November 19th, 2015

Page with the panel frames drawn.
This is the moment I like best about drawing a comic page: the page is ready to be drawn. I know what is to happen in those panels, and how, the dialogues, the sounds, the emotions. The smells, the temperature, the atmosphere.
All I have to do is just draw it. No confrontation yet with my limitations, with what won't turn out the way I want it, with how it doesn't work as well as I thought it would.
Only the promise of a new comic page.
October 22nd, 2015

OCs: a rant

Coloured drawing of Ohn Mar.
This is a little drawing of Ohn Mar. That's about all I succeeded to do for the Oc-tober, the challenge to draw one of your original characters - OCs - every day of the month. I made some sketches of some really old characters from some stories I made last century, but somehow, it just didn't work. They weren't those characters anymore. I should've known.
I don't have OCs.
I have stories.
Same difference, I can hear you think. There's loads of original characters in them, so that's loads of OCs. I'm really starting to think that's not true. An original character in your story is not what people seem to mean by an OCs. With OCs, you're supposed to know the favourite food of a character. How he or she would dance with some other OC. What they would wear on a masked ball. How should I know, if it never happened?
The stories happen to the characters, the characters happen to the stories. The characters don't exist outside the story. When a story is finished, the characters are finished too. You could say that behind the stages of my mind, there's only rough cloth, smelly paint and cheap wood. I can invent a favourite food that would fit the story, but somehow, it's not the same. It feels like cheating.
But I don't mind. To each their own way of working, I suppose, and I really enjoy seeing posts where OCs are given such love. Just don't expect many of them from me...
October 1st, 2015

Page 200

Pencilled comic panel.
Not a terribly special page, but it's still number 200! :)
September 30th, 2015

Bath house

Fantasy is often inspired by the middle ages. It doesn't mean that everything is historically correct, just that things look like kind of around that time. I'm doing the same thing, only with a different chapter in the history book, like plenty of other fantasy does. I suppose the main reason is that I don't terribly like the middle ages, but I do like the classical time periods. :)
But it's handy as well. I don't have to invent everything - just YouTube how spinning wool was done -, I don't have to explain what's normal and what isn't - a pool table is definitely an odd component in the scene - and there's plenty of inspiration to be found for the scenes where conversations have to happen. Like bath houses.
Pencilled comic page.
I really enjoyed reading up on them, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that at some point in time, they were mixed gender. More fun to draw.
August 13th, 2015

Outcast Studios Minizine #9

Cover of Outcast Studios 9
Fancy some comic reading? You're in luck!
The ninth installment of the Outcast Studios Minizine is out and can be found here, filled to the brim with suspense, excitement, mystery and cake!
July 30th, 2015

A page of Polidor

Inked comic page.
First page of the second issue of Polidor. The first installment will appear soon in the Outcast Studios Minizine #9.
July 9th, 2015

Outcast Studios Minizine

Hey! Do you feel like making a short comic, but you just need a deadline?
Well. This is issue 8 of the Outcast Studios Minizine:
Cover of Outcast Studios 8
You're too late to be part of it. :P
But the good news is: issue 9 is planned for the beginning of August and is looking for comics. All details about what and how can be found here. I hope to see your comic appearing in it too. :)
July 8th, 2015

Page 189 from start to finish

Because I really like seeing this kind of posts from other people: a step by step of page 189.

Step 1.

The thumbs, a vague idea of a pose, and the dialogue. The dialogue often changes in the end to fit the text balloons, but it gives me enough of an idea.

Step 2.

Blue pencilled comic page.
The poses in blue pencil. This can end up very messy, but the blue is easy to remove digitally from the scans.

Step 3.

Grey pencilled comic page.
The scene in grey pencil. This contains all the detail I want to have in the inks.

Step 4.

Raw scan of inked comic page.
The pencilled image is scanned, the blue is removed and it's printed in very light cyan. I ink on this print. It's not that clear to see here, but there is blue in between those inks.

Step 5.

Inked comic page.
The blacks are made black, the whites more white, and the image is rotated a bit so that at least the bottom line is horizontal. (I suspect there's a very slight skew on the scanner or the printer, because the angles are never quite 90°.)

Step 6.

Lettered comic page.
I use Inkscape to add the text, one layer for Dutch, one for English.
And that's it. :)
June 24th, 2015

Bye Nrwar...

Pencilled comic panel.
...I really enjoyed drawing you. But having a name really isn't enough to survive in my stories, I suppose...
May 27th, 2015

The rules of magic

Does magic require a strict elaborate set of rules to be realistic, or does that defeat the whole purpose of magic?
I've read interesting articles defending either side of the question, but I think there's no correct answer. It depends on the story.
For Per'Bat, I won't detail out complex rules, because I feel it's not necessary. But it doesn't mean I haven't set out some patterns and rules for myself, to give it an air of consistency. (I hope. :) )
Pencilled comic panel.
It's been mentioned in the previous part that the Ruler of the Five Thoughts needs an instrument for his magic, and here it is: spell work on strings!
May 21st, 2015

Page 181-182

Pencilled comic page.
... as a whole page.
May 3rd, 2015


Inked bookmarks.
I'm working on some Per'Bat themed bookmarks. I hope to bring some tothe comic fair in Knokke-Heist on the 10th of May.
April 21st, 2015

Sword belts and pregnancy

Pencilled comic page.
It didn't turn out as the funny little scene I was aiming for, but at least she's doing something while talking... :)
April 1st, 2015

Road markers

What I like a lot about making fantasy, is the little details you can incorporate in the background. Even though I don't flesh them out, I enjoy inventing them and I feel they add a bit of continuity to it all. Road markers were already mentioned in the beginning of part two, to keep the main roads free of snow.
Pencilled comic panel.
And now there are some other ones, this time to guard a mule track. I made them resemble the piles of stones you sometimes see along mountain paths, to make them feel less out of place high up in the mountains.
Inked comic panel.
March 11th, 2015

Page 175

One of those cases where I prefer the pencils over the final inks...
Pencilled comic panel.
Pencilled comic panel.
March 4th, 2015

Page 175

Inked tree.
I like trees. I admit that too often, my trees are of the indistinct kind, but this time I felt a willow would look nice...
Blue pencilled comic panel.
February 18th, 2015

Page 168

They say that you draw from experience when you write stories. I suppose that's inevitable, inspiration always comes from somewhere.
Pencilled comic panel.
Back in my childhood, my parents dug a hole in the back yard for the sand pit. At some point an obus was unearthed; a rusty chunk of metal, dating back to world war one. My dad put it in a hole of an electricity pole for DOVO, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal battalion of the Belgian army, to pick it up and dispose of it. And that was it. A normal thing in a region which had seen war almost a century ago.
So when I needed some kind of magical accident on the old battlefields of the Demon War...
February 14th, 2015

Page 165-166

Pencilled comic panel.
These are the pencils for pages 165 and 166. I wanted a nice opening page for part 3 of Per'Bat, which could be cut in half so that it fitted my landscape pages for the web comic.
I used Sagalassos as inspiration for Darvia, the antique looking city.