Revisting early TWB art...

Revisting early TWB art...

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 11th, 2018, 11:33 am #1

Since it looks like I'll also have to be reprinting books 1, 5 and 6 myself, I've been formatting those as I've had time, and wow, I don't recall that early first-book art being quite that bad.

Of course, the last time I really revisited that stuff was... well, the last time we formatted Book 1, and that was over a decade ago. And while I'm no Picasso, I've learned a bit since then.

I find myself wanting to 'clean up' basically the entire panels- lines are crooked, the eye shapes are wonky, the shape of Doc's head is all over the place...

But, I don't have time for that, of course, nor is it... I suppose 'fair' to the old art. I liked to see the progression, over the years, of famous artists- Watterson really didn't change in his basics much, but his style definitely got more refined and elegant as time went on.

"Bloom County" had the usual teething pains early on- Opus' nose, similarly, went all over the place in size and shape- but was fairly stable in the 'golden era'. His later stuff got too... in some cases almost creepy, but mostly too sloppy.

And so on. Much as I might like to get rid of the old stuff, it's still part of TWB.

I am gonna have to throw in some homages of a couple of those old gags into the upcoming tourney storyline though.

"Whoa. I just got the weirdest sense of deja-vu."



Doc.
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Joined: January 27th, 2016, 1:59 pm

January 11th, 2018, 1:08 pm #2

During lunches here at the office, I've been going back through the archives, just hitting the scroll wheel on the date counter and seeing where it takes me. While doing such, I started looking back through "The Longest Day" story and came across several that are either uncolored, or in some cases, entirely unfinished comics. I know you'd been working on those, but just in case they'd been overlooked:

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1923.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1943.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb4th-15.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1947.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1948.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1995.html

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autohappynewyear16.html

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 11th, 2018, 10:16 pm #3

Yeah, I've been meaning to get back to those, since it is a Patreon reward and all...

As I recall, I was pretty well complete up to #1781, which is April, 2014. According to my notes, I only have four strips to do for '14, and then there was just a small handful to do through '15- although a couple of those weren't even properly drawn, rather than just needing coloring.

And after that, I'm pretty sure everything from mid-late '15 up through, well, pretty much right now, is all done, drawn and colored. There might be one or two along there somewhere in which I didn't get the shading complete, I'll have to check. But I'm pretty sure we've had a clear run for a good long while now.

Doc.
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Joined: December 20th, 2016, 1:30 pm

January 11th, 2018, 11:41 pm #4

Since it looks like I'll also have to be reprinting books 1, 5 and 6 myself, I've been formatting those as I've had time, and wow, I don't recall that early first-book art being quite that bad.

Of course, the last time I really revisited that stuff was... well, the last time we formatted Book 1, and that was over a decade ago. And while I'm no Picasso, I've learned a bit since then.

I find myself wanting to 'clean up' basically the entire panels- lines are crooked, the eye shapes are wonky, the shape of Doc's head is all over the place...

But, I don't have time for that, of course, nor is it... I suppose 'fair' to the old art. I liked to see the progression, over the years, of famous artists- Watterson really didn't change in his basics much, but his style definitely got more refined and elegant as time went on.

"Bloom County" had the usual teething pains early on- Opus' nose, similarly, went all over the place in size and shape- but was fairly stable in the 'golden era'. His later stuff got too... in some cases almost creepy, but mostly too sloppy.

And so on. Much as I might like to get rid of the old stuff, it's still part of TWB.

I am gonna have to throw in some homages of a couple of those old gags into the upcoming tourney storyline though.

"Whoa. I just got the weirdest sense of deja-vu."



Doc.
Schlock Mercenary books have the beginning art in the first ones and then get better as the artist progresses.

From a personal perspective I prefer that.

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Joined: January 20th, 2016, 3:38 pm

January 12th, 2018, 6:11 am #5

Yeah, I've been meaning to get back to those, since it is a Patreon reward and all...

As I recall, I was pretty well complete up to #1781, which is April, 2014. According to my notes, I only have four strips to do for '14, and then there was just a small handful to do through '15- although a couple of those weren't even properly drawn, rather than just needing coloring.

And after that, I'm pretty sure everything from mid-late '15 up through, well, pretty much right now, is all done, drawn and colored. There might be one or two along there somewhere in which I didn't get the shading complete, I'll have to check. But I'm pretty sure we've had a clear run for a good long while now.

