Page 216

January 13, 2011

Firstly, and most importantly, you might recall last year that myself and a lot of other webcomic creators donated a piece of art towards a charity initiative, the Comic Creators Alliance in order to raise money for charities that are trying to prevent human trafficking. The CCA is running again this year, and you get a bitching wallpaper if you donate:

Adrianna is in there somewhere, looking moderately confused, but what else is new? It’s a good cause, folks, so I really hope you’ll consider donating.

Finally the first proper update of the new year. Monday was a bit of a disaster, since I didn’t have a working computer I could actually draw the page on until Wednesday. I’ve been working on this page since the new computer got up and running yesterday afternoon. It turned out to be a real bitch though, since technical objects like trains are really not my forté, and I ended hurting my wrist a bit trying to get this done in a timely fashion.

On the plus side the new computer is completely amazing and made the whole process much, much easier than it would have been. My old wireless card doesn’t work under Windows 7 so it has no internet just yet, but otherwise I am so pleased. Hopefully all these technology induced page delays are a thing of the past now. Fingers crossed. D:

13 Comments

Looks great. Sorry about your list though. :/ Btw, what wireless card do you have? May be able to find drivers on the internet. No promises, but it’d be a lot cheaper than getting a new one.

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Cheers. :) Soaked the wrist for a while and it’s feeling better now, though I’m going to take it easy for the next day or so. I have a pretty generic wireless card and I’ve already done a couple of hours worth of searching for drivers – Vista drivers are available, but not 7 drivers, and the Vista drivers don’t work, unfortunately. On the plus side, wireless cards are dirt cheap, so it’s not too much of an issue. Thanks, though. :)

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Yeah. The piece of the view on the loco is nice. The one on the rest of the train somehow not so much. Looks more like a regular train in Germany from the 80s-90s or something. Can we have more steampunk-victorian-gears-and-arabesque stuff pls? Or at least something that does not remind me of the trains I’ve been sitting inside for a couple of years allready?

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Normally I wouldn’t admit this, but I honestly think I tried my best in this case. Vehicles are pretty much at the very, very bottom of my list of things I can draw to the point where I go out of my way to avoid them, which is probably quite transparent most of the time.

I’m trying to get away from that, particularly in this page, and I did a lot of sketching and prep work that I don’t normally do in order to make this scene as solid I could make it – but the kind of design work you’re talking about (Arabesque! Someone shoot me!) is ridiculously time consuming to draw by its very nature. Doing lots of repetitive geometric patterns, particularly in the perspective of the second panel, would pretty much have doubled the time this page took, and it’s already sitting at around 16 hours.

I’m afraid I just have to draw the line (oho) somewhere or else cut down on the number of updates I do. Sorry. D:

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Extraneous design does not steampunk make. Not to say that I don’t enjoy a good ol’ gears ‘n’ corsets sort of illustration now and again. But I don’t think it’s fair to the genre to demand it, either.

I actually appreciate the sleeker lines here. I think it fits the attitude of the comic as a whole — and let’s be honest, gaslamp and steampunk is more about attitude than anything, isn’t it? — and, frankly, I think it’d feel a little out of character to break into arabesques at this point. I say, Rose, that if you told us you kept it clean on purpose I would think more highly of you for having the guts to stick to your aesthetic rather than succumbing to the stereotypes of a genre.

…but, since you already admitted it was because of limits set by time and skill and interest — well, I still think highly of you and your art, and I still think the choice here was a wise one, even if keeping things simple was a practical rather than artistic decision. It _became_ an artistic decision.

And if in the future you need someone to spout highbrow-sounding BS about breaking the steampunk mold for you, I would be glad to try my hand at it. Though my BS-ing skillz are not as sharp now as they were before I graduated. Less practice now, I suppose. Eh. The offer stands.

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The label “steampunk fantasy” is something I’m slightly regretting now, but I don’t think I can backtrack on it at this point. “Industrial fantasy” probably would’ve been more appropriate, since RMR is missing a lot of the stylistic trappings that tend to define steampunk, and every so often I do get called up on it, and not incorrectly!

I’m also not going to lie and say sleek and clean in this instance was entirely a stylistic choice. :) My wrist is still quite sore from the amount of work in that panel alone, but having done most of my research based around the platform and passenger trains of Hanoi Station, I thought it did the trick. I didn’t quite get the peeling paint look on the cars that I wanted, but at the distance shown in panel 2 it just wasn’t working. Something I’ve learned doing nearly 200 pages of this thing, sometimes stuff just doesn’t quite work and you have to move on. I try and at least learn from it, though, and Kosake does have a point. The cars in panel 2 do look a bit too clean, despite my efforts.

Also, having just finished a 4 year arts degree, I’m quite good at spouting highbrow BS myself, but if I ever need help… :) Much appreciated!

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Sorry, I did not want to cause any more troubles or something. It’s neither the design of the train either, but you could have added some textures, you know? Sort of the stuff you wrote about in your tutorial (i skimmed it but since I am by no means an artistic person, I just took a quick look).
I mean, look at the layout and the colors – lack of textures causes it to look either like polished and coloured metal or even like plastic.
With just some more lines you probably could give it more of a currugated steel-look like here:
http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2008/06/SiberianRail_450x282.jpg

Or you could go for a combination of iron and wood, something like this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3259/3150777548_67caf1c768.jpg

No offense, I’m just sayin. It’s not like I have anything even resembling drawing skills or doing a great webcom for free. Just some general ideas.

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Oh, don’t worry, it’s no trouble. Always happy to receive constructive crits. The train already has two textures on it, (the whole panel is actually smothered in texture) but I think the fact I had to stretch them to fit diluted them somewhat.

Like I said, the design stuff you mentioned in your first comment just isn’t feasible for me right now, but I rather like the corrugated steel look in the image you linked, that probably would have been a good compromise and not too time-consuming at all. Ah, retrospect. :) I may go back and try and fit that in, but right now I’m still a bit burned out on this page. It’s a good point, though.

The wood and iron one looks pretty sweet too, though probably not appropriate considering the station of the people travelling on it. Probably better suited for some back woods village somewhere, but it does look good.

And I’m always open to general ideas – no offense taken, not at all. These are pretty helpful.

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The wood-iron-combination in the image looks pretty much rotten, but back in the good ol’ days it was the general construction type and with some fresh paint and maybe a little decoration they look pretty nice actually… I’ve seen a reconstructed train once, must have been in Cologne, and it really looked like some King would descend on the plattform any second. But again, that would fall into the “too much trouble” branch I guess. Probably you can spend tons onf hours on anything, question is, whether this is reasonable in the end…

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At last! Something constructive to say!
If by chance you actually wanted to do an Arabesque on each an every car of the train you just get one flat Arabesque, distort it with Photoshop to fit the perspective and you copy and size to fit. Not scary at all.

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