UPDATE! (12-21-2009) 

And we’re back!  Color made all the difference with this one, but some things are still in “tweak mode.”  Overall though, I think this page gets closest to page 1 for quality.  Or, at least, for my level of satisfaction with it.  I also brought the hovercraft back into the picture, with some experiments in how to show motion.  I also pushed some of the scales of linework from the original in order to put it all back on scale, and I think that compositionally the difference was pretty dramatic.  Alas, I ran up against the wall of graphic resolution with some of the shadow and highlights – it’s just more detailed than a computer monitor is capable of showing in web resolution.  But it’s pretty okay, overall.

This page wasn’t that hard to color, really – mostly it was the shadows, and making sure that everything was casting shadow in the right direction.  I’m also trying to very subtly push up the lighting in the scenes as we go, since in the story, as I wrote it, we’re approaching dawn.  And on that point, I’m just going to turn in now and leave it at that.  Last week, I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to write about, on the process and ideas and all that nonsense, but now I’m just drawing a blank.  We got a huge blizzard in the Eastern United States and it’s all cold and dark and quiet, and all I want to do is just go to bed and not think about comics any more.  I have in mind a sketch I want to post during my Christmas hiatus (I am taking next weekend off, as is the rest of Christendom, but would like to post SOMETHING, anyway!)

Incidentally, though, let me say in closing that in my web statistics (It’s only general stuff, I assure you, nothing personal or incriminating!), I was looking at countries of people visiting this site and I was really quite surprised that a lot of visits seem to be coming from abroad!  Now, the majority of that is Russia and the Ukraine, most of whom are spammers and not worth my time (I’m so sorry, all you legitimate Russian readers, but yes, a ton of spam comes from your country to this site; that’s just how it is!), but the data can also be useful to me in tracking actual readers, and there’s a small but growing number of you out there, and in pretty diverse parts of the world, too!  For example, I seem to have gained consistent readers from Cyprus, Italy, France, Spain, Colombia, Belize and Peru.  Frankly, I find the idea of Cypriot or French or Italian  readers endlessly fascinating, and it’s surprising to me that such an obscure little project as this should be attracting your attention, but welcome, I say!  A reader is a reader, no matter which country you’re from, and I hope you’re enjoying it!

Original Post (12.14.09):  Well, we’re back to old tricks, with the line drawing update and no colors, but that’s that.  This happens to be a far more complex composition than I’ve yet attempted, with the exception perhaps of Page 1.  Frankly, I’m happy with how its turning out so far, though of course the minute I scanned it I started seeing all the mistakes in it, here and there, which are probably only visible because I’ve been staring at this page for close to a week.

I thought that the second half of Chapter 1 deserved to open with a bang, so here it is.  I’ll go into more detail on how I drew it next week, when I post the colored version, but for now I’m going to go put my feet up for a while.  It’s my 30th birthday, after all, and so I think I’ve earned a little bit of a break.  In place of my usual commentary, let me instead send my deepest and most heartfelt thanks to my mother, brother, sister, Jenny, John, Daniel, Tony, Joost, Joachim, Peter, Dave, Matt, Jeremy, Deborah, Anna, Shahin, and Meghan for all your good wishes and kind regards on this commemoration of my passing the three decade mark.  Here’s to the next thirty!