Working on SPEJS #3

Hi, sorry I’ve been a bit absent on the blog, but I’ve been trying to get together a script for SPEJS #3, get some character turnarounds and concepts ready and such so I feel confident about starting to draw the thumbnails for the chapter. I’m trying to come a bit more prepared this time around and we’ll see if that’s a good or bad thing ;)

workspace

What I will try to do more from now on is to sit at the studio since we have no internet connection there = less distractions, and I can hang out with other comic artists and get inspired. I found a good setup where I bought a small and cheap computer that I can hook up with my Cintiq, meaning I can carry the Cintiq from my home to the studio and use it there with ease. This solution was a lot cheaper than the Surface I was looking at, and it had about the same specs :) So yeah, pretty compact, but it works really well this far!

angrynoodle_smol

So these are looks of the turnarounds I’m working on right now. I’m almost done with Gav’s and then I’ll do Ragna as well and some props, and then I’m all set :) I feel pretty pumped about starting to work on this chapter, and a little scared at the same time. I always want to do better than last time and am afraid I’ll be disappointed with my stuff, hehe.

Also, I would really like to do a rollup/banner for SPEJS to use on the upcoming cons I’ll attend! I’m hoping to squeeze that into my schedule before November comes, I’d love to bring that to Örebro!

Quest for a background style

gav_ragna_seritown

The past week I’ve been struggling with finding a good style for making the backgrounds for the coming chapter of my comic SPEJS. I haven’t been too fond of the lineart type of backgrounds I’ve been making, but I want something that fits the cartoony look of the comic. Also, I needed to get my sense of colours a bit better, and decide on a style for the part of Aeros City where this chapter will take place. Phew, a lot of things to think about!

For the architecture, I’ve been looking a bit at Sovjet architechture, and I also realized that Vällingby city, where I hang out quite a bit, actually looks pretty futuristic, so I kinda borrowed some shapes from that ;)

For the coloring style, I wanted something painty and simplistic, and stumbled upon this blog post with Power Puff Girls backgrounds, which I thought looked amazing, so I eventually did something similar to that.

And finally, I still have a hard time with colours! But I found this great tool, Paletton, that helps you create color harmonies! I love it!

Below are all the tests I did, and you can see that I’m struggling, and nothing seems to look quite right:

cities_wip

This was finally the background style I think I will continue to use:

city_7

There is still some work and fine tuning to do, but I’m glad I’m getting closer to something I like :) It looks simple and detailed at the same time and doesn’t take away too much focus from the characters.

Do you have any tips on good tools for colours and/or inspiration (either by art style or reference photos)? Tell me in the comments :)

SPEJS – Star Trek AU

startrek_spejs01_s

So, today’s the 50 year anniversary of Star Trek! I don’t call myself a die-hard fan, but I really enjoy TNG and some of the TOS (and I want to see more Voyager!), and the old films are pretty enjoyable too!

Since I’m making my own sci-fi-comic, and I sometime describe the tone of the comic being similar to TOS, I decided to let my characters from SPEJS dress up in Star Trek uniforms! Swagata, being the leader in SPEJS, is of course the captain while Ragna and Morwen are security/redshirts. At first I was a bit hesitant to use the TOS uniforms because of the mini skirts, but then I remembered that Kirk’s shirt often gets ripped to shreds, so well…

startrek_spejs02_s

…have a redshirt Gav whoose shirt fell off ;D

(I know, no blue shirt, but I think Swagata would be the SPEJS member most worthy of a blue shirt, but she’s the captain, so…¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

SPEJS @ Helsinki Comics Festival 2016!

spejs_at_helsinki

Hey hey hey! On Saturday I’ll be at Helsinki Comics Festival, selling SPEJS and other things! This year, the festival is held at Kansalaistori, still very central, and I think it’ll be awesome! <3

This year, I’ll be sharing tables and hang out with the awesome Karrey who makes the awesome comic The Din which she will bring to the table, and Agzie who has a TON of awesome merch you just have to check out! <3

spejs_1and2

I will of course bring SPEJS! New for this year is that chapter 1 is now in color, and I’ll also bring chapter 2! Each book will be 6 € each, or buy both chapters for 10 € :)

skissbok

I will also bring my sketchbook, which you’ll get for for 2 €. 28 pages with doodles from my sketchbook adventures I do on my daily commuting to work :)

prints

halsband

I’ll bring a limited amount of merch too! A few of my A5 SPEJS prints, and a few Ragna and Gav (and Sebbe the cat) charms and necklaces! I didn’t print many of these, and they actually glow in the dark, so this is an awesome opportunity to get an unique and cute charm/piece of jewelry in true 90’s nostalgia fashion! ;)

As an added bonus, I will also bring a VERY limited amount of Diana’s christmas story (in Swedish) to the table. It’s absolutely adorable, and a great gift for any Swedish speaking person!

