When I scripted this page it originally had more panels of Rickets imagining the tall robot fucking his ex in increasingly creative positions, but I thought it hit the note a couple times too many, and I like the the last panel I did instead. Of course Rickets has already slept with a new robot, too, but that doesn’t stop you from being jealous, it doesn’t work logically like that.
Gonna post a couple new pages tomorrow, so check back.
This page is all about insult to injury. I figured it wasn’t enough for the ex-boyfriend robot to have a new boyfriend, the new boyfriend should also be taller and manlier than Rickets. And the ex boyfriend and the taller robot should both answer the doors in towels, so they were obviously just showering together. It’s funny in that kind of learning to laugh at your own worst memories way. I’m actually kind of tall, and I never met my ex’s new boyfriend in this case, but it’s about the feeling of being replaced. Also, if memory serves accurately, we broke up on a Monday and he went out with this new guy on something like Wednesday, so that was a low blow enough.
Gonna post the next new page later today, so check back!
Hi everybody! Sorry for disappearing for a few days there, I’ve been working on a bunch of different things simultaneously, and holding off on posting any of it because I’d rather post this story in order. I’ve been doing the last part of this story working on a bunch of different pages together, rather than completing one page at a time, so I’ve had a pile of work in progress pages next to my desk, but late last night, or actually early this morning, I mostly completed Marching to “The City” except for some touch-ups and odds and ends, so I promise there will be a page a day until it’s all posted, maybe actually even more than that.
This page had a long strange journey, as I spilled a bottle of ink on the first version of it when I was working on it around a week ago. the first two panels were mostly saved, the rest of it had to be reproduced. I love the page, though, even though it comes from some touchy memories for me. I think the gap-toothed robot Rickets goes out with is actually really cute, in a goofy kind of way, it’s my thing for nerds showing up. After the breakup that inspired a lot of this story, looking back on all that I’ve realized that there were actually plenty of cute guys around, and even some guys who were into me, but I was much too busy feeling sorry for myself and undesirable to notice when I was being desired. So, that’s what this page is mostly about. I like the little touch in the movie theater panel with how the other robot’s hand is out there on the arm rest and Rickets could take it, but he’s off in space instead. I also like the bit in the sex panel with the other robot’s hands being tied together. If you look closely, you can see little diamonds on the tie he was wearing before that’s now being used to tie him up. Tying someone up or being tied up seems to be a major analogy in a lot of these comics for relationships going right or going wrong. It’s also kinda super hot.
New page tomorrow, or maybe even later tonight, depending on how much scanning I get done, so check back :)
One thing noteworthy about this page in my mind is that in the first panel there he’s probably working on Prester the bear. Before when he was sewing mouths on the bears, he was giving them little smiley faces, but on this particular bear, due to the mood Rickets is in he’s making a bear that looks kind of upset and preoccupied. After this there are actually gonna be seven more pages, for the story being a total of 26. I thought it was going to be 25, and then discovered that in the script I wrote originally around a year ago, for all this time I had numbered two pages as 19.
This is sort of the cartoon robot version of the “let’s be friends” talk. I thought it was important to have the hug in there, since it now means something else. And apparently I never get tired of dredging up as many painful memories as possible and immortalizing them in comic book form, heh.
Been drawing up a storm of different things over the last few days, but I also have this storyline finished through the next page, along with some pencils beyond that, so there will be a new post tomorrow and probably the day after. Check back!
I mostly finished inks on three pages plus another drawing yesterday, so there will be a new page posted tomorrow. I’m gonna spend today working on a cover for the upcoming book, and I might post bits and pieces of that to my Facebook and all that, but on the website here I’m going to be only posting Marching to “The City” pages until it’s done, so that they’re all in order. If you’re curious about additional information about the upcoming book or other drawings and things I’m working on, you might want to follow me on twitter.com/bloodoftheland where bits of information and some additional drawings might surface in between my posts here. Check back tomorrow!
When it’s in a book, obviously this whole silent part will read pretty quickly, so I’m not sure how it’s playing out now one day at a time, but I guess this way also encourages people to look at the panels more than once and take in the details. I’ve been working on a few pages at once, though, mostly because a big part of it for me is the rhythm of the whole thing and how one page or panel plays into the next one, so I like seeing a bunch of it all together. I’ve done bits of the next several pages now, and there will be a new page posted tomorrow. There are gonna be 25 pages in this all together, and then after that it should be immediately on to the next thing, which I think you guys will enjoy. From now until the end of this storyline, I should be posting every day or so, with maybe a pause of a couple days in there since I’m gonna be working on a cover for the upcoming book and everything.
