This is just the cover of the new comic. It is 16 pages so far, covering 4 topics that are close to my heart.
On our website I have 46 single panel Heavy Metal Garage cartoons, such as this:
But the new Heavy Metal Garage Comic is following the format of our THE SHADOW and IN THE NEXT DIMENSION, being multiple panels a page and multiple pages.
It is 2 guys discussing and demonstrating various car things. Because that is what I feel like doing.
My Page Format, is Manga styled
The format I am using for my webcomics and CBR books now is basically formatted to be 2 pages on a landscape A4 sheet, black and white, or rather mostly gray scale. With typically up to 6 panels a page, it makes it readable on a smartphone or printed like this:
This is very much a printed manga page style. I'm just not printing it at the slightly smaller B5 landscape page size, as there aren't any clear files for that, and the A5 Clear Files I am using aren't the kind of thing stocked at many places.
The new thing I am doing in this comic is drawing lots of realistically proportioned cars and things. Like the Fiat 500 and piano in the cover above. Drawing them on blank DELETER A4 Manga paper in marker, nib and brush pens.
This image shows the ruler supported on 5yen coins used for drawing inked lines. Stops smudges even when using a nib pen and bottled ink.
Also trying to make it funny, as that is what I like, even if that is very hard to do. Also educational, at least a bit.
We will see how we go...
It takes a lot of time to make a comic
It takes a lot of time to make a comic, even using the hybrid digital/drawn approach I am using.
It took much of 4 days to do the first 5 pages, but that also involved designing the new characters with expressions and posses, and a bit of experimentation as to whether just B/W or toned cars and things was better. Some "mulling" time in there too, just thinking about it all.
Drawing all the ellipses gets tedious with cars without templates. Finally found a reasonable set of 10 templates. These things are so expensive to buy new and could never justify the cost. Bought these second hand on Mercari. Would be nicer to have a set of 15, but will make do.
I write the "script" directly on the panels of the pages and have characters down very quickly, but then I think of something better, or it needs to lead into something else, and I modify things "a lot". It is iterative.
In the currently completed 4 page book, I had the first 2 pages down, then didn't know how the next pages should go. Ended up, after a night I didn't sleep well, coming up with the car I wanted to make the point of to fill the last page. It may start off in one place, cover a couple of things, then end up at another place, and I want to make that journey interesting.
Not sure how long it will be yet. Maybe 8, 24 or even 28 pages, but it all depends on other things happening around me and if I "scratch that itch" in 8 pages, that may be it short term.
Doing a comic in 4 page episodes is the right approach for this one. An achievable goal.
The first multipage comic I wrote was TERRAFORM at 16 pages, and it took months just working on it about 1 day a week. It was in color and I drew every panel with ink on paper. That isn't the approach I am using anymore. It just takes too much time.
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