CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU'VE DISCOVERED THE
SUPER SPECIAL #2
THIS BONUS PAGE IS JUST CHOCK FULL OF ALL KINDS OF EXTRA
MATERIAL FROM THE WORKSHOP INCLUDING PHOTOS NOT USED IN THE OFFICIAL
GALLERY, THREE (YES COUNT THEM, THREE) VIDEO CLIPS (SORRY, NOT SOUND),
THE ORIGINAL CHARACTER DRAWINGS TURNED IN ON THE REGISTRATION FORMS, AND A REPRODUCTION OF THE SPECIAL WEBPAGE CREATED TO AID THOSE WHO WERE CREATING
THEIR PAGES OUTSIDE THE WORKSHOP, HOSTED BY NONE OTHER THAN DEAD BETSY.
CLICK ON ANY OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO SEE A FULL SIZED IMAGE.
JUST CLICK ON ANY OF THE THREE CLIPS BELOW TO VIEW THE VIDEO (WITHOUT SOUND).
THESE WERE THE ORIGINAL DRAWINGS SENT IN BY THE INDIVIDUAL
ARTISTS TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP.
"HOWDY EVERYONE. I'M YOUR HOST, DEAD BETSY, AND I'M HERE TO
INTRODUCE YOU TO A REPRODUCTION OF THE SPECIAL WEBPAGE THAT WAS CREATED FOR
THOSE STAFFERS FROM THE PAST ISSUES OF APL PRESENTS WHO WANTED TO PARTICIPATE IN
THE ALL ALUMNI EDITION BUT WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE WORKSHOP. MR. J.,
MY BOSS, SET UP THIS HANDY GUIDE TO WALK THEM THROUGH THE PROCESS FOR CREATING
THEIR PAGES, FROM PLOTTING THEIR STORY TO THE FINISHED ART, USING A PAGE OF HIS
OWN, STARRING YOURS TRULY IN MY NEW WINTER FASHION WEAR, TO DEMONSTRATE EACH
"ALTHOUGH YOU DON'T HAVE ONE OF THE SPECIAL ART KITS THAT WERE PROVIDED TO THOSE NON-ATTENDING PARTICIPANTS FOR THE WORKSHOP, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FOLLOW ALONG JUST THE SAME, EITHER AS SOMEONE INTERESTED IN CREATING COMIC ART OF YOUR OWN, OR JUST SOMEONE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS. I WON'T EVEN MENTION THE THIRD OPTION--YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
"WHICHEVER ONE YOU HAPPEN TO BE, EITHER USE ONE OF THE QUICK LINKS BELOW TO LOCATE THE SECTION YOU'RE INTERESTED IN, OR JUST SCROLL DOWN THROUGH THE WHOLE THING, TAKING IN THE WHOLE ENCHILADA. IN EITHER CASE, ENJOY, AND FOR PETE'S SAKE KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET INSIDE THE CAR AT ALL TIMES."
BOBERT, MR. BUTTERWRATH, KING KANGA, REFICE, AND
DESTRICON HAVE ALL ESCAPED FROM TOONGATE PRISON AND HAVE TEAMED-UP TO
GET REVENGE ON THE HEROES (THAT'S YOUR GUYS) THAT SENT THEM THERE. THEY
HAVE LURED THE HEROES UP TO A REMOTE HOTEL (TOONRIVER LODGE) IN THE
MOUNTAINS WITH THE PROMISE OF A FREE SKIING WEEKEND, BUT HAVE RIGGED THE HOTEL
AND GROUNDS WITH NUMEROUS, SINISTER DEATHTRAPS!!!
(left) This is the principal artwork for the cover of this issue of APL Presents. I think you'll recognize these folks, even in silhouette.
