egypturnash: (absinthe)
Rode my bike for the first time in forever. Right after exercising for the first time in weeks, too. I am gonna be so achy tomorrow... but at least I have finally arrived at a design for Lexy that I like. Very cute and personable looking. When she's not threatening to rip Absinthe's head off at least. And she has pretty good reasons to want to do that!

So now I can start drawing pages again. At last. She took time to nail down, but didn't take as long as the wind-up boy; he took MONTHS to get right. Just one more primary character left undesigned, and he's just a matter of caricature, really. All other design chores are just costumes.

Speaking of which, I'm really happy with what Lexy and her buddies wear; I feel like I managed to stick them in stuff that looks more like fashion than uniforms. And manages to both show them off (they're teens, that's important) and to make the adults of this very permissive world shake their heads and sigh (again, always important if you're a teen).
egypturnash: (Default)

This, then, is the antagonist. Maybe. I really like the way she looks. But the question both Nick and I are asking is... just how Problematic is it to have Absinthe's nemesis be the only ethnically Black* character in the main cast?

* more like café-au-lait; she's darker than elfin-pale Silonjé (25%) but paler than Hester (75%), Kaese (75%) or the Wind-Up Boy (75/100%)... actually she's paler than Absinthe, too (75% with 100% markings). Mmm, furry stuff gets complicated when you bring in human skintone divisions, doesn't it.


Mar. 19th, 2010 10:15 pm
egypturnash: (Default)
Yay. I actually got two pages of Absinthe pencilled today. Even after going out for a walk in the sun, then falling asleep for a few hours.

I also started to take the plastic off the windows in my studio. FRESH AIR.

If I can keep this up then by the time I go down to I-Con next weekend, I'll have pretty much everything that doesn't involve Lexy and her droogs penciled. Wich will be nice. I'm behind a month but hey, shit happens, and Absinthe is not something I care to rush.

With the last code push, all traces of the linkjacking code are gone from LJ. But I still sent off a check to Dreamwidth yesterday. It's been eight years with LJ, I met my husbands here, but the site's just... changed. And not for the better. I'll still be crossposting and I think I should be able to maintain crossposting of stuff to friends groups but I really just don't trust LJ any more. Once I get things set up I'll let you know what username I've decided on over there.


Mar. 18th, 2010 11:33 pm
egypturnash: (Default)

I need to get started on chapter 2 again. I need to stop worrying and throw away my now-passed self-imposed deadline of having it pencilled by the end of this month - with three pages pencilled this is clearly not going to happen.

Nick reminded me that Absinthe should be fun, that we made a pact that we'd quit doing it as soon as it stopped being fun. I don't want to stop doing it; I like doing it - but I'm sitting here looking at the huge pile of work between me and starting to release chapter 2, never mind finishing it, and I just kinda curl up and slither away and do something else. Commissions as my porny alter-ego, reading, travel, anything but just standing at my desk and drawing.

Now, there are clearly things that I need to do before I can get parts of this done - I need to nail down the design of Lexy and her droogs before I can draw the middle part of the chapter, I need to wind myself up to doing what I tend to label the "Where's Waldo" spread before that*. But there's a lot of chapter 2 that rests entirely on already-established designs. And I'm happy with the thumbnails for the whole thing.

I just gotta quit worrying about it, quit thinking about the whole project and just worry about the immediate detail of picking a page and pencilling it. And after 3-4 more are pencilled, about spending time in Illustrator as well. It's a long process and it's not going to get any shorter if I don't work at it in tiny steps.

And then I have the required distraction of readying myself for my first gig as an invited, paid-for guest at a con in... geeze, a couple days more than a week from now. I think I begin to see why Dave Sim quit going to cons after a certain point; they're awesome when they go well, but they interrupt rhythms, they're time that's just not spent turning blank paper into pages of story.
egypturnash: (absinthe)
I'm sitting here blocking on drawing chapter 2 of Absinthe.

One of the major blockages, I've realized, is the fact that we introduce a major character in this chapter - and I still haven't nailed down her design.

So, who out there would like to lend your likeness to the heavy in this story? She's in her teens, leads a gang, and gets to beat the fuck out of Absinthe (and may later have that favor returned). Fairly butch, though she will be seen in a lot of dresses because, well, I like to draw crazy dresses.

You don't have to be in your teens to be my model, but you pretty much do have to be a biological female.

What I need: Photos. From various angles. Hints of those interesting expressions as well as the normal ones. I can make up or find someone to use as inspiration, but I'd really rather have it be from, well, the kind of people this story is about.

Reply in comments with images, or send 'em to with the subject line of "casting call"!


