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 #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? :)

My comic projects this summer

I haven’t said what I am up to lately, but here’s a small update of that :) I’m actually having two project going in parallell this summer, and today I will talk about one of them :)

As you might know, the first volume of my Sci-fi comic SPEJS (also available online!) sold out during the last SIS, and I need to make a re-print for the upcoming comic conventions (Helsinki, Comic Con Stockholm and Örebro Seriefestival). So what I’ve been doing lately is to do some touch ups on the colored version, which I did last November I think? But I’ve laerned a lot the past six months and decided to do some adjustments before sending it to the printer, and I think it’s all for the better:

colorCompare

New version is on the right side. I think it will look quite nifty!

(I’m promising myself though that this will be the last touch-up to this chapter, no infinite re-drawing loops for SPEJS!)

I have a few pages left to fix before I dare to send it to the printer, but the goal is to have it sent early July!

I will talk a bit about my other project tomorrow!

The latest prints

I managed to make two new prints for SIS, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. They have a bit of a shojo-like estetique, but still keeps the SPEJS and sci-fi-feeling, so glad it turned out how I wanted them to!

ragnaGav_pstcard2

I actually drew Ragna like two months ago and thought “hey, it’d be cool to add Gav, and maybe amke an image with Swagata and Morwen too”. So last week, I drew Gav and made an actual picture of this :D

swagata_morwen_postcard

Swagata and Morwen I drew last week while in Barcelona, to get the concept and poses right. I think they turned out pretty damn fab! :)

prints

So this week, I placed an order for prints at Kista Snabbtryck, they printed ’em up so quick (I could pick ’em up the next day), they were cheap and the quality is super nice! It’s always hard to photograph semi-glossy stuff with a crappy phone camera with only indoor lights, but believe me, the colours turned out so vivid, and they look freakin’ awesome! Can’t wait to show (and sell) ’em at Stockholms Internationella Seriefestival next week :)

SPEJS #2 is here!

coverSPEJS2

So, I haven’t talked much about SPEJS part 2, haven’t I? I thought I hadn’t done anything BUT talking about it, hehe :D Well, I’ve been working with SPEJS #2 since Christmas more or less, it’s in full colour, stars Swagata and Morwen and takes place at a party!

Swagata Yadav and her colleague Morwen of Gilios are partying at the space station Nejlika while looking for out for a possible burglar that has been stealing artefacts from the pangee lately. Will they find the culprit before it’s too late?

SPEJS #2 is a fun sci-fi adventure by Jenny Hannula, packed with kick-ass women, the colour purple and sparkly transformation sequences. Rock on!

I am quite happy with this chapter since it’s so sparkly and both Swagata and Morwen are such kickass ladies, and I hope you will enjoy it too! I got it from the printer a week ago or so and was a bit nervous about the colours because it was my first time printing in colour, but I think they did a nice job! Here’s a preview of the comic I showcased over at my Instagram account:

Ett filmklipp publicerat av @jennulator


So yeah, I will sell this comic at Stockholm International Comics Festival which happens in a week! It will cost SEK 60, and if you want an extra fancy signing in your copy, you should make a pre-order by Swishing 60 kr, your name and a SPEJS character you’d like me to draw (otherwise I’ll draw anyone that comes up in my mind) to 0730610552.

Can’t come to the festival/don’t live in Stockholm, but want a copy? Swish 73 kr and add your adress and I’ll mail it to you :)

And hey, it looks really fancy next to SPEJS #1, just because I want to show off a little:

Ett foto publicerat av @jennulator

Angry alien girl

angryAlienGirl

Even though I’m all done and have printed the next SPEJS chapter, I’ve started to muse on the next chapter! A “short story” I planned to include in the second book got scrapped (because of time) which is great, because I’m going to remake the script a bit and make it the proper third SPEJS chapter instead. This angry alien lady will probably join in and make life hard for team SPEJS ;)

Regarding the weapons in SPEJS, I am not an expert on guns of any kinds. I’ve tried to make some research on how to hold guns, their anatomy etc, but not more than that. Also, most of my inspo for the guns in SPEJS are classic cartoony ray guns and Kenny Starfighter’s hairminator:kenny01 kenny02

I love that kind of whimsical stuff :)

I will make a post this week about the second chapter of SPEJS, because it looks super nice! :)

Breakfast Crashers update

ragnaGav_postcard

I tried to update the Breakfast Crashers image with a background. It looks a little more like an actual picture :) I might adjust it a bit more and make an A5 print out of it for SIS, would you like that? I’m also considering trying to make a print with Swagata and Morwen since the new book is all about them :) Hopefully I can get those printed in time, fingers crossed..!

Breakfast crasher

ragna_gav_breakfastCrash

Oh Ragna, I know your pain. You have ONE day off, and you decide to do absolutely NOTHING, just hanging out in the house in nothing but your jammies. You take a seat at the breakfast table with the biggest bowl of sugary cereals and a large pan o’ coffee…and then some jerk shows up and wants to hang out with you. On your free day, how DARE they!

…at least Gav has some biceps and chest hair she can look at while being pissed off..? ;)

This piece is going to be a filler/preview image in the next SPEJS book, but I really liked how it turned out, so I wanted to show it off at the blog as well :)

Badass Morwen

morwen

A badass Morwen I drew this weekend :) Basically, I needed some good character pinups for my next batch of business cards, and I wanted the SPEJS-related cards to feature the four main characters :) I was going to use an image I made from the next chapter, realized it wasn’t good enough and made a new one. I’ll also exchange the image in the comic with this one since it was a lot better. The wonders of working digitally, people! ;)