Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let's Draw: sequences

My goal is to create a story that introduces a concept. I want it in a form that can draw in the eye instantly. I want my reader to grasp the style and connect with the characters quickly. I want them to get through my sample in five minutes at the most. I would like to continue telling stories about that concept, so I've thought about it until I had a good mixture of characters come forward, and a little space from my original, tragic inspiration. With them, I could see a way to tell future stories. That's what I think of as a storytelling engine.
So: first, I came up with an idea, and then, a plot, written on a couple of sheets of college rule notebook paper. My cast of characters grew from two to seven (not all of whom appear in the first story). I created a "handbook entry" which is to say I typed up some basic facts and back story.
Here's a little of the handbook entry for this story's featured character: Real Name: Kumiko 'Kacey' Sakura (alternative pilot, Icharu Gorou Etsuko) 5'2" 43 kg Hair: Black Eyes: Brown 9'4" 256 kg Hair: none Eyes: Electric Powers: Cybernetic interface with "Danger Bot," Jounzingen Kikensei, a nascent A.I. inside a nine foot tall robot Danger Bot usually operates with three technicians to oversee the danger site, DB's mechanical body, and Kacey's health, but can function strictly under the wearer's guidance as well. Danger Bot enables vision on different wavelengths than normal and enhanced audio reception, with Internet access and hacking capabilities. There's more, but you get the basic idea: what can they do, what's the story that got them here. It's worth taking the time to put it together to your satisfaction. Then, I typed up basic bits of dialogue, interspersed with notes where I wasn't sure exactly what was said---just the general idea. I will go back to my research to get a few details straight, but so that I don't over-do that stage, I am going to pace the story---with drawings. It's a story about an idea that could become good and plausible in the real world in a few years, so it's idealistic, but hopefully, it will inspire practical applications. An under-funded foundation puts together a most unique rescue apparatus: a robot, with a pilot and technical support, made to brave the greatest of dangers. My script's rough draft may have things like: Page four The roof! Catch it! I’ve got it…but I’ll be trapped! I think Gorou’s right, though; if that doorway’s blocked, it may take hours or an entire day to breach the control center. Stay put, Sakura. The I’ve got to come out. What? No! You fool, you’ve entered a room with radiation levels of … Nothing else to do about that. Kacey…it’s deadly in there. That way, I got through it quickly. When I present the script itself to others, it will be formatted with names of characters and descriptions of action. This is simply a guide to drawing what I see!
So, I started drawing versions of the pages, working out how they would look, what we might see, setting the stage. Along the way, I considered different facets of the details that will carry over into future episodes. I decided to pace this out over seven pages. it could easily be more, and include more of the back story or larger drawings, but I want it to appear brief, yet substantial. It tells a complete story.
I drew versions of the pages, side by side. I intended to draw them each as a whole page in my sketch book, but I chose to make that the step between this one---some artists call these "thumbnails" and they are representations of how the complete drawings will lay out on the page. I re-drew the first three as I went along, then squeezed in the absolutely essential action in my next two samples.
Then I decided what I could add to increase the suspense without slowing the story or over crowding the art. The material in those first two versions of page four and five were supplemented. Now they are pages four, five, and six. I created one version of page six that wraps up the episode, with a seventh page then dedicated to an epilogue meant to spin off the next episode.
So, these scribbles will become stronger scribbles, and more attention to detail will develop as the idea takes visual form through revision.
Looking at it the next day, I see I could use parts of both to create a last page that moves more breathlessly towards the next bit of excitement. This establishes a pace where my reader envisions a story that barely lets you catch your breath! Something to keep in mind: to get in the mood to draw for hours, I began by drawing something I was moved to draw, that I meant for someone else to enjoy, which also reminded me of my goal to create portraits of artists, famous and otherwise. Here's France's legendary singer Edith Piaf. The point is, I drew what I loved. Then, what I had planned all this time to draw came out of me remembering I love to draw!
Sequences are made of scenes. Scenes are made of clearly drawn people, animals, and things. new/page/one/roughs
All content created by Cecil Disharoon, copyright 2011 Integr8d Soul Productions

