would understand time had passed.  

AW... and who's waiting there in the chopper, but her two long lost, presumed dead pals, Marcel and Jake, looking a bit beaten up.  That was a HAAARD drawing to do.  I started by drawing as much of the interior of the helicopter, and the floor, as I could, then I did Marcel and then Jake.  When I finished I realized I had Marcel in the wrong outfit, not the tracksuit he was in a few dozen pages ago, so out came the eraser!

I like how that page ends on those two guys.  It gives the reader a bit of a breather, perhaps feel a grateful relief, as (we later see) Fancy is.

And yes, Page 129, we get Fancy's reaction.  It's subtle, not gushing, because she's not a gusher.  She's been through a lot, but she's still a rock, till, of course, Jake hugs her.  Aww!

And then the rest of that page is just getting to the last panel where we see Lawrence's body.  That was a fairly challenging drawing to do.  I found I had to start with the arm and then draw the body and head last.  I think the limp hand communicates Lawrence is dead.

Well, there we are.  But don't worry.  I think we've got one more installment and the you'll have to find something else to read!  Sigh!  Unless... I come up with something else to post!

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Cutting Off

Hello Reader(s), including you, Mr. Ghost!

Hope you are well and enjoying the warm weather. Hope it's not too hot where you are.  But enough of that, right?!  You want the next installment of Fancy.  Well here it is!







Page 125

Page 126

Not much to say about these pages, all solid drawings, clear action.

And about the action, there's a lot of it on these pages.  I'm pretty pleased with them.  I did plan on having a bit in here where Fancy stomps on one of the pedals and her injury acts up and she nearly crashes, but I couldn't see how or where to put that in so... I cut that part.  That bit might happen in the re-write (WHAT?!  RE-WRITE?!  Does that mean you're going back in and are going to clean it up and fix these things?!  Well, no, I'm just saying that's what should be done in a re-write).

You'll notice the top of Fancy's head is cut off in page 125 in the first panel.  I drew her whole head and did think about adjusting the cropping so she was totally in the frame but it's more dynamic this way.  

For page 126, I was going to flip the horizontal position of those two middle panels so we see her thumb poised above the trigger first and then her angry / determined expression next, but when I tried that I saw the cropping of both of those would need to be adjusted but I also thought it worked better as drawn here.

I like how it looks like she's going to fire a volley at the falling jet, but then BAM (or rather GGRRRSSH) it crashes into the dirt.  OOOOF, and Fancy pulls up just in time. Ooh, this would be a good place for her foot to pain her and she could almost crash and then... hey, maybe I would work that in to the next pages!  HMMMM!!!

Monday 4 July 2022

Damn You, Lawrence!!

Hi Hi.  

Yes.  Too long since last post.  Yes, I'm supposed to be on vacation and what am I doing not drawing this comic every day and getting it done like I said I would.  Ok, ok.  Complaint noted.  But lookit this... three pages!!!














Page 122 

Page 123















Page 124 

OK!  Well, I think the action is really good here and quite clear, but looking at it I think I could have made it a bit more obvious that Fancy flew past / through the wreckage on page 23's middle panel.  Even adding a "Whoosh" sound effect would have helped.

The drawings are pretty solid, the weakest being the last on page 123 at the bottom right. 

So, as you may know this thing is taking WAAAAAYYYY too long to draw.  Nearly two years, I think, and as you know, it's twisted and turned in ways I haven't expected, but those turns have made the story more interesting and unexpected (I think).  Yes, it probably needs a re-write and some of those twists unkinked and some others added.  But to my original point, it's taking too long and over the past few weeks I've been quite dis-interested in the story.  But the great thing is, by posting these pages, I'm a bit re-inspired, even if the dialogue and the repeated use of "Damned you, Lawrence" is a bit tired!

Glad you're with me in this journey, and yes, kids... we're almost there!

Sunday 5 June 2022

Turning The Other Way

Hello Readers,

Yes, I missed posting last week.  I'm SAAAAWRY, ok?!  Yes, I'm not crazy busy so what got in my way, right?  Jeez you're tough.  Ok, you're right, I had no good excuse except that sometimes I feel like I have no idea how to finish this story and I'm really doubting myself and how to wrap this up so I guess I've been procrastinating and letting playing with the dog while listening to evening news get in the way of my precious drawing time. 

Maybe these two pages and a bit of extra something will shut you up.  WHAA?!  I didn't say that!  Just look at the pretty pictures, would'ja?


Page 120

Page 121

I saw a presentation recently in which someone was talking about the various shots we use in cinematography and I realized I've not been using the close-up enough.  So in the first two panels I did that camera move in so that you, my dear audience, can better see Fancy's expression.  I think by doing so the drama is amped up.

And then the crashes! OOF.  Doing these panels made me realize I don't have very many words for sound effects and probably need to develop more.  Anyway, fun drawings of crunching jets.  It's not clear what crashed in the middle panel, but I hope you inferred that it was two of Lawrence's jets, 'cause it was.

After I finished page 120 and had moved on... or tried to move on, I realized I didn't like the way I ended that page.  Here's what the original panel looked like:

 It shows Fancy turning back to see the wreckage and try to determine if anybody made it out alive.  I felt like I've told this story in a too meandering way, not direct enough, and I felt that if I want to end this thing, I gotta step on the gas and get it done, which meant not breaking away from the fight to see if her buddies are ok and then returning to the fight, but instead, push on harder with the fight as we see on page 121!

There she goes, firing off energy bursts but missing.  Nice drawings there, especially the last one on the page.  I drew the smoke trail once but it was a bit too much in profile, and I realized by adding some volume to it I could really add some depth to the shot and suggest that jet is coming close to the camera and high over the others which makes it tons cooler.  Look out, Fancy!