So yeah, remember, if you’re in Helsinki on Saturday, please swing by Helsinki Comics Festival and say hi! <3

Fan art: Prim (Magic Advisor)

prim

Here’s another fan art and web comic tip! This time I drew Prim, the super fun villan from the web comic Magic Advisor/Magikonsult, yet another comic with a great cast and an awesome sense of humour (with a big sprinkle of the occult)! <3 I took some liberties with her outfit though, but I tried to keep it to a style I think Prim could appreciate :)

Fan art: Pello (Immortal Nerd)

pello

So, recently I’ve been reading the web comic Immortal Nerd, and I really like it! It’s a light hearted sci-fi comic with great humour and a really adorable cast! My favourite must me Pello, the big softie that hates to shower XD  So yeah, here’s a fan art of the dude! If you think he looks interesting, I urge you to check out the comic as well <3

I’ll be selling comics in Stockholm on Sunday!

Hey people! This Sunday it’s time for “The World’s Longest Book Table” in central Stockholm (Drottninggatan). Stockholm’s Comics Library (Serieteket) is arranging a part of this book table and calls it “Comic Street” (Seriegatan), located close to Kulturhuset, where you will find real bargains on comics from Serieteket, and there will be some comic creators and collectives there as well, selling their awesome stuff.

spejs_1and2

And as a part of Dotterbolaget, I will sell my (and their) comics together with some other awesome people from Dotterbolaget! I will bring SPEJS and Swedish Comic Sin to the table, so if you haven’t got my comic yet and are visiting Stockholm on Sunday, come by and say hi! :)

So, to summarize:

What: Comics Street – awesome comics for awesome prices!

Where: Drottningatan, Stockholm (close to Kulturhuset)

When: 11-17

No entrance fee! Use your money to support indie comic creators instead :)

See you on Sunday!

Watercolor crystals

kristaller

Here’s another watercolor painting I’ve done recently, this time with a crystal theme :) I’ve tried to make some studies for crystals and got some really nice tips from my friend Diana while hanging out at her place last week :)

I started doing some pen and paper studies by looking at some illustrations and photos of crystals (a google search on “crystal illustrations” will give you a treasure of images), then I looked at some tutorials for rendering crystals a bit more. Here are some interesting tutorials:

Pikishi (Deviantart)

Jesus Conde (Youtube)

I did this study in watercolours, but I’ll most def do some digital studies when the weather gets a bit colder over here :)

 

 

Watercolor galaxy

galaxy_s

I tried to experiment a bit previously with making a galaxy in water colours.The scanned result look a bit odd to me, but I really liked the outcome for being my first try at it :)

I followed a few tutorials to make this galaxy and can recommend the these ones:

Tiny Nebula by Tillith (Youtube)

Galaxy Effect Watercolor Tutorial (blog post)

I think these two posts were both very easy to follow and pretty inspiring. A thumb of rule I guess was to not be afraid of working with a very wet canavas, because I got some really interesting patterns going on then :) And as always, practise makes perfect, and I’m definitely going to try and make more galaxies like these :)

Another short comic I did before the vacation

comic_concept

before I went on vacation, I managed to make a short 5-pages comic with these fellows. They’re vegans who accidentaly turned into vampires and their woes with surviving and still being vegans.

comic_roughs

Since I drew this during a period when it was really warm, I decided to do this with ink and steel nibs too, like I did with the other comic project i worked on. I pretty much did the same thing as last time, drew some roughs on the train to and from work, scanned them in and added speech bubbles (to me, it feels more important to get their positions right as early as possible since it’s a bit harder to edit stuff around when you work with scanned pages).

comic_fine

After that, I printed the roughs and traced them to another paper with blue pencils (if you scan the pages in Black & White, the blue lines won’t scan!).

comic_wip

When I was done with the blue pencils, I took my pages to my studio with some ink and my steel nibs and did the inking. I think I worked three evenings after work with these, and it was really fun! I pretty much started working with the big lines, let the page dry for a bit, worked some smaller details, let it dry, worked some more etc. I’m still a bit rusty when it comes to ink, so I dipped my hand on not-yet-dried ink more than once, haha XD

comic_allInked

Here, I started to get all ready and could scan the pages again.

