Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Search and Research #164

Well, I meant to have this up yesterday, but when I sat down to post it, I remembered I hadn't yet scanned the strip (I usually scan the strips right after I finish them). I finished this one a few days ago, but wound up being busy afterwards I guess. Anyway, here is the penultimate (always wanted to use that word!) strip in the "SCOM tells a story about working in the Library of Congress" storyline.

Strip #165 will be a color strip and it will have 14 panels, so it'll take me a little longer than usual to complete. I'm going to try and finish it before my day job gets crazy in preparation for the beginning of the fall semester. If that happens, it will be the most quickly completed color strip in recent memory!

 - eli

Friday, July 13, 2012

A long week...

This has been a pretty tiring week for me, and as a result there will be no new comic strip on Monday. I spent most of my evenings this past week helping with a kids camp by teaching a cartooning workshop for 2nd-5th graders. As you might imagine, it was both fun and exhausting. I'm still recuperating from the experience, and have no energy to draw, well, anything really.

Many of you know that beyond just drawing this comic, I aspire to become an illustrator. I don't really post non-Search and Research art on this blog, but I do lots of other artwork outside of this comic strip. If you would like to see some of it, head over to my Facebook page, Eli's Art Pad where you'll find galleries of my latest watercolor paintings, pen and ink sketches, and little stories. You can also read my non-comic stories, co-written with my co-writer for Search and Research, Jason Watts, and illustrated by me, on my website.

Back in a week!

 - eli

Monday, July 09, 2012

Search and Research #163

Still exploring the intricacies of dramatic lighting. I mentioned before that I've never really drawn in this style before although I've long admired the look of that noir drawing style. In the last panel I figured that if the lights when down, SCOM's screen would be the only thing giving off light, and tried to use that to inform my lighting decisions.

You'll also notice in panel three that I've employed an interesting little lesson I learned a while ago: The expression of a character speaking must match the emotion of the last thing he says in a panel, not the first. People tend to read the word bubbles and then look at the pictures, so, if you don't match the expression to the last emotion, the pictures won't make sense. I learned that back in Search and Research 93 where SCOM discovers his missile has been replaced by a telescope. His face matches the first part of what he says rather than the last part, and the panel just winds up being weird because he looks mortified rather than slyly pleased. Ok, that little tip is free. Enjoy!

 - eli

Monday, July 02, 2012

Search and Research #162

Jason and I decided it would be fun to sort of explore some of SCOM's early days at the Library of Congress, and I wanted to try to make his "flashback" scenes distinct by drawing them in a noir style, where there is only black and white with very dramatic lighting. I've always loved that style, starting with the Tracer Bullet stories in Calvin and Hobbes. I've never been very good at it, but I thought that drawing SCOM's angular shape would be easier than trying to do the organic human shapes. Boy was I wrong! It turns out that it takes practice, no matter what you're drawing. As a result, I spent a while trying to develop the look of what I have now come to call "SCOM noir". It took about a month of off and on experimentation. Hopefully subsequent strips will easier for me now.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy what we have planned.