Friday, 27 September 2013

Infamous Comic #36

Here are the sketch and inks to the 36th installment of my webcomic The Infamous Five! Visit their website to read today's discussion: Women's Issues. You should probably read the comic before you read any more of this blog 'cos it'll ruin the joke otherwise. See you in a minute!

Welcome back! Did you even leave? Whatever.

This one took a little extra work, as I needed to draw a woman on the front of Ant's magazine. I could have just draw a pair of boobs and been done with it, but I wasn't sure if that was enough. Boobs would have been enough for Ant but I meant artistically, it would just look better if I drew a woman on the cover. Also I think that, even though Ant's dialogue in the comic makes it clear what he's looking at, it'd make the joke work better if you saw what he was looking at too.

Now the magazine was too small to draw a woman directly onto it so I drew them both separately on A4-sized documents and will share those drawings in full at some point. Yeah, I said them and those. I ended up drawing two naked ladies when I decided there should be one on the back cover too. I could have left it blank, it wouldn't have looked bad, but again I just thought it would look better and help the joke if there was just an abundance of naked ladies by the time we reached the last panel.

Okay, they're not entirely naked. I did draw them that way, but I realised it wasn't necessary. I'm not sure magazines even have boobs and bums on the covers. So I put them both in bikinis. And it's a good job I did, because I then remembered I even put that in the funking dialogue. "The swimsuit edition".


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Breaking Bad

I've never watched it. No particular reason, I just haven't. It's a unique position I'm quite enjoying if I'm honest. Everyone is so excited about it, particularly now with the last season playing, waiting on every episode and then filling up social networks with things like 'Oh my God! I can't believe what happened! Arrrgh, so good!' Meanwhile, I don't even know the main character's name.

I will watch it eventually though. I'm not too fond of hype, but I've seen too many of those statuses from too many friends I respect. Hype is dangerous, can send you into something with high expectations nothing can reach. So the way I'm looking at it is this; they're enjoying themselves. It's a good show. I'll have a little look. When I get the time. But I wanted to indulge in this first, this period of time where I don't have a clue what 'breaking bad' even means.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mario Bothers 4

Parakoopa and Bullet Bill. This was the first instance I heard of the word 'para' when I was a kid. So when I hear about paratroopers in the military I still think of winged turtles. Not in the sense that I picture them descending on wars, but my mind seems to say "Para sorta means air, remember? Like in Mario." I don't like that I have to reference games to understand real life. At least I'd heard the name Bill before.

I think I remember when I first saw them in Super Mario Bros. It was the green one. The red ones fly, but the green ones just jump along the ground. I was startled, and whilst my dad tried to coach me into being calm and timing my attack right, it killed me. 20 years later, any character I play still reacts with panic and death to most things they come up against.

Drawing Koopas is pretty fun. When I realised I had to draw another one to complete my run on Mario bad guys, the winged versions, I thought it would be a bit dull. But their big cheeks and pointy beak make them a fun shape. Their wings are weird though. I wanted to draw wings my own way! Expanding, with individual feathers spread out. These were like a letter C with feathers stuffed in them. Still, that was the task I set myself. And I really like how they came out. There's something 'compact' about them, and I think the shadows and lighting works really well.

Bullet Bill. "Bill." Yeah, it's a pretty pedestrian name for a bad guy. They're easy enough to defeat, just a bop on the head, but the problem is so many come at once. It was tempting to include a big toothy grin, which they have on occasion, but they didn't grin in the original game. I went back and forth on the idea. Stay faithful to the original, or be creative? Well, I could do both. Without the mouth, a challenge lies in putting as much expression into the eyes and arms as you can. Gotta be creative to achieve that.

The arms bother me. Not the arms I drew, obviously, the arms I drew are fantastic. But the fact he has arms bothers me. He's meant to shoot through the air! If this was an actual projectile weapon, arms would just cause wind-resistance!

