Saturday, February 27, 2016

Elevations Connection: Chapter 2...Uh....Review?

Once a week I promised to deliver a posting related to the pages posted for the week, or even just general personal information about the comic. This worked for Chapter 1 quite well. For Chapter 2... well... uh...

Yeah, kinda dropped the ball there with only two (this one one included).

Even if you plan in advance, write in advance, and draw in advance, life gets in the way. When you're as tricky with time management and abuse downtime like me (on top of new workplace, furry conventions, and personal matters), things do get behind.

But enough droning. Let's do some review!

I think I settled more/less on the style from this point on: rough painterly shading for backgrounds, with the characters following suit during rough/intensive situations (but otherwise unshaded). So far, so good! The only issue I had so far? Drawing the dogmarfing Golden Gate Bridge.

Twitter promo excerpt of Page 36, showing the famous bridge. 

The Golden Gate isn't exactly two vertical sticks with wires dangling between them. Those little Art Deco designs that taper the towers were in themselves an added challenge. I will admit, I am no professional artist and I had to use reference upon reference upon reference to get this right (and even then it's skewed). I'm kinda glad I won't be drawing it much in the long run.

It's funny how nearly every bit of fiction set in San Francisco (okay, had to fill that quota) will show the Golden Gate Bridge as if it's essential to cross the thing in order to get anywhere, and that mayhem's unleashed if something happens to it (it isn't and won't; the Bay Bridge is more vital, but nobody outside the region cares for the greyer twin). It's practically a cliche next to the cable cars.

Excerpt of Page 37 with its real life counterpart. Yes, San Francisco's actual train station is that externally plain.

On note of a lesser notable landmark, pages 36 and 37 called for usage of 4th and King Caltrain (a local choochoo that only goes to San Jose but is good for stopping by the peninsula suburbs in between) station. The station itself, not too exciting to look at. However, the interior does give off a retro-futuristic feel, and the area around it is fairly pretty place to be, save for the summer when the giants roam. 

Unlike the Golden Gate, I took winged this with whatever references I could find (if I could've done a quick trip to the city for this, I so would). When I visited the weekend after, I was surprised with how accurate I got.

Santana Winchester is another character I've been longing to introduce. He's essentially been a part the comic since the initial inception of a dog living with a roomy in the Bay. However, I'll leave the rest to another journal as his conception story is definitely an interesting one to talk about.

And that does it! What to expect for chapter 3? Well, I'm already working on pages as I type. My personal schedule should be more ironed out and I should ideally be back on the Three-day release come next week. The plot unravels further as we find out more about Elias and his involvement with the medallions, what that symbol in the medallion is, and just what  that medallion does. We'll also have many encounters with horses, bears, and really bad dragons... oh my!  Story continues next month...

Until next time,

Marf on!
Hints of horse

Plans on how to improve timeliness

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Elevations Connections: Dingo Dongo Bingo Bongo

This post Covers all previous and current (as of posting) pages in Chapter 2. Entries are divided into their respective week by the following sections:

  1. Foxtails and Medallions

  2. Dragons, Weasels, Penguins, and Tea 

  3. Tobleron Dingos 

    Feel free to scroll down to  each section or read in entirety at your pleasure!


 Foxtails and Medallions 

This post covers Pages 25, 26, and 27

Typical Foxtail

 Foxtails are pretty to look at, but are a nuisance to human beings and potentially fatal to animals. Common in wild grass, they primarily serve as a means to spread grass seeds over a wide area. In fact, they are designed to lodge into animal fur as a means of doing just that... to an extent. For short-furred animals native to the region the spores cling on briefly before the seeds eventually dislodge. For long-furred creatures (like dogs), they can stay lodged and will burrow in with added muscle movement. This can cause complications with potentially fatal infections, especially near openings such as the nose and ears.

The idea of using foxtails as a weapon came from a conversations with friends on the plant spore and its harmful effects sometime around June of 2015. Over the summer I let my imagination run wild. What would Elias use as a unique defense that could bring down any invader inside? Foxtails suddenly came to mind and I ran with it. Given the Dingo's location, it only made sense he would have a limitless amount of them around his house.

This is the symbol of the Sundog. What it is and who it belongs to will come be revealed soon. How it all plays out will too eventually be revealed. Keep an eye out, for it has potential contained within.


Dragons, Weasels, Penguins, and Tea

This post covers Pages 28, 29, and 30

90% of what you see on the comic that isn't in the script was very much likely a last minute addition. The penguin was one of them, composed as I drew the page itself - it wasn't even in the script (the original script called for a Doge spoof)!

Here we introduce Edward. One of the first characters I conjured up for the comic early on alongside Elias. In fact they were made one and the same.... kinda. Back in 2014.
Closest to original concept of Edward, from 2015 test comic
I am aware of the placement of the two pages between Terry's foxtail encounter with Elias is, indeed, arbitrary, like a Big Lipped Alligator Moment ,but I feel it's a nice change and sets up two major roles as a "meanwhile" if you might say.

Also, for page 28, in panel 5 when Edward slams the door shut, there is a screaming text bubble muffled out. The dialogue states "You still owe F&W five months rent"


Tobleron Dingos

This post covers Pages 31, 32, 33, and 34

 Concept art for Elias' house... hill view.

I cannot mention enough how excited I am to reach this part of the story. Elias' introduction is effectively the catalyst to the story proper, and combined with the upcoming Act 2 get the story moving into high gear. He is a focal part of the current arc.

The house itself, while loosely based on a location somewhere in Marin, technically doesn't exist; a location where one would see Tiburon and San Francisco is theoretically impossible; at least development on such a location would be (save for immediate area around 101 and the bay, the majority of Marin County is protected land). The view on pages 32 and 33 is based off a view off Wolfback Ridge and Morning sun trails. I'll gush over the beauty of this region in a later post.

I waited for months to use this. 

I've  personally have never been to Tiburon, but it is an affluent little seaside town. I recall first hearing the name years ago when I was fresh into the Bay. The name caught my eye and just stood out to me. The result? Potential wordplay humor.

During production of these pages, I've had challenges making Elias look.... old (he's a Dingo in at least his 50s). The robe and smooth lines might have made him look more like a blond teenager with a touch of Harry Saxon

The art deco motif of Elias' house was accidentally last minute. I misplaced my original concept designs at the time, which had implied a more earthy, cabin-like appearance,  and scribbled in what immediately came to mind. More style practice! :D

And that's it for this week...month... chapter! I shall be getting a more regular review again now that my personal schedule is cleared up. Until next time, 

stay Elevated!

(yeah, I'm still working on that closer).