Monday, August 16, 2004

'Nuther World Comics

Well I just re-installed photoshop and converted a few logos from .bmp to .jpg so I can upload them here.

A little history:

'Nuther World Comics actually started when I was still in high school. It began with me and some friends of mine in art class. The first issue never got finished. My contribution was a private detective piece called "Mancuso". The rest of the book featured one-page gag jokes and a couple of pages of "real" art by classmates. Also in the first issue was a preview page of my next series "The Intruder", which was basically a chick with a big gun. Fortunately no one's seen it since high school.

Earlier last year, I began working on a revival of "Nuther World Comics". I started with a series called "Mis-Adventure!", which was heavily inspired by Love and Rockets and Madman. The first story that introduced the characters was a parody of the Doom Patrol, a popular comic book super-hero group from the '60s who's origins parralelled the X-Men's.

These pages began appearing on my old website as an online web-comic.

My biggest problem at the time was limiting my pages. "My Greatest Mis-Adventure!", that first story (the title was a play on the name of the comic that the Doom Patrol originally appeared in), was originally set to run ten pages. I kept adding so many pages to it that it ended up running sixteen! And I was so relieved when it was over. Not because I was tired of it, but because I had so many other things I wanted to do. And that story was lasting longer than I had expected.

All the bottling up of ideas, caused by the length of that piece led to me starting another series, called "Wizdom", which was to be a mysterious supernatural series, similar to Marvel's Dr. Strange, but with more of an alternative feel. One of the main characters actually made a cameo on the last page of "My Greatest Mis-Adventure!". Although I had all the pages of the first "Wizdom" story pencilled, I started to burn out and I never got around to inking them. (After re-reading my Moon Knight fanfic, I see a possible similarity between the Wizdom characters and the supporting cast I created for that story.)

I had a friend of mine show some interest in inking some stuff for me and I suggested the "Wizdom" story. And after he did, I started drawing some more for "Mis-Adventure!. I was back into it again.

The "Mis-Adventure!" stories and that "Wizdom" story ended up becoming 'Nuther World Comics #0, published just in time for Aggie Con 2003.

Meanwhile, I was working on another series behind the scenes. Looking at "Mis-Adventure!" and "Wizdom", they were okay, as long as I didn't compare them to "real" comics. My art had improved over the year, but it still wasn't something to be proud of. "The Extremists", the title I was working on outside my regular stuff, I had intended to be my best. More detail, more dramatic, more quality overall. But I continued working on my other series, too.

Soon I got burned out again. I was spending so much time studying anatomy and drawing static pics of models, that I was losing my inspiration. Then I came across a website where artists draw their own interpretations of established characters and post them in a gallery to show off beside each others' works. This excited me. So I immediately began drawing. This is where the Supergirl pic came from. I soon did pics of Green Lantern, Death, Juggernaut and many others.

Also at this time, I started to not ink my drawings. Maybe cause I was lazy, but mostly because it would take me so long I would not get half the drawings I wanted done. So I messed with my graphics program and found a way to darken my work to where it looks like it's inked, but it's not.

This led me to change my technique. Because I was doing away with inking, I could now draw more pages in less time. I did four more pages for a "Wizdom" story and a couple of pages added to some older material for "Mis-Adventure!". I even did two more pages for "The Extremists".

After I finished the four pages of the new "Mis-Adventure!" story and the first page of the "Wizdom" story, I started to not like my work. One thing I've learned as an artist is that you constantly go through these cycles of "this is my best work ever" and "everything I've ever done sucks". They lead back and forth between the two. It never ends.

But before long, I went back to inking.

"Wizdom" ended up taking the spotlight for 'Nuther World Comics #1, this time printed in time for Aggie Con 2004, with a complete full issue story.

I decided to go with Wizdom for the first issue because I had more plans for it. Mis-Adventure! was just sitting there, and The Extremists... well... I kept changing my mind on what the first mission was gonna be. However, I do know those pages I did of J'kara, one of the members, coming up out of the swamp will be part of it. Those were just too good to let go.

After I finished #1, however, I did see an improvement in my work. Especially in the anatomy department. And I know my writing was improving. If only for the fact that it was all laid out, beginning to end, before I started drawing. I even had subplots (oooooh). I did the main story and subplots seperate and then edited them in where I felt they were appropriate. The main story was ten pages long and the three subplot scenes were a total of four pages. That brought it to fourteen.

When I get around to #2 I'll be focusing on backgrounds. After I did #0, I felt anatomy was my weakest spot. After #1, I was thinking backrounds.
I do have a couple of establishing shots in the first few pages, which is the bare bones minimum to set up where they are... But as the story progressed, there was less background.

I know "Godboy", the story I'm drawing for someone else, has really pushed me as far as background rendering. I'll have to see if I survive it.

And if you've been to my old site, you might've seen a logo for Roxie Tiger. This one has been on the backburner but is rapidly getting my attention. But I can tell you that Roxie is a girl. And "Tiger" is a nickname. And at the moment, she's looking like a member of Bananarama...

My comics are the size of an 8x11 sheet of paper folded in half. In the industry, they're called "digest size". There's an even smaller size, called "mini-comic" equal to an 8x11 page folded into quarters.

'Nuther World Comics #0 only used about 80% of the available page space, because I was shrinking the art to a size that wasn't relative to the original. #1 was done at scale of the finished size so it looks a lot better.

If anybody out there's interested in getting copies of either #0 or #1, e-mail me and we'll work something out.

'Nuther World Comics- old site. Has pictures and more.
And here's an old interview from back when I first started doing the comics on the web. Interview by Spiritual Scream Productions.
('Nuther World Comics, characters and art copyright 2004 Lee Stone)

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