No Smokey the Bear in this world, I guess...
I am distracted and tired, so not much of a blog here, but I am not yet on hiatus! Let's hope I can keep up and maybe get some of my lead time back. A boy can dream...
See you Thursday?
Getting Roeke's stuff back to her in this manner maaaaay be the laziest thing I've ever written, but I thought it made for a good joke ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I could be mistaken, but these could be the first (and probably only) panels that aren't portrayed from Roeke's point of view (objectively, not physically). I like how it turned out, especially the layout.
Well, next week we will see the explosive results of the mighty Ochin's indigestion- so see ya Monday!
Those are some serious accusations there, smog!
I wish I'd pushed this page a bit further, it seems a little abstract with Ochin just floating there. None of the cloud overlaps it to add depth or anything, and there's no surrounding background so it comes off a little awkward. I did like doing that hand-lettering though, that was fun. And I don't hate how Roeke turned out.
Well, see ya Thursday for the long drop! Last page of the comic, guys, I'm killing the main character! :P
Have you ever been experienced? Not necessarily stoned, just... fed to a giant gas-spewing plant monster?
Well, this page was fun. May have gone overboard on the smog effects, to the point of kinda obfuscating Ochin (the big plant thing in the first panel/ bg of the second)
Well, not much else to say about this one, guess we'll be seein' ya Monday!
Things are gonna be a lot pinker for the next couple pages, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
I like how Roeke's expression came out when she receives her sentence, almost flinching from it like a physical blow. Or maybe, closing her eyes will make it not real? Then we got our side-scrolling trek into the woods panel below it, I like how that came out, too.
I may have fucked up the caption placement on the last panel, though. Did you read "Are they just..." first as was intended, or "Maybe I can..."? Because I fear the left/right of the panels overpowered the top to bottom of the caption placement, considering the lower caption was placed further left.
Oh hey, I thought I should also mention that I'm working on a couple pitches to submit to Oni Press, so Roeke's taken a back seat while I focused a lot more on those. Pages are set through the end of June for Roeke, but it might all catch up to me before I can get any more lead time. So, if it comes to it, we may have a short break in July, but fear not, because as of July I'll be focused on Roeke again going forward (unless Oni likes my pitches, fingers crossed!).
Also also, my sun burn is peeling now, so I've been slowly removing slivers of my own flesh all day. Yum!
Well, see y'all Thursday!
In the original script for this page, there were a LOT more panels. I got to drawing it and I was like "Yeah, fuck that." Goes to show that there are differences between writer me and artist me, and that there are things to be learned from collaboration- even when it's with yourself. Now let's see how long it takes me to forget to draw Roeke's newest wound!
See ya Thursday,
Roeke's gotten to starting more trouble, and she seems to be off to a good start! I'm pretty sure jump-kicks were one of the things that got me into martial arts as a kid. I've also decided that I really like the clean swooshing action lines instead of a bunch of chaotic ones. At least on my own art, I think either can look great if it's done well.
Another small thing I dug about this page was the candles deep in the background of the first panel, just little glowing orbs floating back there. I dunno, just like the look of it.
Alrighty, that about does it for this week, be seein' y'all on Mundee.
Completely unrelated, except my title for the post made me think of it, but does anyone remember The Bouncer? It was like, the first game for the PS2. It wasn't that good.
Anywho, I was apparently really into hands this issue. Well, these last two pages. Also, that hand's gonna be seriously fucked up now, I can hardly imagine how much that's gotta suck. I'm so mean!
Well, see y'all Thursday, when we get to see Roeke make more great choices!
Oh, why, hello there.
It's comics story-telling fact that character's eyes are hidden in shadow whenever they make a dark or dramatic decision. F-A-C-T. It's like, the law.
After the last couple issues, this page has the shortest flashback of the whole series ;P
I assume it is clear now how Roeke was helped by the Smog-Florans in the past, yes?
Something about Hokey Religions and Ancient Superstitions, blah-de-blah...
Hey hey! It's Thursday!
Conflict is the source of all storytelling. That's not true, but it's pretty fucking prevalent! Seems Roeke has hit quite the dead end, eh? And what'd she mean when she said they've helped her before? Guess you'll just have to read on, next Monday. Nyah Nyah!
