Hell, Inc. Production Diary part 1

Hell, Inc. is the newest project that I’ve spawned from my thinky-meats, and last night I finished page 24, the final story page. I still need to finish the covers, and do the dreaded digital pre-press, but it seems like it should be all finished in time for Indie Week.

Hell, Inc. started as the project I intended to work on for 24 Hour Comic Day, but my immune system crapped out on me and I ended up with the flu instead. I tinkered with the art style for the project in an attempt to make it something that I could draw really quickly, but over the course of working on it I realized that there were a lot of pages that took WAY longer than I had anticipated. Another thing I didn’t anticipate was that there were A LOT of talking heads, and trying to keep that visually fresh is probably one of the toughest things in comic art. I remember showing my work to an editor at Dark Horse and one of her main comments was that I was using a lot of the same angles over and over again, and since then I’ve made a conscious effort to address that. I now have Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work sitting next to my drawing table in case I get stuck while looking for some variety.

The character designs also lost some of their cartooniness at some point during the art process. I’d been reading collections of old Spy Vs. Spy comics around the time I started designing the cast, and there was a lot of that kind of simplicity in them. B.L. Zebub is the only character who didn’t get much detail added to him, since he’s mostly a giant black blob. Doug got a lot more detail touches to him, like shirt wrinkles and and stuff.

Tomorrow I shall endeavour to post some art, which I haven’t gotten started scanning yet. I was going to do it tonight, but I forgot that I had a dodgeball game.

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