Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 - Mathematical!

So for me this is my first day back on the JOB since the holidays. Starting a fresh new year is all ways exciting and I couldn't wait to get back to working on comics.

December was fairly productive despite all the December distractions. I started using a time tracker app on my iPhone to see just how much time I actually spent working on comics over the last 3 weeks. Yeah, stupid time to start tracking hours when you're knee deep in the holiday season but there you go.

Things broke down as such:
Week One:    17.6 Hours
Week Two:     9.8 Hours
Week Three: 13.5 Hours

I attempted to not start kicking myself with only minor success seeing the results.

It got me thinking though. What IF I actually managed to put in an 8 hour day / 40 hour week doing comics in this "full time" manner I've been yammering on about? Deciding (agonizing over) to only work on one book at a time I figured I should be able to do 1 - 2 page of Angora Napkin a day. So today I got to put theory to test and clock my time while attempting 2 finished pages.

I had thumbnails for Pg 51 & 52 done before I started today at 8:30.

I roughed out the two pages on 8.5 X 11 paper while sipping wicked hot coffee at Starbucks. I really hit my stride somewhere between "Song 2" by Blur and "I Can't Stop Partying" by Weezer on my iPod. I guess that's when the caffeine kicked in.

Finishing that I ran some quick errands, picked up a new pad of Bristol board and a syringe for ink refills and made my way home. Note to self: driving downtown for coffee every day ends up A) costing a lot of money on coffee and B) eats up a lot of time. (None the less, I need to get out of the house once and a while or I go mental.)

Home, and the blank pages await!

I lightbox pencil one page out before stopping for lunch and a chat with Brenda, then back at page 2. Here it is all lettered.

And then... The Moment...

My awesome girlfriend got me this SWEET new brush pen for Christmas and today's pages would be it's trial run. I've been long using the Pentel Brush Pen (and love it) but came across this one on a pen fetish web site one day. It claimed to put the synthetic Pentel to shame with it's real sable hair bristles. I'm probably more excited about this then I should be. Brenda asked me if she should be jealous.... The jury's out on that for the moment.

So, I pop in the in cartridge and spend some time getting the ink flowing. I ink a panel, frown and go rise out the crappy ink in the cartridge and refill it with good old Rotering ink. Ahhh - satisfyingly black! 

It's a tricky brush pen! Shorter bristles then the Pentel and it really holds a lot of ink! I smeared a lot of lines because the ink came out so fluid as to not dry quickly enough for my impatient inking. Also, I had to (with great fear) scalpel off the very tip of the brush as it was a hair too long and kept catching on turns. It's going to take some getting used to but by the end I was getting better at it.

Too much pen info? Deal with it.

And so, having not drawn much of anything in a week or so and wrestling with a new tool my wrist was killing me by the end of page one. I checked the clock and took a dinner break. 

Determined, I set back to it after pizza. (Thank you Mom & Dad, I love my new toaster oven - you can cook a whole pizza in it!)

How did things break down?
(I'd gauge these pages as being a safe 2.5 (out of 5) for difficulty / complexity.)
Note to Self: I'd only finished inking 1/4 of the first page by 5:00

Roughing 2 pages:   2.1 Hours
Penciling 2 pages:    1.4 Hours
Letting 2 pages:       1.25 Hours
Inking 1st page:        2.0 Hours
Inking 2nd page:      1.6 Hours

TOTAL:                  8:35 Hours

SUCCESS! I completed 2 pages in one work day!

I think I'll continue to clock and blog my work week and see how things go. Might even set up the web cam and do some Livestreaming at some point, so stay tuned!


Blair Kitchen said...

Awesome. I'm going to take a bit of time off from boarding starting next week sometime, and I think I'll try to clock my hours too. It's boggling how many hours I waste trying not to storyboard, but hopefully if it's just comics, I can focus on the task at hand.

Great post.

T├ęgu Galpa said...

Excellent work, Troy. The challenge is to do it, which you have, and the task is to keep it going.
Like any habit, it will feed itself... as if I would really know... ;- )

Troy Little said...

@ Blair - Good to hear, I'm jonesing for more Possum! I'd be curious to see how other people break down their time as well.

@ Tegu - Thanks, and I hope it DOES become a habit. I'm about to start Day 2 now!