So here's a post about the first comic that I made for Kids Prize Pack. A couple of quick notes before we delve in:
-My generous partners over at Kids Prize Pack hooked me up with Photoshop (thanks, guys!), which I had never used before, so you'll probably (hopefully!) see me work out the kinks as I go along here.
-Also, I design a magnet that fits the theme of each month, so I'll include that in these posts as well. Speaking of which...
Our September theme was "Into The Wild", which had a focus on animals. One of the first things I drew for this theme was the image of the lion & butterfly that you see above. I liked it enough that I figured I would use them in my first two-page comic. (Since doing this, I've stuck with that idea, making each magnet reflect a character from that month's comic.) But enough yapping, here's the comic itself:
There you go, my first comic made entirely by me! It's clearly not high-art, but I had fun figuring the process out, from writing to drawing to coloring. Since I had zero experience with using Photoshop as an art tool, I knew there would be a learning curve involved, so I tried to make things as easy for myself as I could. For example, I knew I wanted the story to be silent (meaning no text or word balloons). I instead leaned on visual storytelling to help move the story along. (At least, that's what I hope happened!) I really enjoy drawing characters who can emote or "act", so even though it was a bit challenging, it was still fun.
There are a couple of specific things that I wanted to accomplish with this comic:
1. The lion would go through a few different emotional changes (asleep/neutral to happy on Page 1, and then from happy to scared/surprised to sad and finally back to happy on Page 2). It was important to me that each reaction came across clearly since there would be no dialogue and the only character that can show emotion between the two is the lion. I think I did alright on this one.
2. I really wanted this to have an animated look to it, so I decided early on that only the two characters would have black outlines, with all of the backgrounds having a painted look to them. I decided the best way to do this was to fully pencil the pages, scan them to Photoshop and do the rest (inking and coloring) digitally. In hind-sight, there's probably a better way to do it, but what can you do...
So yeah, there's my first KPP comic. Hope you liked it! More are on the way, but until then, here's some more art for you to look at:
Page 1 Pencils
Page 2 Pencils
Final Inks for the theme/magnet art (this was drawn on actual paper, then colored in Photoshop). I also adjusted the lion's head digitally to make it appear like he's looking at the butterfly.
Quick character design sketches. I eventually decided to use the upper right-hand design for the magnet & theme illustration.
Upper left & upper right: Layouts for the two-page comic with annotations for what should happen in each panel.
Bottom left: A quick sketch of the lion playing with the Butterfly
Bottom right: A quick sketch idea that popped in my mind when I was laying out the comic. I would later use this for Page 2, Panel 6 of the final comic.
That's it for now! I'll have a new comic for you soon, but in the meantime, check out KidsPrizePack.com, won't you? And be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@BrentHibbard)!