Every now and then, I have created a comic. Unfortunately, they pretty much all turn out bad because I have never settled on a particular style. My drawings go for as much realism as my skill will allow in most cases, but I have never liked comics that look like that, so I always struggle to find a good balance. Comics like XKCD and Cyanide and Happiness have shown that detailed art isn’t necessary, but if I just do stick figures, I will feel like a copycat at this point. I need to develop my own style, and I ought to do it soon. I have a couple dozen ideas waiting to be drawn.
I thought it would be a good idea to spend a while drawing in various styles to see where they would get me, if anywhere. One problem that I have continued to wrestle with is the digital vs. tradition question. If I do a drawing digitally, I can create it as vector art, which will scale to any possible size. That is a huge benefit later on for creating t-shirt designs, posters, etc. The obvious disadvantage is that I need a computer to create the art. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but what happens when I meet someone, start talking about the comics, and am asked to draw a sample? Suddenly the +2 cool points I would have earned turn into -2. So, the other option is traditional (i.e., drawing it on paper). In my opinion, this requires a bit more skill but has the advantage of spontaneity. It also requires a bit more up front planning because copying and pasting in real life is a pain…. A third option is to draw the comics on paper, scan them, fix the lines, do coloring, and add the text. This is a lot of work but combines the best of both worlds.
What have I decided? I really haven’t figured out anything at this point, but I have developed a deeper appreciation for comic artists who do spend that extra bit of time doing something more than stick figures, such as Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and Questionable Content. I think these two are a lot closer to the style I would like to develop than the previous two or the ones you typically see in a newspaper. The issue I have to worry about is spending so much time on the art that I don’t have fun with the actual humor that is supposed to get across.
Of course, then there’s always the question of whether each comic should completely stand alone or whether characters should recur…. Yeah, I have some work to do.