What you'll be doing is creating one page of art on the supplied paper, showing
your hero character(s) confronting and then getting out of, by the end of the
page, whatever the villains throw at them. This can be out on the ski
slopes, in the hotel, on snowmobile trails, anything associated with a ski
lodge. The attack can come from the villain (from the issue in which your
character appeared) or some of their minions (like King Kanga might send koalas
too do his dirty work, or Destricon might send the evil clones he created), but
make sure if you use the main villain that they appear in shadow or in a
disguise (assume the reader won't know who the bad guys are until the end of the
story when their true identities will be revealed), and, although your hero can
defeat the minions, the main villain must be allowed to escape you by the end of
the page, although your hero can suspect who is behind the insidious attack.
Please also don't have any visible part of the hotel damaged, like having your
character's room explode. The hotel is the central continuity to all your
pages (see reference images below), but anything else is fair game, within
reason. I suspect the other heroes might notice a nuclear explosion taking
down the ski lift.
To the right is an example page drawn by Mr. Jordan and using his old stand-by character, Dead Betsy, the Zombie Doll. He put Betsy on the ski slopes in a parka and on skis, and the deathtrap is an ambush under a rough footbridge enacted by two robot ninjas but at the orders of Mrs. Butterwrath. This is just one way how things could have gone.
A little different from what we've done in the past in the APL Presents workshops, you guys will not only be doing your own inking, but printing in your own lettering and adding your own tones (if you choose to do any cross-hatching, that is). These won't get cleaned up on a computer like they have in the previous issues. Because we will be printing the books up right at the library, pretty much what you put on paper is what's going to be going in the book. Sounds kind of scary, but we did one of these a year and a half ago with only one alumni on staff, and it turned out great. This time we have all past members on the staff, so you guys should all be old pros at this.
All the examples below are the steps that went into creating this page. You guys can do this.
You don't really need a formal script for your single page. Just jotting down what you want done in your page and what is to be said on a scrap piece of paper would work just as well. Although you might want to have the action broken down into what is to go in what sized frame before starting your layouts. Trust me, it will make your life a lot easier. You could also sketch out the page on a smaller piece of paper to get a better idea how everything will fit on the page before going to the larger paper. This is by no means final what is to go on the large paper. You can edit things to improve your story as you go along. To the right is a thumbnail of the Dead Betsy script used by Mr. Jordan. Right click on it to get the full sized image.
After you've decided on your page's story, go ahead and
layout out your frames on the paper. Using a ruler, mark off on the page
edge border, the size you want your frames to be, and then measure on the
opposite side the same distance (don't forget to leave enough room for not only
the art but the narration blocks and word balloons you intend to add). Add
another notch on both sides to leave a 4 mm or 3/16 inch gutter between your
frames (click on thumbnail #1 to the left). Using the straight edge,
lightly pencil in your frame borders (thumbnail #2). After you've laid-out
the horizontal lines, start with the vertical lines, marking them top and
bottom, also with a gutter in between (thumbnail #3).
When you've finished laying out the frame borders, start lightly sketching in the action, using stick figures for the people and basic shapes for the things and general back grounds. Also roughly sketch in where your word balloons and narration blocks are going to be (thumbnail #4). If you're not sure how much space to leave, use your lettering guide and on a separate piece of paper, letter out what you want said, and then make sure you leave about that space on your page.
Remember to make things as exciting as possible, but so that anyone can understand what is happening. Keep in mind, like the script, this lay-out doesn't necessarily have to be final. That's why the lines are being kept light, so that you can change something if you want to.
To put in the lettering on your page, use the lettering guide provided in the
Kit and place it under the large art paper and line up the lines along the edges
of the guide with those of the edges of your page borders. Then move the
guide up and down until it is in position where you want to do lettering, lining
the top line of the guide up with the top of the frame your lettering, moving it
slightly below to allow a little more room away from the frame border.
Once you've got the guide in the right place, begin printing in all capital
letters using the wider of the lines on the guide (the narrow ones make a
perfect space between lines). Try to keep the letters as straight and as
even as possible, and, a trick to do the spacing between words. As you hit
the space, pretend to print an A in the space, but lift your pencil as you go
over it. Then continue lettering with the next word (see thumbnail #1 to
the right). Do this as lightly as possible because you might have to redo
it if your spacing is off. Again, until you get the hang of it, you might
want to try it on another piece of paper before committing it to the big paper.