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Esoteria: Integr8d Soul Music

instrumental inspired by an occult artifact discovered by Aleister Crowley and his wife in Egypt.
mAYBE the first of her poems I ever turned into a song, with much of the original music now swapping out the chords it came with into different positions. Song mostly written the first month or so I lived in San Diego. First song for which the Marc Kane ever wrote music as well as words. Little rough, but just making stuff up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Consistent faces, and preparing to draw a scene

Here's days five through eight of my sketching. I did some writing and only sketched Willie's head, three times, for day 9. I drew which ever characters I wanted, whoever I willed, for my first week back. I would like to make time to get three times as much drawing a day, at least, so let's see. For now, I'm just glad to have my computer back, working again. I won't go into why my entire body of work was not backed up, but I have too many things I want to do to concentrate much on all I lost. This blog and Integr8d Fix has so much of what I would've wanted to keep. It's strange, knowing hundreds of pages of journals are lost, but not so sad, really, just somewhat. More to make me think of the future. I may never have the time to go back and re-read them anyway, but they do leave a neat insight into me for some future reader, if they want.
At any rate, I am going to layout and script a seven-page dealie for Danger Bot; I'll also get to work on Not Another Comic Book. What I've sketched here in large part prepares me for those scenes. The first three pages are my goal, the rest of this month. Wish me luck. I don't know exactly all that's said in those three pages, but I do have an idea, and I know what action I wish to show, so I started putting my models like Jenn into positions that might carry the story, when placed into the sequence.
Day 10: re-visited a head one of us started.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Consistent faces pt 2 (and, my laptop's on the fritz)

I'll go see what the Geek Squad says this week, but without my neighbor Lawrence, I couldn't post so comfortably, if at all---so thanks again for loaning me your one and only laptop.
I can't thank my cool partner and best friend the Marc Kane for her second job learning to sing and play all this music I've dug out this month! Now! We kept very busy creating three sets of rehearsed 1980's music, which is sure to come in handy sometime, over these past few days. I look forward to using the things we learned to make these songs in making completely new music of our own. I wanted to give it my all (and probably should stuck to developing just two sets in seventeen days or so, to keep it tight), but I was determined to sketch again, make scenes, give characters narrative adventures.
Up top: I wanted to create a young heroine for my friend T.J.'s stories cooked up with his daughter, Steely. Next: A very interesting person! Can't you tell? She reminds us of what D.J. Evie P should be, in Not Another Comic Book. That's great; four of the seven faces I set out to draw inspire me to continue on with that story next. I can't resist working on all of them, slowing down the appearance of a complete story (and I've got two more I've decided it's high time to layout). Still, one of them's going to escape my work space before too long. Now, I have some recent drawing of every speaking character that appears in the prelude of Not Another Comic Book, featuring the beach about this time of year. Believe me, that story's asking to be turned into a movie, but a comic book's a way to put it together and tell it with a special set of subtleties, while at the same time, were you to see the racks at the local comic shop, you'd probably agree our title's well-deserved. I'll try to finish up the other two; can't wait to get them back under our pencils. Between this and deliberately working on each of our new songs at a time, we'll have a lot of fun the rest of this month. My creative life's one place that makes it true for myself: anything could happen! So! I began drawing these heads, five days ago. This could be one person's warm-up at one sitting, and I'm sure I'll be drawing at that pace soon enough, but it's the details that are important here. That doesn't mean it's hard, though! Just detailed, depending on the design of the character or person you want to draw.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's Draw: consistent faces

