Pirates of the Coal Sack #2

Sep 15, 2020

This one was a bit of a haunted house – the crew exploring the ghost ship that will be their new home. It also really underscores how talky this setting is, and the importance, consequently, of typography. Those of you who’ve been following me since before Slushe may remember my rant on lettering and typography, and Pirates has made me really focus on it to keep the story flowing with more words per page.

Some of it’s the obvious stuff, like choice of font. I spent as much time selecting the typeface for dialog in this series as I did designing any character, and I can’t recommend Blambot highly enough for the aspiring comics artists like me. Some of it’s less obvious, like the switch to landscape for page layouts. This drives more landscape-type panel layouts, which leaves more space in the panel for dialog while skill giving you the same level of focus with a character; a landscape head-and-shoulders shot doesn’t fill the panel width as much as it does in a portrait shot.

The “special effects” were, surprisingly to me, harder than for the super-heroic stuff. Page 31 took longer than two or three other pages, and that’s not counting custom assets. In fact, custom assets make the SFX easier, since most of them have to be done in Blender and for stuff I built myself I have the Blender files already. (Unfortunately, the DAZ to Blender bridges aren’t quite there yet.)

I haven’t forgotten Alexander II; I’m just not having success getting my head back to his world right now. I hope you’re enjoying the Pirates as much as I’m enjoying building their world. Let me know.

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