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She's getting more and more like her sister every day....

(From Nukees. Click on the thumbnail for full sized agreement!)

I have a confession to make. When I visualize a webcomic I want to create in my head (and, let's be honest, that's as close to me creating another webcomic as I'm going to get), the art style that I've magically become capable of for that webcomic is somewhere between Shaenon Garrity's in Narbonic and Darren Bleuel's in Nukees. And it's likely canted towards Bleuel's. I love pen and ink. I love cross hatching. Yes, I know all the good and fine reasons to use a computer for shading (or coloring), but it's not what brought me to the comic strip dance. Good old straight penwork, using tricks of line to create depth and contrast and texture, is just one of those artistic styles that can have me just floating on air.

Today's strip is a great example. There's some computer assisted tricks here and there (Gav's black vest is a fill, I assume, and I'm not convinced the foliage hatching is all real hatching -- though I might be wrong), but for the most part it's sweat and detail work. The lines of Miss Gee's skirt. The depth of the Flake's entryway. The bar.

It's not the kind of art that wins awards or has thousands of screaming fans begging Bleuel to draw Cecilia wearing nothing but soap suds and an evil gleam in her eye (well, at least I don't think it is), but to me it epitomizes what the four panel comic strip is all about, and that makes me a happy panda.


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I'm gonna come down on the side of the foliage hatching being hand-drawn. It might have been cleaned up on computer when it went outside the lines, or even scanned in and used as a fill pattern (although this seems dubious given the ragged top edge...if you're gonna use something as a fill, you take from the middle, not the edge). But it started life as lines drawn on a piece of paper (or maybe a really good tablet).

I usually prefer computer-assisted shading in webcomics, partly just because you lose so much detail on low-res Net-friendly scans, but for some reason I still do my shading by hand, like an idiot. I have the theory that if you're not going to learn how to use Photoshop fills and filters properly, you shouldn't use them at all, and since I'm too lazy to learn how to use them I'm stuck drawing the hard way.

Just for the record, almost any black fill you see in Narbonic is pure Sharpie. Give me my props for all the useless work I create for myself.

Thanks for the compliments.

Actually, Nukees is always 100% hand-drawn. I don't use the computer for anything except for scanning it in and slapping on the titles and stuff. It's a personal quirk of mine. I just don't feel comfortable unless what's on the paper can be read just like what's on the web.

The tree hatching today was just patience and I have a brush pen to fill in black areas, like Gav's vest.

On a much more previous note--King Luca's speech is intentionally not perfect, for the reasons someone else stated.

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