Well, I have several strips I'd like to draw. It all centers around characters! So, over the course of drawing a story, to make what's happening clear, one thing you must do is draw each character consistently. Here's Stixie the Stuck, from Stuckwayze.
Miss Bonnie Delight's a model in Not Another Comic Book; here, I'm trying different angles, to illustrate my point about consistent faces. Even if you change a character's hairstyle, she still has to be herself!
It's been a busy time, with the all day 1980's online show on coming up. Boy, did I feel puny last night, too! But, day by day, I'm keeping track of my progress. So, here's two characters in upcoming comics for 2011 and 2012. I recommend this exercise to anyone preparing to draw their own strip or comic. In fact, even if you're just trying to draw a nice portrait, it's good to work out different angles so you can change it and make it your own, and also, to clarify the details in your head. You can't be a memorable character without your own face, though! Part two to follow.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's get 80s!!! Tonight's show, and then: Saturday Sept 17

Imagine: a time-travelling trip to the record stores of days gone by, discovering tapes of some of the most enduring songs of the 1980's! Now, Integr8d Soul will bring that trip to life.

First, along with some of our originals, we're giving a preview tonight, six thirty our time.

But the big event's Saturday, the 17th, spread out all day and night!

So, with a fourth set of all requests (contact me with yours now, it's not too late but soon it will be!!)...including Timbuk3 and "Nikita" by Elton John...

...we wrote up our set list for our all day 80's party on Saturday, for my friend Kim, to which anyone can come, should they simply buy a ticket for any price you name at, for Integr8d Soul!!! Kim will get the first peek at the set list, but they'll all end up listed along with the shows at Stage

Those three set lists will stay under wraps until she sees them, so she can pick her favorites and times if she wants, but it gives us a plan to start, and a lot of new songs we've learned this week, too.

Tonight's set includes:

Dear Future
Armageddon It
I Used To Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)
Hungry Like the Wolf
Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Look Now
U R Me
Angel Morn

and whatever else the Marc Kane feels like playing!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let's Draw: basic figures

Listen, since I couldn't sleep and there's this one year of Avengers written by Jim Shooter I always wanted to read, I dug in last night, and found I'd bought the first one in the series (as well as the fill-in, #169...grr) years before. The second story features Janet Van Dyne's first fashion show, and this made me want to draw a nice dress for a simple figure, and then, some nice words for my very special girl. Then I slipped it into her bag. It thanks her for all she does, basically. You get the picture.

Dawn inspired me: we want to base a comic on a model and a designer, and tonight, in the shower, some marks on her back from exercise gave me the missing piece of my Not Another Comic Book Story, then she began to fill in blanks, herself, regarding a chilling omen early in the comic. I realized, too, I could tell one key scene as dialogue after the fact without showing it, so I can stick to my strengths, which are not drawing mansions, but my downtown neighborhood, the Embarcadero and Seaport and Coronado. Now, I can return to the beach scene with Princess Sexy Jenn and company.

Another pic, from me, came while I visited her for a few minutes while she minded a front desk in another hotel, the one where we worked out and met that nice girl tonight, in fact. Oh, she had a boy who thought she was very nice, too. I sketched from my phone, for about five minutes, in an effort to convey a strong figure with simplicity.

I'll include some anatomy studies next time out; I wasn't feeling very well but with that simple sketch today, I responded to the inspiration of the many drawings Dawn Birdsong has managed in her spare time. Here, she has included Miss Bonnie Delighte with a sword, and with the wall decoration, succeeds in providing depth and dimensionality between the sword, the woman, the back wall.

All drawing is for yourself, but you will enjoy it lots more if you can think of some person who will be happy when they see what you've made. Make it from the love of the figure, and draw whatever you care about. Make it from the love of people. Make it from the love of art itself. Share THAT and your drawings will survive your long march to perfection, your Olympic training and persistence.
Drawing inspired by my recent reading and response to Englehart's Avengers run in the mid-70's.

You will find yourself drawing more! I, for one, am shifting gears---maybe as a bike shop manager?---but I do intend to draw with the same gusto with which I wrote, always writing what I wanted but savoring the doors it would open. I could not sleep tonight, already thinking of Mary Magdalene...on the moon...