So I guess we took September off. Yep, that’s what it look likes. Sometimes one needs a hiatus and sometimes one (Jose) hits the busiest part of their busy season of being all artisty and stuff and needs to make some decisions when it comes to time management. And sometimes one (me) needs to stop writing/looking at/thinking about the story they’re working on so that they can return to it with fresh eyes and ideas.
So no updates on the current project, but Jose and I thought it would be cool to do a few posts on the making of our completed project Justine. Actually, tomorrow (or today, or yesterday or whenever the 12th is in relation to when you read this) is the one year mark exactly from when we first posted our minicomic, so it’s timely too. (Have you not read the minicomic? Click here)
Justine for me started way back in high school with a short story about a teenaged girl who is bitten by a werewolf. That story has evolved almost beyond recognition since that handwritten story. Justine has been through a lot since being bitten, and she went through quite a bit of changes as Jose and I figured out how collaborating on a comic works. When we first talked about making a comic together, we'd planned on doing a longer comic story, but somewhere along the line decided something short and uncomplicated would be the best thing for out first venture.
Enough reading! Here are a bunch of sketches from early to final that illustrate our back and forth of trying to pin down the right look for Justine. And in case you’re wondering, the character sketches and all the revisions are from July and August of 2009.
This was Jose's first pass. A good start, but I asked to see more sketches. I also wanted to go for a "natural" hair style. As a woman who travels the globe chasing after werewolves and fighting them to the death, I figured getting her hair straightened wouldn't be a priority (or practicality) for her.
From this page, we went with the third one of the second row.
In the script I described her as wearing a white jacket and read skirt. I think the next few sketches are self-explanatory.
Where to stash the weapons, a practical matter when it comes to wardrobe (I know this from personal experience) and I really liked the choices Jose made here. We lost the ankle and thigh knife holder thingies in the final design and I was sad to see them go.
After sitting on the choices we made earlier for a while, I thought it still wasn't quite right. So pulled out out a sketchbook and gave it a go.
Look at that swagger in the first sketch. Though Justine is a grown woman/werewolf, she looks very young and I wanted her clothing to reflect a more youthful look, somewhere between 16 and 18 years old, which is how she reels unsuspecting werewolves in. Since I recalled flipping through their print catalogues with friends when I was a teenager, I turned to Delia's online fashion catalogue for inspiration.
And here Jose polishes the design and makes them look acceptable for human viewing. He added even more personality to her in the final product and so she looks a bit different in the actual comic.
So that's how we came to the Justine we see in the comic today. We also learned that, since I already have ideas of what the characters look like, I should give Jose my sketches from the beginning and save him the time and energy of trying to read my mind since he already has so much to draw.
Next time, we'll look at the other characters. After that, I'll post the thumbnails and other fun stuff.