No deliberations! Roeke argues/begs! I'm pretty sure the Chief Gardner significantly changed shape between this page and the last... CONSISTENCY!! I like how that third panel turned out, though.
Well, see you guys Wed- No, THURSDAY! That's right! I'm gonna spread the pages more evenly through the week, instead of posting one right after the other. And Monday/Thursday just makes more sense to me. Hope y'all don't mind :).
Until next time: Different Roeke Time, Same Roeke Channel.
Week one, online and on time, woot!
Roeke sets the scene for the Smog-Florans.. and you!
This is pretty much what this issue is about. Exciting, no? IT WILL BE.
Anyway, that seems like a pretty reasonable request, right?
Guess we'll find out next Monday!
Eff your establishing shots, yo!
I'm jumping straight into the scene with an old-school, text-laden splash page! You wanted expositional dialog? WELL YOU GOT IT, BUSTER!
Also, bask in the glory that is the mutant cult of noseless toad people! Woo!
You'll see in this issue that I'm doing more with lighting and shading, which I think its greatly improving my admittedly mediocre art. I also did all my inks digitally, which is helping my coloring go faster (trust me). Still can't say much for my coloring, save for the garish choices for the Smog-Floran attire is quite deliberate.
Welp, that's about it for Monday, see you back here Wednesday for page two!
This might be, aesthetically, my favorite page. The drawing is solid, and my coloring didn't suck for once. It's moody and atmospheric, and a nice conceptual tease for next issue. Sorry there isn't anything going on really plot or character wise, but I still like it.
The plan is to throw up Stage 04's cover next week, then jump in to page one on MONDAY, the 18th. You heard me, Monday! You know why? Because I'm saving Wednesday for PAGE TWO! We're stepping up to two pages a week, y'all! May God have mercy on my soul.
I still haven't "officially" started coloring #4, so uh, I guess I better get crackin' ;P
See ya next week!
--Jhustoe, of the 9 realms and the 4 paths, or something.
So, the first caption is referencing back to the first issue, when Roeke seemed to actually be missing Nyant. Of course, that started seeming problematic once I'd gotten through the flash back. Well, no retcons and no take-backsies, so instead I voiced my own concern and possible reader concern by having Roeke herself bring it up. By getting mad at herself, perhaps that will ease any concerns you all might have. I also think it adds an interesting layer to her character-- Yes, Nyant really did some terrible things and betrayed Roeke in a most heinous fashion, but that doesn't erase however many years before that when they were happy. Those feelings, at that moment, had really stirred up in Roeke, who, was pretty lonely. Now, as of this page, she's focusing on the bad, on the catalyst that got her to leave in the first place- and she's letting her anger drive her forward.
Tell me you never missed an ex, even if it ended poorly? S'all I'm sayin'.
The bottom half of this page, and next weeks page are all going to set up next issue. Smog Zone!
Slightly damaged, Guardian tucks tail and retreats. Roeke gets a new upgrade and also begins to get real mad, understandably.
I like how that fist turned out in the last panel, and the smoking rocket-launcher panel above it ain't bad, either.
Well, I'm still a bit behind on Roeke 04, so I'm gonna keep this short and get back to work on them thar inks. Well, "inks," as I'm doing it digitally this time.
Be excellent to each other,
Well, that's that, then. Maybe, just maybe, if he'd fussed over her instead of The Guardian? Yeah, probably not.
I wish I'd colored Nyant's mouth in that first panel... maybe I'll go back to it someday.
We're closing in on the end of Stage 03, just four more pages! I better hurry up and finish Stage 04 :P
Running a little late today, I blame Damages, that fucking show. The funny thing is: I had planned to say "No new post today... April Fool's!!! On my link for today's post, and then there almost wasn't. Not only that, but it was me remembering that lame joke that caused me to realize that I hadn't posted the new page yet. Go figure.
The metaphor cookie that is Roeke and Nyant's relationship crumbles a bit more today.
See ya next week, assuming I'm more responsible than I was this week.
