I had to go back and look at some old comics from 2008 to check character details yesterday, and I was struck by how different they were to how I draw now. The inking seemed tighter and more careful, and the figures had a weird elasticity that was never really under control and I had to get rid of. It was like looking at someone else’s work altogether!
This all makes sense, as I have worked hard to improve my anatomy, and to loosen up my drawing hand. I enjoy drawing so much more than I did back then. But I really like my work in this period. it’s uptight, but the care shows.
I thought it might be fun to try reinking a panel from this period. i chose one from this strip:
I was shocked by the pencils - they were so loose! I there were probably three strokes for every one I make now.
There were a lot of decisions to make, as I didn’t want to cheat by looking at the original!
This is how it came out:
And this is how it looked in 2008:
Here is what I learned:
1. I do a lot more problem solving at the inking stage now.
2. No one worked harder than me in 2008 to draw a lady sticking her arse out at an impossible angle
3. I used to draw heads awfully tall.
Points 2 and 3 were actually pointed out to me around this time by two artists (Rene Engstrom and Terry Wiley) who I very much respect. I dialled it all back in. Here’s how Rene told me, in a guest strip: