Just about to publish! Translations!

So, I’ve written a book! Anyone want to translate it? 😀

“The Lonely Little Fridge” is a children’s story, based on an idea I had in a children’s-lit class at Durham.

A few editorial adjustments remain, and it will be ready! I will be setting it up to be distributed as hardcover, paperback, and ebook through one of the online publishing platforms, as well as getting a few copies printed locally.

But I very much want it to be translated. I’m working on the Esperanto translation, with other languages to follow. I would love to see it translated into Indigenous languages, but I’m honestly not sure whether it would make sense in an Indigenous context. The most I can do is offer it.

Is there anyone out there who would be interested in translating it into French? The total text is around 1 page, spread out among the pictures.

Drawing Blog Posting 2021-10-05 (or so I thought)

So what I want to do is put a hashtag or something in each on my Tiny Sketchbook posts on Facebook, and then gather them all up on a page here on my WordPress blog. However, using the WordPress embed for Facebook to access the first of my Facebook drawing posts… did not work.

Looking at the WordPress embeds documentation…

…tells me that Facebook has decided to ‘close the oEmbed end point for embedding Facebook links’.

https://wordpress.org/support/article/facebook-embed/

Well, it turns out that you now need to provide a FaceBook Application ID and an authentication token to use the Facebook API to display posts in other locations. I think. Facebook does provide ways to embed posts:

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-posts/

Fortunately (?) I have a Facebook developer account, from when I was taking web development at Durham. I went back in and discovered all the FaceBook apps I had written as assignments, forgotten, but still there after all this time. I archived them, and am now trying to refamiliarize myself with the whole thing.

How To Think When You Draw (and Write)

Kickstarters I Have Known and Loved #2

After 2018 I started following things on Kickstarter and Patreon. After pledging to a Kickstarter project to create a clock-radio using actual nixie tubes for display, I started to look at descriptions of other projects.

One such project was a series of cookbooks of art and writing tutorials by the Etherington Brothers out of England. Lorenzo Etherington handles the drawing; Robin Etherington handles the writing.

Lorenzo has a very intriguing, very traditional style of drawing. It’s very 1940’s dieselpunk, all big internal-combustion engines strapped to race cars. It reminds me of the old CARtoons magazine I used to read when I was a kid, or the original Mad Magazine, or even some of Will Eisner’s work (for examples, see Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art).

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How to Draw Black People (updated)

Kickstarters I Have Known and Loved #3

It is very good to be able to look out into the world and see yourself reflected back.

As a writer and cartoonist, I want to be able to portray and ultimately connect with all sorts of people. I have been noticing that all my people drawings tend to look like Generic White People, just as my trees tend to look like Generic Maple Trees. I have to remember to explicitly make things look different, to match the variety of people (and trees) I actually see on the street. But how to do that?

A week or so ago, I stumbled across a very interesting Kickstarter. 

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Influences: Malaak

Kickstarters I Have Known and Loved #1

This was my first Kickstarter support.

Malaak is a series of comic books by French-Lebanese artist Joumana Medlej. It describes a Lebanon invaded by demonic spirits of war, and what the ancient guardians of the land must do to defend it.

In 2011 I was looking for drawing tutorials, and I stumbled across this incredibly-detailed chart of how to draw cats. Every type and variation of cat appearance was laid out in almost mathematical precision. Who could have done this?

I followed a link and discovered Cedarseed and Joumana Medlej. And a world of new colours and ideas.

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Useful books and Other Resources

Various writing, story design, comics, art, and animation books. The beginnings of a list…

The Understanding Comics series by Scott McCloud:
Understanding Comics
Making Comics
Reinventing Comics
A pioneering exploration of what makes comics tick.

Drawing People by Joumana Medlej
A book remarkable for its examination of different skin colours and body forms of people from around the world. Look in Joumana’s shop for the ebook.

Digital Prepress for Comic Books by Kevin Tinsley.
Goes into the details of preparing comics for print.

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How I Colour a Comic in Photoshop

This is how I build a colour comic in Photoshop.

Scan the original drawing.

I start by scanning a black-and-white drawing.

The drawing should be drawn with colouring in mind. Large dark areas are generally added during the colouring, so they should not be done as part of the black-and-white drawing.

The colouring style I describe here relies on using the ‘bucket’ tool to fill large areas; they can also be filled using brushes.

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Drawing Test

This is a test of a slightly-different drawing technique.

Usually, I sketch in pencil, draw over it in black marker or ink, then scan that and clean it up in Photoshop. Afterwards, I add colour in Photoshop. This is how I did the rabbit background picture, and the four-page intro to Scaffoldworld.

It’s also a good way to make even quite a rough sketch presentable (this Toasterman sketch, for example).

Drawing of Toasterman trying to escape an underwater menace.

However, for Little Lost Part, I want to do something different.

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First attempt at a cover for The Lonely Little Fridge!

Pen-and-ink artwork before colouring with watercolours. Complete with ink blotches!

This is my first attempt at laying out the cover for The Lonely Little Fridge. The artwork is india ink over pencil sketches on paper.

Because the artwork was largeish (2 panels 8.5 inches square, plus a 0.25-inch spine between), I scanned it in five pieces using VueScan. Then I opened all the pieces in Photoshop and assembled them into one image there. Because the linework is so sparse, Photoshop’s auto-align function didn’t have enough to work with, so I aligned by hand and used the auto-blend function to smooth things out. Then I used Levels to expand the dynamic range, smashing light greys toward white and dark greys toward black.

IngramSpark provides templates for each size and type of cover they offer. This cover will be case-bound, with a page trim size of 8.5 inches square. One of the templates is an InDesign file, so I built the cover on it, inserting the artwork and text on layers between the ISBN layer and the layer with guides and printed info.

Once I get the artwork coloured (via Viviva watercolours), I will scan it again and do this all over again!