Well, it is as I said it would be. Jordan and I spent about four and a half hours running through the whole backstory which is brought to light by the end of the narrative and talking out the final remaining issues, curiosities, and uncertainties. All that was muddy is now clear.

Now sure, once I start writing it out and trying to put the ideas on paper, I'm probably going to run into minor issues. But I think these issues will mostly be about finding the correct pacing and delivery, not finding solutions to problems in the story.

I really think we're completely done developing the story. Now I just have to /write/ the story. And I'm already more than 2/3 of the way there.

These are exciting times, my friends.

The last time I posted, I said I might post some progress reports on my sketching. The thing is, I really hope I'm not going to be the one to draw this comic, and if my sketching isn't going to end up having anything to do with the art in the comic, it seems a little odd to post it on SpookyCorps.com, as it's not Spooky Corps related. I mean really, that would be as perfect as it gets - writing and drawing the story myself, with nothing lost in translation between me and an artist - but I seriously doubt I'm going to be up to the skill level I want to see in the book's art by the time we need to start making pages. IF it comes down to it, I'm going to do it, because I need to get this story told, but I'm still expecting to find a collaborator with mad skills who either wants to be on the team just because it would be cool to make a comic book, or whose price I can afford to pay. So... to post my sketches, or not?

My wife thinks I should. She appears to be holding out hope that I'm going to become amazing in the next nine months and end up drawing the book. Seems to be a foregone conclusion to her. I'm holding out hope that I can make this book even better than what it would be with me manning all stations.

I talked it over with Jordan, and he suggested that if I'm going to keep practicing, I might as well practice designing our characters. That way I'll keep honing my skills and generating relevant content for the site at the same time. I think that's a good idea.

I still need some practice before I can design any characters though. I'm still not sure I can replicate one face over and over. Also, I've mostly learned how to draw guy's faces, and that's just about the only thing I've become somewhat comfortable with. My girls were still all over the place the last time I checked, and while I had some winners in the sketches I've done so far, there's zero consistency in style. I can draw something pretty good and something pretty terrible one right after the other without realizing what I did differently or where I went wrong. I did figure out how I like to draw ears just today, so... that's something. But I've got only the tiniest grasp on facial expressions, and everything from the chin down has gone completely ignored thusfar. I still haven't even begun looking into how to draw hair, and I'm still seeing very inconsistent results with eyes and mouths.

Maybe I'm practicing wrong. I don't know. There's a lot to work on in the faces, and I'll be starting from scratch on anatomy whenever I get to it. But I am getting better.

I've decided to go ahead and do an initial dump of most of my sketches so far. It probably won't be a regular thing until I'm able to get some character designs going, as I mentioned. And after I get there, ideally I'll be able to point this hypothetical future artist to my stuff and say, "It's kinda like that, but better. Like YOU do it." But if all else fails, maybe it'll end up being a record of how the guy who drew Spooky Corps learned to draw.

For now, here's this - roughly three weeks' worth of face sketches. You can click to enlarge, or not. The worst ones are the hardest to see, and maybe that's okay.


- db