To do larger lettering (like the WOW! in the first frame) just carry the lettering up into the next line. Be careful where you do this, however, so it doesn't interfere with the other letters. If you want all the words in a balloon to be larger like that, use the small lines above and below a given large line for the lettering, then use the large line in between them as the spacer. You'll probably want to use a larger pen to ink those larger words later on.
Keep in mind to be as clear as possible, because, again, Mr. J. won't be cleaning this up and relettering it on the computer this time.
The first thing to do after completing your lettering,
is to actually draw in the balloons around the spoken lettering, and, with a
straight edge, draw in the borders of your narrations blocks. No real
trick here. Just leave enough space around the letters so that they don't
appear crowded. The narration blocks you can actually do while the
lettering guide is still in place by drawing the borders in about half way into
the next wide line from the lettering.
From your sketched stick figures of the layouts, start adding cylinders and spheres to their bodies to add dimension to them like we did in class, again lightly so you don't have to erase quite so much later. From there, add the props to each frame's setting, like weapons or any do-dads that will be used by either the hero or the villains-and then clean up the back grounds. Then, finish the art by adding the details to the characters and the settings. Keep in mind not to draw anything too small because the whole thing will get shrunk down to comic book size. Make sure anything with a straight edge is drawn with a straight edge. If you're not sure how to draw something, don't wing it. Go on Google Image or to the library and find a picture of the item, and draw it from there. The house that we're using for the ski lodge has already been decided upon, so for reference pictures of the place, check out the images below.
To finish things up, put the pointers in from the word balloons and don't be bashful about adding sound effects. And, to make sure everything is clear, try having someone else read it. If they have trouble understanding something, you may need to add a narration block here or there to make the action perfectly clear.
To get images of the
villains and minions, click this link and then click on the appropriate issue.
When you start to ink, you might want to use a folded
up tissue under your hand to keep from smearing the places you've already inked.
It's a little awkward, but it will keep your natural skin oils from smudging
With the pen provided and a straight edge, ink your page and frame borders first, being careful not to cross any of the gutters (click thumbnail #1 to the right). Next, carefully ink your letters, word balloons, and narration blocks (Thumbnail #2). Then using a straight edge still, ink in any straight lines, like swords or the edges of buildings, etc (Thumbnail #3). Next, trace in all the regular pencil lines (Thumbnail #4). Next, doing the heavy blacking (if you have any). If you don't have a larger black marking pen you can use, just mark those areas with an X, and Mr. J. will ink them for you (Thumbnail #5). If you do have a larger pen, first use one that's slightly larger than the pen provided and trace the insides of the heavy black areas (Thumbnail #6), then finish filling in the area with an even larger pen, so you won't kill the smaller pens (Thumbnail #7). Keep in mind, though not to use too much black where we'll be using the library's photocopier. I don't want to see any full black scenes. Once that's done, if you have any tones you want to put in, you'll need to do it by doing hatching lines. They usually go up and down, across, and diagonally in both directions, and making them closer together makes the tone darker, and further apart, lighter. You can also combine opposite direction lines to make cross-hatching. To do them, figure out which direction you want the lines to go (different directions on different object set up a nice contrast to make objects stand out) and with a straight edge, lightly draw in guide lines in pencil to keep your ink lines going in the same direction and to keep them straight (with some in the opposite direction for cross) (Thumbnail #8), then, using a straight edge, mark your actual lines off in ink, trying to maintain the same distance between each line (Thumbnail #9). Again, try not to make your lines too close together, because this will get shrunk down.
When you're done inking, let your page set for at least several hours to let the ink dry completely. Then, very carefully, erase any visible pencil lines, particularly the dark ones (Thumbnail #10). They will show when we photocopy this.
You may also need to fix some inking mistakes (It happens!!!). After the ink is dry, use a little correction fluid (Liquid Paper) and touch up any mistakes. If the mistake is big enough, you may have to start over. Too much correction fluid will show almost as badly as the mistake.