Mar. 7th, 2010 02:35 pm
egypturnash: (absinthe)

Chapter 2 has a lot fewer two-page spreads than chapter 1 did; this is largely because 2 is about building the plot, rather than the setting. Although now that I look at it all laid out like this, I think I'm going to extract one panel and turn it into a spread - the story needs a dramatic pause there. It'll make it a little longer but it's not like I have a fixed page count that the economics of printing make me stay within!

Can you find the moment when an important new character is introduced, bringing their own particular mood to the color?
egypturnash: (absinthe)
Some email from [ profile] aprivatefox pointed me in the direction of the 'other' category of a new award. Absinthe is up for a 'Rose and Bay' award, which is about recognizing projects that connect the viewers/patrons (you!) directly with the creators (me and Nick!).

I'm not sure our little dirty comic has much of a chance against juggernaughts like Digger or Girl Genius... but on the other hand, holy fuck, it's pretty awesome to be on the same list as a comic done by someone I've been trying to draw like on and off since I was twelve.

Anyway! Vote for us if you wanna. And while we're talking about awards, I might as well mention that the Ursa Majors are open for nominations too.
egypturnash: (absinthe)
I'm walking home from Diesel. Got six pages thumbnailed, three left. Not bad considering how late I got going! Tomorrow i hope to thumbnail the sex spread and the last page; then the pencilling can begin at last! I'm really pleased with how chapter 2 is shaping up; Nick has some nice rhythms going on in the script; and I'm bringing in a nice set of my own beats, both short and long. Chapter 2 is where I'm really starting to feel like I'm working on a long piece, with its own large-scale structures at play.
egypturnash: (absinthe)
The whole of chapter one of Five Glasses Of Absinthe is now available online! If you've been waiting to read it, now would be a perfect time to start from the beginning. (NSFW, of course. But in the States it's a holiday!)

We're working on chapter 2 as fast as we can, and hope to have it start sometime this winter.

I should get the revised proofs of the first printed volume this Wednesday; if all went well with my edits I'm hoping to have it available just in time to sell them at Rainfurrest. They will also, of course, be available online via print-on-demand, but you won't be able to get a signed copy that way. (Though we can get you one of those too for a few bucks more to cover the extra shipping involved.)
egypturnash: (Default)
Went out to a couple of cafes with Nick today and worked on stuff. I now have all of the script he wrote for Chapter 2 in thumbnail form. There's some bits that really make me happy in there; it should be fun and surprising to draw. It might end up being a short chapter; how short depends on how much dialogue winds up happening before the sex scene.

We could make it longer but there are certain rhythms we want to establish. And, really, chapter 1 was originally intended to be around 24 pages but grew. I'm happy with chapter 2 being closer to that length. The required minimum hiatus will be a lot shorter that way!

It always surprises me how much work this part of the process is. I'm just doing crude little scribbles, I think; it should be easy! But it isn't; I'm deciding how to break up the script into pages and panels, deciding what kind of angle to take in each panel, how to throw them around the page... I'm doing some fairly complicated work at this phase. In some respects, everything is downhill from here, even when I'm sitting there filling endless detail on a crazy background - there's a lot of work to be done, but nothing that's as much heavy mental lifting. I'm blocking the shots, keeping track of continuity, thinking about how to layer body language onto the dialogue... it's complex stuff, and it leaves my brain feeling a little exhausted when I stop.


Aug. 21st, 2009 03:33 pm
egypturnash: (absinthe)

I was sitting at the computer fiddling with some stuff when I saw a mail van drive up, stop in front of our building, and take off. I went down and THERE IT WAS! The Absinthe book!

There are a few things that need tweaking - Nick pointed out that it needs an "ADULTS ONLY" warning on the cover, and there's a little text that gets cut off in one place (plus it's generally just too close to the edge, I might have misinterpreted the directions on trim size) but overall it looks pretty good, and it's really satisfying to have a year's labor sitting there in my hands!

I think the changes I need to make might merit a second test print. Also I'm thinking I might try it through Amazon's Createspace which offers better prices (I only found out about them this week). Gotta decide if the timing will be too tight to have them for Rainfurrest. But... BOOK!


Aug. 19th, 2009 05:17 pm
egypturnash: (Default)

A little something for a project we'll be starting... sometime. Dunno. I did some very preliminary web design for this project's site and this is a rough for the front page.

I really should hack up the "Absinthe is adults only!" thing for the front of Absinthe, too. I had something in the old version of the site but it never got re-implemented for the Wordpress version. I did at least tweak around the backdrops page to make it a lot easier to maintain. (It's not linked on the main site; it shows up if you donate a few bucks.)

And on the subject of Absinthe, I got told in IM that it put someone in mind of The Spider Garden without all the political intrigue. Which is pretty damn awesome because that and xXxenophile are the only two* adult comics I've actually enjoyed reading without feeling ashamed afterwards.

