Lost Ship Retrospective

Reflecting on how the project went, tools I used, and what’s coming next

Last week I wrapped up Lost Ship, a sci-fi comic I had been working on since September 2018. It’s my third finished comic, and I leveled up quite a bit while working on it.

I have been reflecting on the project and how it went as I figure out what’s next. Here’s a look at the making of Lost Ship.

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Re-Lettering Lost Ship

Why I decided to redo my hand lettering with a font

As I have been wrapping up Lost Ship, I began to worry about the legibility of the lettering in the comic. My lettering has improved over the last year, but some of it is a little rocky.

So I decided to re-letter the comic with a font. It’s incredibly important to me that people can read the comic. While the lettering lost a bit of character in the move to being a font, I believe it’s a worthwhile change because it’s much easier to read.

Side-by-side of the hand lettering vs font on a text-heavy page
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Lost Ship Concept Art

A look at the ship, character, and emblem designs

I’ve been working on Lost Ship for the last few months, and it’s nearly complete (woohoo!). It’s a sci-fi comic about a small crew that explores the unknown parts of the universe.

All that’s left to do is print the project and release it out into the world. Before that happens, I thought it’d be cool to share a bunch of concept art from the pre-production phases of the project.

At the time I started the project, I was really into drawing different ship designs, which is what led to the initial idea for the comic.

The final designs varied a little bit from those initial ships above.

Exterior and interior designs for the Babylon and Mesa
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A Look Into the Process of Making Lost Ship

Trying a new step where I make a med-fi pencil mock-up after doing thumbnails

I’ve been working on a new 28-page comic called Lost Ship over the last two months, and it’s been enjoyable to work on a project that’s pretty small in scope. It’s about a small crew that explores space to try to discover new things.

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NINA

A four-page sci-fi micro-comic

I made this little comic called NINA over the last few weeks as a way to get back into drawing page-sized comics traditionally and experiment with some new tools. It’s inspired by Blade Runner and Tsutomu Nihei’s Blame!. It was drawn on 9″ x 12″ bristol with technical pens. I added tone in Clip Studio Paint. I hope you enjoy it.

NINA_001NINA_002NINA_003NINA_004

Reflecting on a Year of Making Comics

How it’s been going and my aspirations for the next year, plus a collection of my art from the first year

I started making comics seriously a year ago in September 2017. It was an intentional change from exploring the world of filmmaking with the hopes of being able to tell visual stories entirely on my own. I can’t believe that a year has flown by. I’ve been enjoying the process of making comics and growing as an artist. It’s been slow going at times but ultimately rewarding.

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From Thumbnail to Ink to Color

A peek at my process for iterating on a comic panel

When making the art for a comic, I do a rough sketch, letter the text and sound effects, ink over the rough sketch, and then add Color.

Here’s what a panel from Lunar Space Colony looks like in the rough thumbnail stage:

LSC Panel Thumbnail - Rough - Fran's Couch

And then after inking:

LSC Panel Inked - Fran's Couch

I’ve tried skipping the rough sketch to see if I could speed up my process, but then I end up lost when trying to figure out what goes where at the inking stage.

Once the inking is done, I go in and add color:

LSC Panel Color - Fran's Couch

Lunar Space Colony has a pretty limited color palette since I’m still learning color and need to work relatively quickly with the weekly deadline.

That’s the evolution of a panel from sketch to ink to color. I’m sure that evolution will only get better and better as I improve as an artist.

I’m going to start publishing Lunar Space Colony in only a few days! On Tuesday, July 3rd, I’ll publish the first three episodes and then publish a new episode every Tuesday after. I’ve hit my stride with the project and am enjoying working on it. I’m excited to share it publicly soon! 🙂