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30 october 2013

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My old practice comic ideas

Yiiikes, tomorrow is our last day before the comic begins! I still have to finish drawing the prologues page (about 40% done with that) and still write things for the new website, but I have this pretty much in the bag now.

So I promised I'd share the two practice comic ideas that I tried to do and ultimately failed to even start during the ~7 months between deciding I needed a practice comic and finally coming up with the idea for aRTD. My first idea was: goofy, adorable antropomorphic cats and squirrels and bunnies and mice who were working on an awesome-looking offshore geothermal energy plant (awesome-looking in my head, I never drew it, heh,). And one day when they were all worrying about getting laid off because the plant wasn't generating enough power anymore, huge, demonic mutant rats start to appear from below the earth's crust were a maze of tunnels have been dug out for the power plant's piping. By the way, this drawing in my gallery was something of a concept drawing of the crazy underground cave/pipe system + maintenance cat:

So then the whole staff of adorable critters had to fight mutant rats in a glorius showdown! They won, the holes to the tunnels were forever sealed and they all got a new, better job at a nicer facility because they were so brave. The end! It would have been maybe 100 pages, so a relatively short story. B-but...I've lost almost all of my sketches for this one! I didn't have many, I have rough page sketches for the first ~6 pages maybe and some character drawings that I really like and can't believe I've lost! These are the only pieces I seem to have left:

That last messy one is my sketch of the power plant, its crazy underground pipe tunnel system and then whatever thing that's continuing on down through the earth's crust. I think a lot of people would have really enjoyed this comic if I had gone through with it, it was supposed to be mostly about the silly antics of the bored staff on the island that culminated in rat-invasion action. But I felt completely uninspired after a month of planning the idea so I quit.

...Aaand started to plan the next one! Which I planned for several months and have a ton of sketches of. It was a bit crazier idea: a world where seals are the most intelligent species (there's no humans) and they've somehow built themselves robotic limbs in order to be able to walk on land and to do useful things with their hands.

They had adorable ear extensions like that too, both to hear better and to look totally adorable for me to draw, awww. So, seals were irrationally scared of pretty much everything on land so they also built themselves a little half-floating, half-underwater sea city, far away from the shore. I'm pretty sure I was being influenced by Bioshock when I designed their little watery city.

Haa-haa, try reading those speech bubbles if you can! This is a page from my sketch script for chapter 1, I drew almost 40 pages worth of these kinds of sketches. The story itself was centered on a small research crew who were on an scientific expedition to observe the lives of the traditional, non-robotic seals in the inland lakes. Oh, and looking for a professor that had gone missing on a similar trip. Oh, and there was of course an invasion of scary carnivores (enormous wolverines, I think?) going on and the poor, defenceless lake seals were in need of saviour! There was some bloody robo-seals vs. enormous wolverines-action in the end, oh yes.

Those scribbles next to the headsketches are some name ideas, just some various Finnish words. And guess what; I drew a proper thumbnail script for the whole comic! Every single page of the full story is mapped out, 124 in total, with little notes next to them so that I would remember what the little messy thumbnails were about. Like this:

...After that I quit again. I don't know why, I was pretty excited about the comic at first, but the more I drew the less feeling I had for my characters, and I can't draw a comic if I don't feel something for the characters! I was actually kind of bummed out about loosing interest yet again, at that point I had wasted over half a year trying to start a comic project and I was back to square one. For a few months I even resigned to not even bothering to try making a proper, full-length comic, because clearly I was unable to do so. I was ready to even let SSSS stay as a mere idea as I was pretty sure I would just get bored with it too if I tried.

And then one week by the end of my first year in uni I somehow came up with the idea for aRTD, became mildly inspired again and decided to give it one last try. This time instead of planning it out for month, which would mean risking to lose interest again, I planned out the story in about two weeks, drew a couple of sketches of Hannu and Ville and began to draw the first page I felt like drawing. Which was the page where Hannu and Ville wake up in the woods, I hadn't quite figured out the beginning of the comic yet, heh.

That's why I have so few early aRTD sketches. I deliberately avoided making them 'lest I would grow tired of the story and characters once again. Better just start drawing the darn comic right away while I was still somewhat interested! By the way, now that I was rummaging through my archives I found these sketches that I made before the last chapter. I can't remember if I've posted them before or not so I'll throw them in here at the end.

And here's today's set of aRTD pages hoping for some kind people to look for typo's, ten pages this time. Please leave a comment below the pages if you spot something. A big thanks to everyone who helped out with the first chapter!

Tomorrown's the last day before the launch! I better get this prologue cover finished today, uuugh. >_<

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