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Author Topic: How to be a cartoonist without really trying  (Read 7859 times)
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India Ink
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« on: August 08, 2007, 12:39:19 AM »

All these years I've put cartoonists up a pedestal, I never realized it could be so easy. Now thanks to my brush pen, I can do cartoons in the privacy of my own home.

This summer I've been working on my own gag strip--called "The Pantomime Polar Bear"--no big thing. But lots of fun for me. I have no idea what to do with it--other than giving away free samples. However, it's the most rewarding experience I've ever had.

The reason I decided to do PPB was because it was a very simple idea, that even my limited talents could pull off.

However, I'm still in awe of cartoonists like Henry Boltinoff. Doing things that appear really simple is the hardest thing.

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India Ink
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 01:47:53 AM »

Yikes, my several attempts to post samples have failed. Oh well, back to the drawing board as George Leonard Carlson would say (and make sure that board is next to a window so you can have some proper light, with your left side nearest the window, if you're right-handed so the shadows of your hand and arm will fall away from the drawing surface rather than on it).

Anyway you should be able to see some samples on my always-in-progress website. But since it's a cheap site-builder thing (and not a fabulous fortress like Great Rao's site), it will have lots of pop-ups if you don't have a blocker.

pantomimepb.tripod.com
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India Ink
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 02:51:49 AM »

Let's see if this works



I'm kinda proud of this little effort since I knocked if off in a few hours and somehow got my paint program on my laptop to actually colour the dang thing.  Now the paint program doesn't work. Oh well.

This image was supposed to be a kinda trippy 1967 poster from Canada's Centennial year.

The whole fiction of The Pantomime Polar Bear is that the character actually existed in the sixties. I have this whole idea for an entire fictional comics company--which someday I hope to publish. But most of the characters I feel are beyond my ability to reproduce in a style exactly like the era. However when I thought up the PPB I realized this is a gag even I could pull off.

The best thing is it's black and white--so cheap and easy to print and photocopy.

But since I was doing this sixties "summer of love" panel, I thought it would work in colour. And I even reversed the colours for a psychedelic effect...

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India Ink
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 03:01:35 AM »

Here's a few more samples







And here's "Kirby" the talking B2 pencil...




None of these images feature Superman, of course (although they reflect the influence of artists who worked on him). I've been reluctant to include any copyrighted characters in my work (since I want to maintain my own copyright to the PPB). But for this fan site I might try my hand at some strictly for fun meeting between Supes and PPB.
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India Ink
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 01:30:56 PM »

Very nice stuff!  Gotta look into those brush pens, Sharpies can be a royal pain.  Are they pricey?

And please, yes, show us a meeting of Supes and PPB!  With a Fortress at the North Pole, Superman's got to have some connections in the Polar Bear community.





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India Ink
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 06:00:44 PM »

Yes. It occurs to me too that Supes and PPB must have met each other at the North Pole.

The brush pens are around $3.50 canadian, but I'm thinking I might be able to get them cheaper if I order in bulk.

The tips tend to get worse over time, but those old pens can be used for thicker lines.  I also find that it's better to use a smooth surface paper, rather than a rough sketch pad paper, to get an ideal line (although this isn't a really big concern on PPB, because I enjoy the rough look of my inks). The ink will "catch" on rougher paper and produce an imperfect line (at reduction, however this isn't so apparent--it's only obvious on enlargements or when I open the Tif files to fix bits). 

Lately I've been using tracing paper for the final cut--this is also a bit expensive--as it allows me to trace off my roughs and the smooth surface works well with the brush pens.  The only catch is that black lines on tracing paper can appear too grey and the scanner might not read them as black.

I still like my B2 pencil, but I often use a blue pencil so I don't have to mess with erasing and can ink right over the blue lines.
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India Ink
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2007, 08:19:57 PM »

Cool.  I recently did a couple projects for my nephew involving the likenesses of celebrities, and found that I can draw faces reasonably accurately in large scale, but not so well if said face has to go on a body in an image that's, say, 9x12 inches.  So I ended up drawing a pencil sketch of the head, scanning it in, drawing the body and scanning that in, then shrinking the head to the body in Photoshop and printing out the results, then inking over that. 

That got me thinking about buying a Wacom tablet and going digital.  I think it'd work better if I could take the scan of the pencils and use the Wacom to "ink" it digitally.  I can't ever imagine being able to create anything worthwile from scratch with a stylus, but mixing analog and digital has promise, especially since with digital "inking" I can erase and clean up goofs a lot easier than I could with...urm...India Ink.

But these brush pens look promising in the interim.  Standard fine-tip markers are pretty limited.
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 10:22:54 PM »

I use India Ink with actual brushes and nibs aka dip fountain pens.

But even Pros feel faint around a set-up like mine, so you are better off with pens.

Check these out:

http://www.dickblick.com/categories/pens/

They make life a lot easier.
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