Leap Day!

29th of February is the rarest day on the calendar, and deserves a blog post. A good excuse for a COMICS update! Frequent readers of this here blog probably know that I’ve been chipping away on a comics project ever since re-learning to draw. With a self-imposed deadline to have a NEW Rocket Rabbit comics story ready around about now. However, I’ve decided to grant myself a wee extension. Not because of inactivity. Quite the opposite.

Rocket Rabbit comics: Title Page ROUGH
NEW page- Rough for a title page spread.

My goal for this project was that new pages drawn with my left hand would be compatible with old pages drawn with my (no-longer) trusty right hand. That goal still holds true. When I eventually publish a collection of all these Rocket Rabbit yarns, I want new & old art to sit seamlessly side by side, as if drawn by the same hand.

I’ve always loved the rich BLACKS of comics, such as The MAD artists from the 1950s & 1960s (Wally Wood & co). The early original Rocket Rabbit pages drawn years ago went for that look. In recently looking over those old pages, I realised that newer pages need to have more of those bold swatches of black.

Rocket Rabbit comics: POV page ROUGH
NEW page- Rocket’s POV of Professor.

However, I’ve realised that the old pages could do with some tweaks too. They were drawn to be printed on crummy newsprint, and therefore avoided gradients, & subtleties. Just black, white, and two tones of flat grey. When I eventually collect ALL of the art, it most likely will live online. Or be much better printed. So I’d like to finesse the old art, to take advantage of better printing, and tricks I’ve since learned. Adding texture & grain, and grey lines here and there, that actually accentuate the blacks, and make them POP.

Rocket Rabbit comics: R&P Entrance!
An OLD page reworked- R&P’s big entrance.

At the moment, I’m experimenting with a fusion style of new & old. I still intend all the pages to feel compatible, but now plan to have them meet in the middle somewhat. So, I’ve paused working on new art to edit old pages, adding those techniques. When I turn my attention back to the newer stuff, it will be to incorporate the new styles & techniques that I’m tinkering with now.

6 thoughts on “Leap Day!”

  1. Leapin’ rabbits!!

    These samples look great!! I love the rich contrasts!

    I am also digging the Mad Max-inspired? vehicle in the Weirdlanders header!

    Reply
    • Hey Russell!
      I’m not exactly where the idea for Prof’s bike came from.. but you are right that there will be a MAD MAX influence in the first few chapters of these stories. Hopefully it will look different (not so much desert as overgrown jungle) but definitely with that same idea of a post-crisis society rebuilding from a hodgepodge of the old.

      Plus, talking animals! (as if Chuck Jones era WB cartoons did the post-apocalypse) ha ha!

      Thanks for checking in, you long-time RR supporter you!

  2. It’s a sound plan and from looking at these couple of images is working a treat. The staging and presence on the page is powerful enough to compensate for any differences from old to knew, IF they even exist (!) it’s looking great and I think it’s brilliant that you’re all over it again. It’s always been a solid project with appeal by the bucketload.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Deane. These stories have always been fun to dabble with. There was a period where I printed comic books and eagerly sold them at conventions. Even a time where I dreamed of hitting it big as an indie comics guy! But that didn’t last very long. My sales were never enough to go VIRAL. But I still enjoyed it, so kept tinkering away.

      For the past decade these stories have been primarily an art therapy project. Where I retrain myself to draw. And have fun!

      Thanks for commenting.

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