What I’d like to hear are your immediate reactions to the look/feel of this page. I didn’t finish adding the color on the upper left frame, and I left out Hecock’s thought bubble in the lower left frame, but the rest is done. Looks like I’m going to go with a gray tone underpainting… that’s where you do all the shading and most of the details in black, white and grays. Then I apply layers of color over that and beef up the ink lines.
How do you like the coffee stained background behind the frames? Is the color too intense and distracting or is it exciting to look at and keeps your interest?
Is the text telling you enough that you understand what is going on, (as much as I intend for you to understand! There is always a little left out for the sake of mystery.)
I thought I’d start this focus group out with a full page. I toyed around with several methods of drawing and coloring and adding textures to the image. I ended up going back to Corel Painter 11 to establish the pastel-looking textures, the ink outlines and the gray undertones. I then opened the image in Photoshop to add the coffee-stained background behind the frames, and colorized over the gray with transparent layers, sort of like the way they colorize old movies. Keeps the feel vintage. Tell me what you think of the “look” of the page. Anything unlikable jump out and scream at you? Does the text make enough sense to you for a first page, and do you want to read more? I’m seriously considering writing a forward about the Niagara Falls Ice Bridges, what it is and how it forms, and how people of that time regarded the bridge. All comments welcome!
So glad you are joining me in the writing and illustrating of Hecock, the historical fiction steampunk graphic novel. For the next several months, I’ll be posting bits and pieces of the novel, looking for a little feedback. Then on that much awaited 100th anniversary of the real life event of Burrell Hecock and the ice bridge over the Niagara River, I will begin to release the finished pages, one by one. The plan is to have the print version of the book published by 2013. In the mean time, enjoy the webcomic version and feel free to make comments!