1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:
i was pretty nervous going into this, because i knew that my fellow participants are established comic artists and a practising illustrator, and i’m just an aspirational comic person with like, a handful of published things over the years, and my career as an illustrator had died off a long time ago.
i didn’t really set any great expectations when i went into this, nor any ideas of what to draw. actually, the one story i wanted to tell was the girlfriend bun story, and i’m kind of glad i waited until the end; i felt much more confident with all the technical aspects of putting it together, so even though i had pretty much sketched it out at the start, i think it would have looked quite different if i had started with it.
i am still conflicted about the lettering thing. i think i just have to get used to handwriting again – i used to have really good handwriting about ten years ago, before my keyboard usage completely eroded my skills. but thanks, everyone, for being so encouraging about it.
the peer support, actually, has been lovely and supportive. who woulda thought rehab would be such a warm and fuzzy place?
i guess it’s just really good to have been drawing again.
2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?
i am happiest with getting a grip on colouring. now that i’ve figured it out, i think about the comics that i’ve admired, aesthetically, and i realise that they mostly employ a limited, muted colour palette. i don’t know why it didn’t hit me earlier. actually, i don’t think i’d done a comic in colour before, but i always found that aspect of illustration work challenging. so, yay. having said that, i did have quite a hard time colouring that last strip, so clearly, still dangling off the learning curve.
3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?
i like the jellyfish one best. apart from being happy with the scripting and the composition of the individual frames, i also felt like i was really coming to terms with colouring. like i suddenly realised i could use several colours, and not have to colour everything, and make them all work harmoniously. and then apart from all that, it’s also a documentation of a lovely half an hour i shared with the kid.
4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?
i’m not really displeased with any of them. they were all valuable exercises, and all involved a respectable amount of time and planning (and learning about colour, mostly). even the one i did in under ten minutes, the day of many deadlines, i like it because it was right there in the moment, man. so… maybe the first one? it is somewhat wishywashy, and i think there’s… i dunno… a lack of confidence or style or something.
when i first started out, i was concerned that my style was quite generic, and looking at that first comic at the end of rehab, it does seem like my drawing changed over the course of month – it seems to have become a bit simpler and rounder…cuter?. it doesn’t seem particularly distinguishable, but perhaps it’s what i’m stuck with. i suppose i could now work on distinguishing myself…
5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.
we can only hope! right after my last strip, i thought “hurrah, it’s over, and i won’t have to draw a comic again for a very long time”, but a little while later, i thought that maybe i could probably manage a four-panel piece every week. i mean, i’d really like to develop a longer piece, but i’m nervous about scripting, and drawing the same characters over and over again… and i’m lazy. we’ll see..