Letters to Holly

Friday, October 15

New Art Project

It can't all be baby stuff, you know.

When I registered for next year's Fanaticon, I was asked about a collector-card marketing idea. The organizers would gather specially made art from the con artists and distribute them throughout the area to promote the show. I liked the idea a lot. It would also be an ad for my material and put my name in people's heads. I decided to make a card promoting the comics I'll make and sell next year; they'll feature this year's heroine (Focus) and next year's (eMMA). The two heroine comics will be connected.

The card will be 2.5 x 3.5 inches, and I made a cardboard frame to sketch out my ideas. The initial idea was solid enough; it allows text space on the top left, which I plan to run diagonally.

eMMA's pose was right from the start, but Focus was crammed in that corner. I sketched out more poses for her.

Also, I needed to flesh out eMMA's championship belt, which holds a significant place in her origin as a professional fighting robot. Her organization is called SCRAP, a play on junk metal and fighting, and I wanted the belt to be over-the-top and aggressive. The WWE has a Diva's championship, and while I like the design, the feminine aesthetic isn't where I'd lean for eMMA and her adversaries.

I wanted to get away from traditional belt shapes too. Really play it up for a "comic book" flair.

My design ideas temporarily lead me to resketch the card as a champion pose, but it felt very similar to what I did for MetroBEAT some years back.

Soon, I had the belt design, and that led to ideas for more stories. I also played with text for the card.

I doubled the card dimensions for a tighter sketch and soon thought the poses were a bit stiff. I made arrows to suggest how to turn the figures for better effect before reconsidering; I decided I'd obscure the costumes too much. Not that eMMA's is a complicated design. It's a basic work-out outfit, like what real women fighters wear. I removed the sponsor logos though. eMMA will ditch those soon after she leaves SCRAP.

I got some reference pics from Your Game Sister before measuring out large dimensions on a cardstock page for the pencils. This scan was color corrected; the pencils are black, not blue. I'm overthinking eMMA's torso muscles and overworking her hair. Focus was a breeze to draw.

Unfortunately, instead of happily posing for battle, I see them dancing. This scan points out other tweaks I need to make. I may start inking this weekend. Your Sister is still hoping to join the motorcycle run, and I'll stay home with Keebler.

I made reservations for next year's DragonCon in Atlanta, and the hotel offered us a free playpen/crib for the sidekick. Double score! He again refused to listen to me read to him, and I was reduced to singing The Police before putting him down.

Still haven't heard anything about the roller derby logo.

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