01

For some added effect, I used some red color here and there. I thought it turned out pretty nice! A bit different from what I usually do, but it’s nice to experiment a bit and learn how the steel nibs work again :)

The big difference from the previous project was that I used another type of paper for this comic. The nibs worked a LOT better against it and didn’t get stuck in the fibres all the time (and it was a lot thicker, so I could probably do ink wash on that type of paper as well!).

We’ll see where this comic will be published though! I sent it to one anthology, and I’m not sure if they’ll accept it :D If not, maybe I can squeeze it in somewhere else :)

 

SPEJS #1 is here!

As I mentioned earlier, I had sent the PDF for SPEJS #1 to the printer, and was all anxious how the result would turn out since I used a new printer and put together the PDF with Scribus. Well, a little while ago, I finally got the ‘zines and they look REALLY good!

spejs-framsida

The cover is super shiny and the colors are very vivid! The cover is printed on 200g silk paper while the insert is printed on 130g silk paper (SPEJS #2’s insert was printed on 90g copy paper, which isn’t as shiny), and I really like the look and feel of it!

spejs-sidor

This is a page I kind of figured out would be problematic because of lots of vivid greens and such, but I’m pretty comfortable with the result. Sure, there are some hue differences due to CMYK and RGB not working in the same way, but I think both versions look really good in their own ways :)

spejs-inlaga

I really like the cover’s inside with the little Ragna & Gav pattern :) I’ve also made some adjustments from the first printing – I removed some info pages about Aeros and made it into new comic pages instead, and also changed the epilogue a bit – I think it came out a lot better in the end! So yeah, besides from it being in full color now, it also has some additional comic pages :D

spejs_1and2

The re-print has slightly different dimensions than the old re-print and chapter 2 – while the old books are 148×148 mm, these new babies are slightly bigger, 150×150. It’s a very small difference, so I don’t think it’ll be an eyesore ;)

So yeah, all in all, I’m very happy with this new printer for full color ‘zines, and Scribus did a really good job with putting together the PDF!

If you want to get your hands of a copy of SPEJS, there will be some opportunities for that! I’ll hang out at Dotterbolaget’s table during Seriegatan on August 21st in Stockholm, then I’ll have a table at the Helsinki Comics Festival September 3rd, then there’s Comic Con Stockholm at the beginning of November and Örebro Seriefestival at the end of November :)

 

SPEJS #1 is done for (re)printing!

chapter01-01

So on Friday, I sent the new SPEJS #1 PDF for printing, finally! I’ve spent an awful lot of time hesitating and looking it over 1000 times before sending the PDF to the printers. Are you people like that too, a bit nervous when sending the PDF to the printer?

Another reason I’m a bit nervous is that I’m trying out a new software to put together my PDFs with. I have an old Adobe Bridge license I can only use on my old macbook that worked perfectly for putting together image files into a PDF (I’m very oldskool, I know), but since I’m mostly on my windows computer, I wanted to have a solution on that one too. So I’ve been trying out Scribus. At first I thought it would be a drag to put together a 44 page PDF, but after giving up, trying again and doing some investigation I started to find some really nice settings that made the process a LOT easier!

scribus_demo

The program has a pretty easy and straightforward export function as well, and the seems like the PDFs it creates work well – they’re turned into cmyk if that’s what you want, and you can change DPI easily. I had to adjust some stuff though to make it look like I wanted it to though. I made a version in Bridge to compare to – the first Scribus versions came out looking greyish, but eventually I got it to look better. But who knows, maybe the grey versions would’ve worked too, I’m still a bit n00bish when it comes to printing stuff. I asked the printer if my Scribus-created PDF would work and print correctly and they seemed positive, so I guess I have to trust them :)

If this turns out well and the comic comes back looking all kinds of awesome from the printer, I’ll probably ditch Adobe altogether for now (until I actually need to learn InDesign for some reason or other?).

chapter01-44

As an added bonus, here’s the backside of the new cover for SPEJS #1! This cover is a bit shinier. I really liked the super simplistic first version I had, but it wasn’t a head-turner, which I hope this version is. I tried to keep to the pink color scheme though :)

What program do you people use to put together your fanzines/books? Is it Adobe InDesign, Scribus, or something completely different? :)