Channel Hex: Planet of the Blind

Got some work done, decided to start playing with logos and layouts for the kickstarter digest idea.

(To recap: a 64 digest comic, it’s actually 68 pages – once you include the covers, drawn while I do other work. Scifi/horror like the old UK Starblazer imprint)

So, in order to start working out layouts for a cover I needed a cover. And I didn’t have one. So I figured, it was time to test my working hypothesis that I could draw an A5 sized comic at A5 sized (which is about a quarter of the size of a traditional comic).

Man, my eyes are not what they once where, it was a little too tiny. So I might scale up – maybe not all the way to A5, but a decent 40% larger, maybe… (So a single page will fit on an A4 page, but it’ll still be smaller than A4)

This cover was a lot of fun to conceptualise and draw. I knew I wanted a sci-fi old school concept, spaceman, fighting monster on new planet. Then I covered his eye with an eyepatch and decided to make the monster blind (and he’s hunting it with some rotten meat).

And then a title just came – Kingdom of the Blind – wasn’t quite on-the-nose enough – good old pulpy sci required it be called Planet of the Blind (he also requires his surname to be King, if I ever wrote it)

Anyway, here’s the cover…

The logo in the bottom right is the Channel Hex logo. Spent some time figuring that out today, tried dozens of variations and ended up … going back to the original logo I designed when I first wanted to do some short channel hex stories a few years ago.

I’m gonna stew over some of these design choices, but it’s been fun doing this. I’ve a promise of a script from a colleague I’ve done loads with in the past, and he’s one of my favourite writers too – so I’m really looking forward to it starting. Gonna be trying “marvel style” (it’s alright for me to go – I’M DOING THIS FOR FREE! but it’s a bit out of order to say “YOU MUST WRITE A FULL SCRIPT FOR ME”)

If you’re interested in where this is all going, definitely sign up for my mailing list – I’ve not sent any posts out in a while, but it’s a sure fire way to know when the kickstart is kicking off. Still lots of research to do on that front, I wanna make sure I’m going in to it with my eyes opened as wide as possible -I’ve had a couple of great chats with people and one of the big things, especially as first kickstarter is KEEP IT SIMPLE – one digital book, one paperback and one hardback and that’s it. Try and keep the posting options tight, so you don’t accidentally push yourself over the edge promising stuff.

Pomodoro

I blogged about this a few years ago, but it’s been years and my blog has been wiped, so off we go..

The pomodoro technique is a way of breaking down tasks and just getting stuff done.

It’s pretty straight forward for a comic artist, primarily because comics is mostly one second never ending task of drawing (for me). Page after endless page.

Here’s how it works:

You set a timer (a pomodoro timer, a simple kitchen clock will do, but there are apps), for 25 minutes – and you just sit and do a single task in that 25 minute chunk.

At the end of that, you take a five minute break – go have some tea, check twitter, doodle something else, whatever.

Then 25 minutes of a drawing, 5 minute break and you repeat that until you’ve done 4 chunks of a task, and then you can have a 25 minute break.

And then repeat.

I’ve drawn a neat little diagram on a white board to motivate doing the damn things and it looks like this:

Now it’s rare I get to fill that whole thing in, but I find if I do it, I can get a page inked in about 4/5 of those pomodoro slots, and I know I get work down in as little as 25 minutes – if I can ensure I have a 30 minute uninterrupted period I can make progress and it all adds up quickly.

Where it fails for me is when I goof off, or start taking breaks and then it’s a failing in me rather than it.

Anyway, highly recommend you give it a go -at the moment, owing to various family commitments I’ve been unable to really find the time to work, but breaking it job in to 25 minute chunks has brought some semblance of order back to what I do.

Out this week: 2000ad Prog 2131

I drew the cover and the strip “The world according to Chimpsky” about a hyper intelligent ape who lives in mega city 1, written by Kenneth Niemand. New droid, good dredd writer.

It looks like this

Publishing is a weird art, so this issue was drawn after the art in the prog that appeared before. And both were drawn over some time ago.

Matt wanted a cover for Chimpsky, and in an unusual note of convergence he suggested an idea I had already thought of – Chimpsky and Dredd facing off in the spider-man kiss pose (I imagine we both had exactly the same inspiration). Pretty pleased with how the cover turned out. It was pencilled, inked and coloured all within Clip Studio Paint.