Seems like Monroe is losing interest in searching for Agile or perhaps he’s just losing his nerve. Bentley on the other hand is getting grossed out by Monroe’s funky smell. It may be that some week old cat fish odor is still lingering inside Monroe’s shell, Something Wet and Sticky, or perhaps Monroe is more frightened then he realizes. See you on Thursday for some more toxic waste two stepping through the Pudding.
When I am laying out a new comic strip, I start with the concept and the dialog. I want to be able to become the characters and try to capture their attitude and emotions in their poses and expressions. I’m not always as successful as I’d like to be, but it all starts in these pencil roughs. It’s like acting and trying to catch the best snapshots of a scene in a play.
Sometimes due to time constraints, I go with just one sketch per panel but if time permits I will try several takes to try to capture the best interaction.
The pencil roughs are really just that, because I don’t have the time usually to overly clean them up at this stage. I sometimes forget and overwork a pencil drawing but in reality I know I’m going to make changes and edits while doing the digital inking. It’s a constant learning process for me to try to not lose anything in the translation.
My biggest challenge, other than fighting to keep the characters “on model”, is to keep them loose and dynamic. The frustrating part of course is the tighter the deadline the stiffer my drawings get because I’m constantly having to press to get the work out on schedule. Stress generates stiffness. I’m learning to trust my inking more and that eventually will help me loosen up during penciling which also saves me time and helps my drawings to not be so stiff. Drawing is all about emotions and confidence. Inside the mind of a cartoonist is a scary place.
Hats off to Marvin Gaye, as all I could think about while drawing today’s cartoon was his great recording of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. Who knew Bentley had an ancestor that was part bloodhound? So the snail is on the trail, see you next Tuesday.