Doc.
According to the exhaustive list, though, colour is also missing from these:
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1781.html
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1782.html

Partial colouring and/or shading from these:
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1778.html
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1787.html (gun/shading)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1788.html (gun/tank valves/shading)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1825.html
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1909.html (sky/shading)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1917.html (sky/shading)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2004.html

Details are missing or miscoloured in these:
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1559.html (tongue)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1636.html (tongue)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1741.html (tongue)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2235.html (ears)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2236.html (nose)
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2348.html (nose)

And, on a tangentially related note, there are text errors in these:
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwbextrawp.html holloween
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1827.html in in
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2021.html wants wants
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2165.html happen have
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb2247.html ought wake
Knowledge is not as simple as having the right answers. Knowledge is a way of finding them.
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Joined: January 11th, 2016, 8:57 pm

January 12th, 2018, 8:42 am #6

Schlock Mercenary books have the beginning art in the first ones and then get better as the artist progresses.

From a personal perspective I prefer that.
Some of my prize downloaded artworks include Mark Stanley's 'Freefall' drafts that were put up when some disaster or other prevented him from completing the strip, and these let me see the process of creating the figures in the strips. Ditto the couple of Doc's that were posted while still in the 'doodle' stage. (Also a special - the 'See anything, Larry?' strip from 2015 - classic!)
Breakfast.com halted. Cereal port not ready.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 12th, 2018, 12:26 pm #7

That's why I said what I did- I found myself doing very minor touch-ups (like I said, leftover pixels, generally, from the original scanning) but as I kept going along, I kept wanting to tweak more and more.

One of these days, I do want to take one of the old, original scans, and clean it up the way I do now, just for a comparison, but as I said above, I'm not going to change anything in the books.

And that means I not only won't be "cleaning up" or altering the existing art, but I won't be adding or changing anything either- no swapped strips, no added strips, no altered dialogue, I won't be changing any of the included sketches, etc.

I will have to make some minor changes to the covers, since we had "full bleed" covers (that is, printed all the way to the edge) printed for the later ones, by an outside company. I can probably work around some of that, but I'll have to do some experimenting first.

I'm also losing the ISBN numbers, but that's no big deal. They were pointless anyway, added basically just to make them look "professional". Theoretically, if somebody had taken that ISBN into a Barnes & Noble or something, they could have looked it up, and potentially ordered one for that customer, but of course that never happened, and of course brick-and-mortar book stores are going the way of the dial telephone.

One notable change I did make, however, was the the included Ma's Garlic Meatballs Recipe in Book 3. Lots of people have tried making those over the years- I just heard from two within the last two months- and almost all of them say something along the lines of halve the amount of garlic (which is still a LOT of garlic) or double the amount of meat.

So I changed "1/2" lb" of meat to "1 lb" of meat.

Yeah, the original recipe was a gag, not really meant to be made (there's literally too much garlic for the meatballs to properly hold together) but doubling the meat makes it quite workable, and still very garlicky.

Doc.
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Joined: January 27th, 2016, 1:59 pm

January 14th, 2018, 7:39 pm #8

You're right about the amounts. Doubling the meat to 1 pound is pretty much a must to hold them together.

However, I was banned for making them from my office, since after several days of having them, /I/ began to smell like garlic.

But, everyone in my office that'd been there when I was banned has either left the company or changed office buildings. So I figure I'm in the clear to make them again.

I will note that making them can be dangerous. Garlic gives of the same compounds that onions do that make you cry (it's basically making sulfuric acid in your eyes). With so much garlic gently sweating away on the stovetop, giant clouds of that gas will fill the kitchen. I rendered myself temporarily blind, having to go wash my eyes out, several times during the process. Also, that cloud stuck around in my apartment for several days afterward. I'd be over on the couch, minding my own business when it'd waft over, and "Ow!" my eyes would start tearing up.

But they are yum-tasty.
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Joined: February 2nd, 2015, 4:36 pm

January 15th, 2018, 1:04 am #9

Way back, I mentioned that recipe, and how it gave Doc the power to reduce anodized aluminum with his breath, to my comrade in winemaking other adventures, a Bronx Italian.

His response: "I'll bet."
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