* well, okay, I still kinda have a soft spot for Cutey Bunny too.
egypturnash: (Default)
Lately, a few people have noted that Absinthe is kind of, well, a dangerous psycho.

Yes, yes she is. She's also narcissistic, supernaturally good at stealing things, and really not good at relating to people. She's not a nice person but she's an interesting person. Or at least we hope she is. If you have trouble sympathizing with her at times - thinking like a psycho isn't comfortable; congratulations, you're not one yourself! (Probably.)

I don't want to spoil the story - but I'll say that all the bad stuff Absinthe's done so far, plus bad stuff she's yet to do, does catch up with her. And along the way there will be lots of pretty scenes and the odd bit of strange sex.

oh yeah, and while I've finished drawing chapter 1, there's still seven pages of it in the queue.
egypturnash: (Default)
Woo. I should have a proof of the first bound volume of Absinthe in 5-8 days. If all goes well I'll be making them publicly available, and putting in an order for a small pile to sell at Rainfurrest.

I still haven't decided on a price; probably something in the $15-20 range. If you're going to Rainfurrest and would like to get a signed copy, let me know - I want to be sure I'll have enough books to meet the demand!


Aug. 13th, 2009 10:59 pm
egypturnash: (Default)
Chapter 1 of Five Glasses Of Absinthe is now entirely finished and uploaded!

Now to decide what belongs on the cover of the first collected volume and see how it looks when Lulu prints it out. I also have a couple little tweaks to the lettering to do before that happens, but those are minor. I dunno if we'll get many sales of it, but damnit, I want a physical signifier to put on my shelf after all this work!

And then a hiatus while I work on this winter's gallery show and some other things that are not Absinthe. I'm hoping to have chapter 2 starting sometime before the end of the year but I'm not making any promises; this comic is a ton of work to draw.


Jul. 30th, 2009 09:23 am
egypturnash: (Default)

I've decided to try and finish at least one panel every day for the next couple of weeks - otherwise I'll overrun my buffer. This is a closeup of today's panel, the third one on page 28. You'll be seeing it in full context in a couple of weeks.

The end of chapter 1 is approaching fast; there'll be a hiatus while we get the next chapter together. We've got a few ideas to keep people interested during the lull, but mostly we're relying on the power of RSS subscriptions to keep our audience.
egypturnash: (Default)
Oh, wow. Last night I laid the whole first chapter up in InDesign, complete with title page, space for some sketches at the end, and so on. I just brought in one last element and printed it out.

Even printed out on cheap paper at low-quality settings, this comic is a colorful slap in the face. My color tricks are working. I'm definitely gonna be putting this thing up for print-on-demand; I can't wait to see what it looks like on decent paper and properly bound instead of in a pile of loose sheets held in my hand!

But first I have to finish four more pages! And do a front and back cover but I have ideas for that...
egypturnash: (Default)
Yay! I finally finished the double-page spread of 22/23, which means I get to upload everything up to page 27. The queue was getting dangerously low. Now I've got about a month in it.

Just four more pages to do in Illustrator, and I'll be done with the first chapter.

Is there any interest in me doing a physical book of the first chapter via print-on-demand? It'd be 32 pages of comic plus whatever extra stuff I throw in - maybe some sketchbook, a little of the fan art, I dunno. Call it forty pages plus cover and we get around $15 for a 7.5" square full-color book with a little bit of profit for us...
egypturnash: (Default)
"You can tell it's Phil because of the GIANT GRINNING FACE belt buckle."
"Yeah, but that face... he looks like Peter Griffin. He's one step away from nutsack chin."
*draws excessive stubble on the chin, giggles, and adds a penis for good measure*

(I dug up some more photo ref and did much better caricatures after this exchange. Another page done!)

(Also, 2:10AM: I woke up from my 1AM nap with a headache that's saying I should go back to sleep. Which... I think I'm gonna do. I can't decide if it's a "squinting at the screen too late at night" headache or a "needs food" headache. This sleep insanity would be easier if we had a couch I could sprawl on and read or draw in the middle of the night, really... staring at a screen for most of 24 hours can't be a good idea.)
egypturnash: (absinthe)
This week, the setting of the story begins to dramatically change.

Also, I am three panels of party scene and one jumble of buildings away from only having the sex scene left to do. I would be two panels of party scene and one jumble of buildings away, but Illustrator just crashed on me and ate some work. Drat.

(excerpt from page 25)

You can see why these are taking a while. I'm not sure if these are harder than the panels stuffed full of crazy overbuilt city or not; I still have to pull all kinds of detail out of my ass, and I have to put expressions appropriate to the scene on everyone, too! It's fun, though.


egypturnash: (Default)
Margaret Trauth

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