Back in 2010 I created a comic strip called “Family Night” and recently I decided to re-draw a few them just for fun. But also I wanted to apply some of the things I’ve learned since then, and share with you some of my early mistakes as a cartoonist. Not necessarily as a tutorial on how to make comics (I’m certainly not qualified to do that, I’m still learning how myself!) but to maybe give others a few examples of how we grow as artists, and how it’s all part of the process. My jokes are still LAME, of course. But I think I’m a bit better at telling them now 😉
Back then I wasn’t inking my pencil work because I was stubborn and I believe my artwork suffered for it, as you can see from the difference between the comic above drawn in 2010 and the one below drawn in 2016. I think this is a good example of how inking your line work can make your art pop, and simply give it a more finished, polished look to it. I still use my pencils to give some grey tone, but I think inking makes the art look more bold.
The next comic is another example of my massive failing as an artist early on, and that is: BACKGROUNDS. Or rather, my complete LACKING OF. I was lazy, and it showed in my work.
This comic was muddy and dirty, but with a little ink and the addition of some simple backgrounds, I think it polished up nicely 🙂
My third comic is yet another example of my early failure as a cartoonist in that I often used WAY too much unnecessary dialogue. I took an already not that great joke, and ran it straight into the ground. Booooo! Not funny!
But thanks to the counsel of my friend and fellow artist Stephen Johnson, I was able to learn from my mistake. He pointed out to me that this comic should’ve been a 3-panel strip, period. The punchline was in the third panel, the entire fourth panel was completely unnecessary, and he was absolutely right.
Boom. Done. Much better. And lastly, I have this comic. Note the fact that I didn’t even bother to draw the white part in my eyes back then. Just black dots. My laziness apparently knew no bounds…
I didn’t really add a whole lot to this one, but I think the addition of the inks, and the subtraction of even just a few unnecessary words made it just a little bit better overall.
Well, thanks for reading! Hopefully I didn’t bore you too bad, and maybe even helped you in some small way to improve your own comics through my mistakes. I definitely would like to re-do a few more of these old comics and archive them in a book someday… but for now I’m off to my next comic project! Stay tuned! 🙂