Italian, pre-school, video game, edutainment phenomenon - Bongorina urges you to make some comics for da kids.
I'd love to :)
Just in case anyone's not yet looked over Level 1-1 of the little videogame themed comic myself and some friends put together a while back I've now embedded it HERE so you can view it for free online. Well, if you can't hard sell your own stuff, what can you do?
Ok, my last sneak peek of Smart Bomb 2 (don't want to give it all away). Very daft but I always wanted to do a UK-style funny.
It was great fun to do all the newsprint, faded colours stuff. I'd love to do a whole 60s/70s US-style comic like that, complete with bogus ads for Grit, hundreds of toy soldiers in a footlocker and a ghost that really floats!
I went back to the Smart Bomb 2 cover this weekend and started to add some cover lines. It's been sitting there, unfinished, for quite a while now but coming back to it with fresh eyes always gives me a renewed vigour and I soon found myself fiddling and re jiggling stuff. If nothing else I wanted the cover to seem packed, as if loads of stuff was going on inside. I had old copies of 2000AD, Star Lord, TV21 and UK Marvel weeklies from the '70s around me as I was doing it, trying to channel some of that excitement they generated in me, as a kid, back in the day.
Then I got to thinking (always dangerous), even though I've set Smart Bomb up as a 'kids' comic, the likelihood is that it'll probably get bought (if anyone does buy it, that is) through a website or at a convention and it probably won't be read by many actual, y'know, kids. It'll be read by grown ups who still like kids' things (or who just feel sorry for me). It's a weird thing. Do I make a comic that is relevant to actual kids today, or something just for big kids? Would modern kids even get jokes about old games? Do they even know what a pixel is?
So I've reconciled myself. Smart Bomb is a comic for grown ups who can still channel the kid inside them. Real kids can read it if they like (and I hope they do) because 1) it doesn't have swearing, nasty violence or teh boobies in it and 2) because I think they might enjoy the stories and art but I don't actually expect them to 'get' it.
In the end I've made it for me because, in reality, I'm still the same age I was in '72 when I first picked up The Mighty World of Marvel and it's the sort of thing I would have loved.
Doing stuff digitally. It's all the rage now I hear. You don't need to go near a real piece of paper and that ink stuff, it's terribly messy. The kids say it's the future but what do they know? They like watching Skins.
Well, the thing is that until recently, although I'd been more than happy to colour 'till the cows come home on the screen, drawing and inking just hasn't come quite as easily. I've tried inking in Photoshop, Painter and even Illustrator and, although that was better it still didn't come anywhere near the feel and flexibility I got with using a brush. That was until I found Manga Studio.
Hot dang! The pressure and quality of the line really does feel (well, to me at least) and look right. So I'm convinced. It's speeded me up and I'm getting the results I want. Well, apart from it not making me actually draw better. Only cups of tea and biscuits can do that.
Here's a page from my Pulsar Crash strip from the new Smart Bomb. Multiple layers also let me do colour holds really easily so if you see some lines overlapping, that's what's happening there.
So, Manga Studio. I never thought I'd love a program, that wasn't by Adobe, so much. I'm not going to sully its name by moaning about how complicated it all got once I tried to go past just sketching and inking because that would make me weep and not like it so much so I'll just leave things here.
Well, here we are. Another new year, full of promises, dreams and the chance to put right the lack of new stuff and projects that the previous year brought. To start 2011 off right I've added a proper portfolio section to shame me into creating some new pieces and I also thought I'd take the opportunity to tease Smart Bomb!! Stage 2 which is well underway and heading to an obscure location near you soon. We're now up to 52 pages and as well as old hands from issue 1, I've got some new SB friends on board and some (hopefully) great surprises in store. All-ages friendly, too!
There's still some tidying up to do and cover ding-dongs to add and it does wrap around to the back but I gotta keep some sort of mystery to the whole thing!