by Brian Fies An Eisner Award-nominated work in progress. Updated Tuesday and Friday. Starts HERE.
Helen looks a bit different here, maybe its the closeups or the anger. But she still looks like Jessica Rabbit ;)
I need a disclaimer: "Each comic strip is a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted product with natural variations that characterize its creator's limited skills and daily mood." Sepp, you've hit on something I've actually given some thought to. I have model sheets and think I've done a good job of keeping the characters' looks consistent over time (which is hard to do when you draw them over the course of a year and more). But I'm not a slave to my models; I think you've got to allow yourself to draw in the moment, too. Along the same lines, I have a story outline but I'm not afraid to let the tale wander where it wants for a day or two, as long as it winds up back on the path. I work to get the big stuff right but not sweat the small stuff. It's a comic strip, not an architectural rendering; spontaneity counts.What doesn't show up in black and white is that Helen is wearing stockings/tights, which I think makes her look a bit more professional and less cocktail-hour. In designing her admittedly odd dress, I thought about how fashion might evolve in a world that had a Superman. It'd influence everyday things. Helen's puffy straps/shoulder pads are (to me) evocative of Silver Age retro-future costume design like you might find in, say, the old "Legion of Super Heroes" comic book. I don't cover the walls of my studio with photos of actors, but I think Helen looks like a young Amy Adams. Thanks again for this and your other comments!
Brian, thank you for the insights!Very interesting that the story is not planned out to every last bit. That sounds like a very good way to keep the artist (you!) interested and curious. I think it's important to have a "living" line. If you would draw each view of a character as if it were a computer rendering from a 3D model, it would lose a lot of life and spontaneity. You do a very fine job of keeping the characters consistent and still "warm" and interesting. I did some character sketches a while ago, and it is very hard to do!Helen somehow gives me a 50s retro vibe... so for me you succeeded with the costume choice.And Amy Adams would be a very good fit for Helen!
I really need to focus on the "today" part of the script but I keep going to back to wondering where the LMM programming is going to go wrong this time. My guess is that Sparky doesn't know about the $20 bill redesign and the LMM rejects everything but maybe a bunch of $1 bills.
I think Helen looks a bit like Brenda Starr on this page, espevially when shouting.
As I follow the colored version on GoComics, I like to periodically come back to re-read this version. I'd forgotten how much background and other interesting information Brian supplied us in these comments. Thanks, Brian... for both versions.
You're welcome, Bob, and thank you!