We’re getting to the point in the story now where I feel like I can talk a little more about my intentions and hopefully it’ll make some sense. Part of the idea of the layout here is to create a certain rhythm, the pages all being designed on a six panel grid, and I’m using that rhythm in a way that I feel approximates the rhythm of the type of relationship I’m trying to talk about. The idea of the repeated images is that the small differences between them will become emphasized and what I’m trying to get across in the panel will be maybe more clear. Two of the panels so far with them at the Chinese restaurant have been almost the same, which hopefully brings attention to what the difference are, which is that the first is on their first date, and the second is after their first fight. they’re smiling in both, but in the second they’re done eating and there are fortune cookies on the table. It’s my way of trying to talk about how I felt trying to recapture something that we knew was being lost.
I’m trying to strike a balance between personal and universal by using the robots like I am. I tried to think of what the most archetypal date imagery would be, and that would probably be dinner and a movie. Within that, though, it’s pretty personal, sometimes painfully personal. The Chinese restaurant is one that was near where I worked back in Riverside, and it was the boyfriend in question’s favorite, so every time he’d visit me during or after I was working, that’s where he’d want to eat, to the point that we got into joking fights about having to eat Chinese food five times a week. That’s part of how long relationships play out to me, repitition can either be happy, comfortable routine, or it can be things growing stale or a painful emphasis on what’s changed since the first time you did a particular thing together. That’s why I wanted to tell the story like this, with them in a movie, them holding hands, not holding hands but still smiling, comfortable and familiar at that point, and then holding hands again like on their first date, but the subtext being different.
The roller coaster again is something that I chose as a relationship analogy for extremely personal reasons. We were both SoCal kids, and grew up stones’ throws from Disneyland. When we were together, we always had annual passes to Disneyland, and that’s what a lot of our dates were, going to an amusement park together. The controlled danger of a roller coaster seemed to me to be the best amusement park image that I could use to show the situation you’re putting yourself in when you go through a relationship.
I was a little concerned that with this page people might wonder why they don’t know what the robots are fighting about. One of the points of me telling this story without dialog was so I could do things like this non-verbally, because the point is that it doesn’t really matter what they’re fighting about. In my experience, in these sorts of fights you’re never actually fighting about what you’re fighting about, you’re fighting because you’re growing apart or you can tell something’s not working out, and you pick a fight over what’s bothering you on that particular day, even though it usually isn’t something all that important. At least, that was certainly my experience with the guy I was thinking of when I wrote this story.
I was also thinking that maybe the page needed more backgrounds, but I wanted it to go starker when they fight, so the drawings are mostly just of the two robots. I haven’t really decided though if it’s a bit too stark, on the last panel especially. I actually started penciling some of a background on that panel, and decided not to ink it. Maybe I’ll go back and ink it. When I’m looking at these pages all day, I’m trying to remember to trust my instincts instead of paranoia. One of the ideas of this story was to ink it with a brush and give it a looser look, but I’m so used to inking with crow quill pens, while I’m inking with the brush right now sometimes I worry I’m getting much too loose, and that it’s gonna look like a mess. I think, oh god this is looking worse every page, it’s a disaster. And then, of course, if I go back and look at the first pages of this story I can see that the inks are actually getting much more controlled and the lines are getting thicker. I still go in with white paint and fix a million little things, but then I wonder if maybe I’m fixing too much and it won’t look loose and brushy anymore. And then I start to wonder if it’s good that all I think about these days is comics, drawing technique and line width. Ahem.
If anybody’s wants a little bit of a peak behind the curtain into the process with which these comics are drawn, let’s see. I get up around noon because I’ve been going to sleep around five, go online, read about comics for a while and go to some messageboards. I try to be involved in community discussions on messageboards, but usually it takes about five minutes before I get irritated that all the jackwads want to talk about is whether or not Wonder Woman is wearing pants, and so I leave because it’s a choice between saying something really condescending or not saying anything at all. Then I convince myself it’s time to draw, and usually watch porn first instead. Draw some, when it’s time to eat I usually find something to watch on Hulu. I’ve been watching a lot of cooking reality shows. You get the fun of a cooking show, and also the fun of watching the people kicked off.
Recently I’ve really been enjoying Masterchef, mostly because there’s this super cute guy on there. For whatever reason the producers of the show have decided to set him up as some kind of villian because his family has money and he’s traveled and had food education, so the show’s making this really feeble stab at populism by taking every chance to talk about how arrogant he is. Everytime another chef is complimented, they cut to a reaction shot of him glowering, and whenever something bad happens to another chef they cut to a reaction shot of him smirking. It’s great for me, because he’s cute to begin with and the incessant reaction shots making him look like a jerk make me kind of want to slap his face with my dick. You know, to avenge the proletariat.
Anyway, then I draw some, maybe read some comics, go online some more, draw again, have a few emotional crises about my art being all pointless, eventually stop for the night, and watch a movie or porn or something because I can’t usually fall asleep immediately after I’ve been drawing. So there you have it, a glimpse of the magic!
Probably will post anther page tomorrow, but it might be the day after tomorrow instead because I’m working on like six of them at once now, and I really don’t want to rush them. So, check back.