Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comics and Games

I'm trying to be more regular with my blogposts. Sorry that NDA's kind of interfere with my ability to make more of these contain art.

The major project I've been working on is for a comic company so I thought I'd talk a bit about it.

I was super hesitant to take on this work but it offered consistent work at a good wage so I just had to accept. I was and still am worried about a variety of things about how my style will be received in comic form. All of my weaknesses are the areas where comic artists normally excel such as exaggeration, loose poses, speed, and expressions. The trends really seem against my own art style with most comics seeming to have a real attachment to local color and putting details in both light and shadow. They also tend to shy away from being too realistic and I think that partly has to do with the Scott McCloud books.

So in a lot of ways the art in comics tend to be the exact opposite of the artwork we see for roleplaying games. Pretty odd considering how much overlap I'd expect among the fanbase. I think a lot of it has to do with the slightly different expectations artists have for the viewers experience. Comic art tries to leave room for readers to imagine the characters are the reader. Gaming artists (or at least me) try to make characters so that readers will imagine they are the character.

Gaming art tends to be very specific, realistic and detailed. It really wants you to know this is somebody completely different from yourself but they're damn cool and don't you want to be damn cool too? Well heck this is for a roleplaying game so guess what? You can be damn cool by being this character in our game.

CREDIT
Got off on a tangent there. Back to the work I've been doing. I hope to be able to show it soon. It will be a bit odd though to show. Compared to art orders, this comic book work leaves me with all of the freedom of being in a straight-jacket. The story being told isn't my idea. The races, technology and environments have all been designed before-hand. Plus the work is subject to a ton of revisions. The art process is a bit like I put out the equivalent of a lump of clay in 2D form and they push and pull it until it's what they see in their heads. If I were to post it on any of my sites I'd have an overwhelming urge to accompany it with, "don't comment." Not because I don't like it but because most of what would be praised or ridiculed probably wouldn't have been my idea. It's a very strange feeling. It's like being an animator who just does the frames between key frames.

This job will allow me to do some stuff freelancing likely wouldn't have. I'll be able to work on some personal pieces in my spare time or be super duper picky about any extra work. Plus it's more likely I'll be able to afford awesome stuff like upgrading photoshop.

NO CREDIT
So beyond this first set of pages, I've been asked to do some work in a style completely different from my own. I would never have an interest in doing additional work in this style so I'm debating on having myself listed in the credits under a different name. I wouldn't want any confusion about what I'm interested in doing and I wouldn't care to be tempted by the lure of money to do it a second time. So have any name suggestions?

Or if you think a rising tide raises all ships, feel free to tell me I should still connect my name to work in a completely different style.

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