Oh, how about that? Sometimes I can reference real life to games instead.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mario Bothers 3

Cheep Cheep and Blooper! It bugs me that the fish is called Cheep Cheep. That's the sound a bird makes, right? It should be named after the sound a fish makes, like 'bloop bloop'. Or 'P Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney'. I suppose it does have bird-like wings, but that bugs me too. Wow, I won't be happy with anything.

The wings bugged me because I planned to make the fish look dumber than he already was by having little yellow fins hanging lazily. But then I saw from the original design he actually has wing fins, so I'm kinda stuck with 'em. Instead, I just put his pupils looking in opposite directions. Simple little thing that makes him very brain-dead, something I picked up from Tyson Hesse. You should go look at his stuff! After I'm done talking about a cartoon squid from a computer game, of course.

Blooper is a stressful enemy. His movements are so erratic. Most enemies have a predictable march, so you can either plan your attack or just let 'em march right on by you. Blooper chases. He's floating gently one moment, then makes one quick darting movement after you, before floating again. I'd say he's as threatening as Lakitu in some ways, but not as threatening as Hitler. Just, you know, in general.

I didn't need to do much with the Blooper design. He already has a pretty mean look. I just brought up a couple of his tentacles to make him look more intimidating, more interesting, rather than have them all in the same direction.

As a final note; I really hate swimming levels.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Lakitu, Spiny and Buzzy

"You do it." My younger sister would say when we got to these guys in world 4. Oh yeah, I still remember the level they appear on. I dreaded it each time I played the first Super Mario Bros. game. The Lakitu stage. Drifting back and forth across the top of the screen, dropping spiked balls, it was task enough to avoid. But then the balls would become into little spiked creatures, things you couldn't jump on, and come crawling after you. Sage advice in a Mario game is usually to slow down, to concentrate. But if you did that here, the screen would just fill up with more and more with the little red monsters.

Now that graphics are so much better, the guys in the clouds just look dorky. Okay, so they're still throwing spiked balls at you, but they're bright eyed with a friendly smile. I wasn't having that when it came to drawing them. So I gave this Lakitu a look of concentration. It's exactly the same character, I didn't change it to be more monstrous, I just narrowed his eyes to show the moment he takes aim. And it makes a big difference.

I kept the cloud smiling. I don't know. I feel like the cloud can get away with it.

Spiny and Buzzy Beetle. When it came to drawing these guys I thought "How do you make such simple designs have any sort of pose, or personality?" Because look at them, they're mostly just shell. Turns out, it's all in the legs.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Infamous Comic 35

Here are the sketch and inks to the 35th installment of my webcomic The Infamous Five!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Super Mario Bothers

When I was a kid I used to love the instruction books almost as much as the games. Not because I liked reading warranties or anything weird, but because at the back some of them had illustrations of the little bad guys, along with their names and a description of what they do. Games were all pixels back then, which retrospectively were cool but I adored seeing clear drawings of what the little minions and monsters looked like. The instruction book to Super Mario Bros. 3 was particularly precious to me, with all of Bowser's minions listed in the back. There were times later in my life where I'd read the book before playing the game... That you can call weird.

Now that I think about it, that hasn't really changed. Game manuals sell really well not just because they help you through the game but because they're full of artwork and facts.

In the first Mario game, these guys were quite mean looking pixels. They weren't big and scary, but they were... they were pointier, to me. Now that graphics are so much better and Mario was always intended to be a cartoony game, the bad guys have become cute. And that's fine you know, if I want a mean bad guy I'll play something else. The point I'm making is that crushing these guys underneath the boot of a heavy-set plumber feels crueler and crueler with each graphic development.

I drew these today purely because I was sat at my computer with pen in hand and wanted to chill with something simple. I almost didn't, I felt it was a crime not to purposefully draw something big and complicated. I shouldn't feel guilty about relaxing for once. In fact, I should do it more.

I'll probably come out with more of Mario's minions later this month.