Hey, folks! I'm currently hammering away at the print version of issue 12. It won't be in your hands immediately after payments clear at the end of the month, but it shouldn't be too late!
Anyway, back when I first posted this comic (November 29, 2019, Before Pandemic), one of things I said in my post about the comic was: "I'll probably redraw [Bert] for print. For now it's fine!" Which is to say, Past Neal loves to write checks that Future Neal will have to cash.
Let's examine some of the stuff I've touched up for this comic:
PANEL ONE BEFORE:
PANEL ONE AFTER:
Now I have a pretty laissez faire attitude toward drawing my characters. My goal is to have distinct enough character designs that I have a lot of leeway in how I draw them and you still know who's who. But that doesn't mean I don't see some drawings as mistakes.
What I changed in panel one:
- One of Val's glasses lenses (only a tiny bit. I could have left it. I probably would have if I hadn't been making bigger changes).
- I moved Ellie's eyes up. They were just straight up in the wrong place on her head.
- I redrew Bert (down in the corner). Bert's like, I don't know, a toddler? I have no idea how fast he's aging. He could be two or three at this point. He looked older than that to me, and fairly different than he ever had before. Too thin, especially the neck.
PANEL TWO BEFORE:
For this panel I redrew Bert again. I don't know how to draw kids, and I have no idea how old Bert is, but I liked him better as this giant-headed Family Circus- looking child than I did as that awful little homunculus of a man he was the first time around. He's still pointing like his dad, though he's not directly imitating him with the same hand. I thought that still worked. Maybe not.
Now I didn't touch up the piece of Kevin's sleeve where I whited out and then markered, or redraw Ellie in the background even though I really fudged her, or make Val's hand holding the pie make more visual sense... because none of those things bothered me. That's the criteria I use when deciding whether to change something for print. If I say, "Ah, that's fine," then it's fine! I'm not about perfectionism here. But there's a difference between being a perfectionist and needing to redraw something that's just straight-up wrecked. I think!
Here's the full comic, by the way:
I really like this one not just because I like the silliness of it but because I think I effective showed Val doing something she wouldn't have done before she quit the drugs (showing up to a coworker's Thanksgiving party and kind of hesitantly offering a pie) without me making a deal out of the fact that that was what was happening. I like showing character development in a way that is maybe only obvious when you read a bunch of these things at once.
Man, look at panel three. No social distancing! Fortunately most of these guys live in Kevin's house for when I want to draw crowd scenes these days.
Anyway. Take care!