"Where have you been?" asked absolutely nobody. Well, Nobody, I'm glad you asked.
As you may have noticed though all the pictures I posted, I took up drawing and painting as a hobby. It was easy to post everything I created when I first started. It was new and novel, but slow. Over time, I became a bit faster. I'm still quite slow, but I became fast enough to start creating what I really wanted to do: comics.
I posted a few in the past. The first one I posted is still my favorite. I liked the last panel so much, I transfered it, colored it, and make it my social media avatar.
Then, I tried making strip-style comics, but I was having a hard time keeping up. One crazy weekend, and I fell behind, eventually falling out of the art habit.
After trying illustrating for a while, I tried to pick the comic habit back up. Instead of writing, I wrote a comic script for myself. Instead of posting pictures of travels, I sketched them, intending to put them up as a set. I abandoned the strip style; my "voice" never really fit it. I grew up loving pages, and it's still what I'd prefer to speak through.
The problem with pages are that I can't draw and post an entire arc or thought all at once without large publishing time gaps. An average page has around six panels. An average strip has three to four. Also, more thought goes into page layout whereas a strip usually follows a template.
There are two typical page publishing methods on the Web:
- Publish an "issue" every so often
- Consistently publish a page at specified time intervals
Both methods have advantages. Publishing an entire story makes the story "read" better. Dramatic and comedic timing can be used. Consistency may cause that to fall flat, but the site won't go dormant; readers will know when there is something new. However, once published, that page really can't be edited any more.
Of course, if someone is reading the archives, none of this matters.
To get back in the art habit, I decided on the second option. I was going to kick it off with a comic about this because meta autobiographical comics are everyone's favorite.1 This didn't work. You already know this because of the block of text you're currently staring at.
I wrote a basic outline. I thumbnailed it: five pages. I edited it. I penciled the four remaining pages. I lettered them. I inked them. I erased them. I painted them. I did them all in batch for color consistency and to make the avoid waiting for each one to dry. Working in batch forced me to not be a perfectionist. I saw all the imperfections once I was done, but it was done. It took two days for four pages.
I can actually work at this rate if I publish one or two pages a week. Plus, I'd be building a buffer for when life gets in the way of comicking. Wait... I think I can really do this!
Enter: the Epson NX-420.
Generally, scanning watercolors is not great. Bright, direct light on a transparent medium does not translate well. I can use gouache or ink, but I used watercolors. "I'll set up a camera rig for the next comic," I resolved. "Let's just get this ball rolling first."
My wife printed out a form. The printer beeped that it was out of magenta ink. This disables all functionality and sets the SD card port to read-only because you obviously need ink to scan.
I looked into buying a scanner. Anything above letter/A4 sized has an astronomical price tag, and I can't justify buying a scanner to replace a printer that technically works. But, I absolutely hate that I can't scan every time the ink empties or dries out. I'm not in school; I don't ever print anything. I barely printed while in school. My wife needs a printer on rare occasion, so it's allowed to live for now.
That's why you're seeing this text. I'm busy rigging up a temporary camera "scanner." It'll be better in the long run, anyway.