You know, when I first conceived this idea(no pun intended, just a happy accident-- oh god, I can't stop!) ANYWAY. When I first figured out the robots Roeke would be fighting were sent by her ex I thought to myself that I had found my story's final boss and main villain. Now, overall, I still see Nyant that way, but the dude has some valid points. I can certainly symp/empathize with him and anyone who might agree with him. I just think Roeke, while not perfect, is MORE right.
Also, those robots ARE trying to kill her, right? Is Nyant a really shitty programmer? Does he WANT her dead? Or are those robots seriously messed up, themselves?
Well, you might have some hints in the next couple weeks that you can draw some conclusion from. Until then, keep on rocking in the free world.
There's a bit in Greg Rucka and JH Williams III's great Batwoman story where Batman lectures Kate (Batwoman) that she shouldn't wear her hair long, because any ol' criminal can grab it and then she's done for. Roeke didn't get that advice, and now she had to salvage what was left. (Brief aside, Kate didn't need the advice, she was wearing a wig, and the best part is she doesn't defend herself to Batman, she doesn't need to. She knows she's badass.)
Roeke doesn't know that she's badass. She's proving it one life-threatening trial after the next. Aaaaaand I just noticed a tear I drew in her shirt that I haven't been drawing in issue 04, shit. Should be a quick enough fix, it's just the small one in the collar. I remembered the other two! Roeke's been beaten so bloody in this comic, I recently had the wonderful idea to keep a "battle-damage" sketch handy while I draw that I update with each new wound. God, I wish I'd thought of it oh, say, three issues ago.
Anywho, we're not out of the woods-- er, city-- yet! That's next weeks page!
This may be one of my favorite pages of the issue. The action, composition, and how bad-ass Roeke looks in the middle panel of toward the bottom- before smashing Torch's face in, are all working for me. What'd you think?
Part of me wishes I made Torch the main robot, definitely my favorite design (thanks again, James). Oh well, there's still more Torch to come, you'll just have to see next week!
Thanks for reading, er, looking (not much dialogue on this page),
Anyone else notice that I forgot to add a subtitle to last week's blog?
Anywho, OUCH, right? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't look like that irl, because, y'know, physics, but you depict hair tearing out in a still graphic medium! Jerks.
UPDATE! Moved the "tear" line down to Roeke's scalp to look more better, thanks to the glory of photoshop.
Panel 3's my personal favorite I like the angle, the perspective, and the oh-shit-ness of the threat depicted.
Anywho, FIGHT'S OUT!
Why is it every time we go indoors the only colors I can think of are "gray" and "darker gray?"
I need to get better at this. I think my drawing is getting better, though, and more consistent. The chipped paint detail on the ladder was a pain, all future ladders will now have good paint jobs, okay?
Next week, we'll have some flash-backing!
Holy moley, it's 2015!
Nothing like a little imminent DOOM to start off the new chapter of Roeke!
The cover for this chapter was made completely by the sister thing: Amanda Brewer, how cool is that?. The robots were designed by James, and all the art beyond the cover is by me.
Looking at the schedule I've cooked up for myself for the year, I can say that if I keep up with it, it will be probably the most productive year of my whole life. Several times more busy than I was last year, at least. Wish me luck! Oh, and don't forget to subscribe to Roeke over here:
Tapastic should make things a bit more convenient for ya, so you'll never miss a new page! That being said, I just started publishing there and it'll take a little while to get current. I'll let you know when it catches up, too.
Oh, also, why don't ya leave me a comment now and then? Remind me I'm not making this in a complete vacuum, VALIDATE MY EXISTENCE.
Okay, thanks, bye!
To be continued!!!
We've done it, another issue in the can! Thanks for joining me in this crazy ride, I really look forward to telling y'all the next chapter and the rest of the story!
I'll put the cover up for sure next week, but I haven't decided whether to throw the first page in with that, or if I need the extra buffer time...we'll see.
In any case, see ya next year! And speaking of next year, I'll share a goal of mine with you all here and now for accountability purposes: I am going to finish publishing Roeke. That's three whole comics, as Roeke is a 5 part series total. Then, after that's done, hopefully you'll get to see the start of whatever comes next for me.
Until next time,
Born in California, Justin now resides in Portland, OR. He's had a passion for comics from a very young age