Thursday, 27 November 2014

'Food Chain' Comic - Paper Jam Comics Collective

I became aware of a collective of comic enthusiasts (the 'Paper Jam Comics Collective') after seeing a sign up in the Travelling Man window (my all time favourite shop in Newcastle!) 
But it wasn't until I went to the Lakes International Comic Festival and had a chat with the founder of the collective Jack Fallows who had a stall there, that I decided to finally go along to one of their meetings, and it was great!
The collective is made up of an awesome mix of illustrators, writers and overall fans of sequential/comic art, and every so often members can contribute a comic or two to a themed anthology. The next one for publication is themed on food and I was keen to give it a go as my first contribution. 

And here is the result:

This is surprisingly my first attempt at anything black and!
Obviously stuff in my sketchbook is often done in pen and pencil but in terms of final artwork I've always worked in colour with loads of texture whacked on for good measure!
But as the anthology is printed in black and white I had no choice but to simplify things and adapt my style, so I set myself the challenge of not only working in monochrome but also swapping my Wacom for actual REAL ink for a change, with a bit of mechanical pencil for shading. 

I have to admit, I couldn't totally stay away from Photoshop (sorry!) and later added a subtle 
mono-print texture just to give a bit more of a suggestion of my usual style. This actually worked quite well in emphasising the animals/elements in the 'food chain' that link together throughout the frames.

Double page spread

Here's a bit of the working process behind the final result:

Digital sketch of plan for layout. I later changed a few frames to
different animals to make the 'chain' idea more readable and flowing

A3 artwork using brush and fine nib pens and mechanical pencil:


I just managed to get this done in time for the next meeting so fingers crossed it will end up in the anthology! I'm glad I tried something different for this one and it's definitely made me more confident that I can make comics in traditional media and not rely too heavily on the digital. Overall it actually took less time drawing it all by hand than collaging it digitally together so it might be a time saver in future too!

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