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The Edge Of The Earth
my contribution to My Name Is Jonah #3
I was in a weird place when I started working on this story. It was early April and I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep making comics. I was burned out by the process and frustrated that I wasn't seeing much artistic progress.
Much earlier in the year, I'd committed to drawing a short story for the My Name Is Jonah series. It's an annual digital comic book edited by J.B. Sapienza and released on Free Comic Book Day. It focuses on imaginary anecdotes about Jonah Washnis. Instead of trying to explain who Jonah is, I'm just going to link you to this.
Above are my digital thumbnails for a short three-page Jonah story that I dreamed up during a spirit quest to the beach. I sought refuge in the gentle lapping of the ocean's waves... the rough touch of the pale brown sand... and the rhythmic pounding of people as they jogged down the Long Beach exercise path which awkwardly cuts right through the middle of the beach.
The idea behind my story is that Jonah adventures to the edge of the second dimension and then accidentally gets himself trapped in the linear first dimension. I normally do my linework in my sketchbook and scan it in and then do the rest digitally. But not this time. Feels kind of weird to say it, but this was the first time I'd ever made comics 100% digitally.
A key component in the process was using my TV as a monitor. Trying to draw on my laptop when I can only see a small portion of the canvas at any given time has been very frustrating for me over the years. But upgrading to my TV's 1080p resolution gave me a much larger visible canvas and it made the whole thing click.
Now that's not to say I created a digital masterpiece here. If anything, as evidenced by the art above, my linework for this story is simpler than ever before. But that was kind of the point. See, I was in the process of creating a different four-page Zelda story for something called Jamthology... a story where I planned to get rid of my lineart completely and just have the characters constructed by blocks of color.
I'd planned to do something similar for this Jonah tale, which by this point I'd titled The Edge Of The Earth. But once I'd finally completed the colors you see above, I didn't feel like they had the pop I was looking for. I tinkered with the combination of line and color for what felt like ages until I finally settled on colored linework -- purple for Jonah, dark green for the cliffs in the foreground, and gray for the background cliffs (plus some gray scribbles in the sky).
Suffice to say that I'm pleased with the results. The art is bright and dynamic in a way that really appeals to me. But I'm still burned out by the process of creating comics! I mean, it's a little bit better now. I'm back into the swing with my writing, working on a couple of graphic novels simultaneously. Still, I'm relatively unsatisfied by the artistic side of creating comics. I wish I could say that my passion is growing, but I think I'm slowly moving away from the artistic side of comics creation.
Anyway, to coincide with my three-page Jonah story, I created this weird webpage here on my site to deepen the reading experience just a bit. And you can download a PDF of the full My Name Is Jonah #3 digital comic for free. It's got tons of bizarre stories and crazy art in it. I hope you dig it!