Fringe 365 Project – #104

tumblr_ml864jTQ231rzirmio1_1280 At last, an actual comic strip! I love the comic strip look, but so rarely do I actually think of a setup and punchline to illustrate. The prompt for this one was actually 3×04 “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep” which features a brief conversation between Astrid and Walter about Belly’s love for dinosaur-shaped animal cookies. As Belly might say, “Why just draw dinosaur cookies when you can go there?” So, let’s imagine that the confrontation on the cargo ship at the end of Season 4 never happened, and our trio made it safely to the Bellverse…

This pic allowed me to use one of my favorite apps, Strip Designer, which is (IMHO) the best in a field that includes Comic Life, Comic Book! and Halftone. The amount of options and control you get from Strip Designer is way ahead of the others, and includes downloadable fonts I haven’t seen in other apps, complete control over panel shapes, and lots of other good stuff.

strip The thing about comics is that sometimes you forget that the word balloons are part of the design, and the whole thing has to be created with the direction of the reader’s eye in mind, so it’s helpful (before you spend a lot of time on the actual finished art) to plug in your base drawings into your planned strip, to plot where you are actually going to put the words. And the words themselves have to be as brief as possible, especially if you are trying to be humorous. (Believe it or not, I agonized over whether Olivia should say “It’s the work of a madman” or just “The work of a madman.” Maybe overthinking that a bit.) And even the placement of the words inside the balloons matters, as to what appears on which line…

Two things that Strip Designer cannot (yet) do: make the base of balloon tails adjustable (I find them a little too thick), and make individual words bold. The latter, I achieved in Photoshop with the layering/Gaussian trick.

The artwork itself was done in Sketchbook Ink (line art) and colored in Sketch Club, which I am becoming an even bigger fan of lately.

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