Testing out inks and paints on old pages

Chapter 17 status update

14 Comments on Chapter 17 status update

(Don’t get too excited – those aren’t new pages. Yet.)

Hello, everyone. Progress on Chapter 17 has been slow, but it’s coming. The tl;dr is that the script is finished, page layouts are finished for about half the chapter, and I’ve started penciling the first few pages. I’m also experimenting with different materials for shading, practicing by redoing pages from Chapters 15 and 16 (see the image above).

We’ve got a new Discord server for chatting, and a Twitch channel for streaming video while I work on pages (painting practice for now; new pages as I get there). Come hang out if you’re so inclined!

If you’d like some new things to read while you’re waiting for Chapter 17, the SpiderForest Webcomic Collective recently announced the new member comics from this year’s round of applications. There’s pirates and dustbunnies and deep existential questions and everything in between – go take a look!


Chapter 17 progress, more in-depth:

We’re revamping our comic-making process and doing some things differently for the new chapter. Writing-wise, I’ve taken over converting our chat log rough drafts into comic script. For previous chapters, Chezhnian, as the story creator, GM, and holder of all the cards (and all the GM-to-player chat logs), would write the first pass of script, then she’d send it to me for edits and we’d go back and forth with it from there. Since she’s been pretty constantly busy, and since I enjoy editing anyway, I did the initial script conversion myself this time. The collaboration process went something like this:

  • I read through the chat logs for this chapter (63 pages long when pasted into a word processor) and made an outline of everything that happens in the story, taking notes on what should be updated/changed/skipped/retconned for the comic version
  • Went over the outline with Chezhnian via video chat, discussing the story and asking questions
  • Once we agreed on the changes and what we wanted the chapter to look like, I put together an actual first-draft script
  • We read through the script draft together and made another round of edits
  • I did some more polishing, then Chezhnian approved the final version and I started storyboarding out the pages

This chapter’s looking like it will be around 60 pages long. So far I’ve got 31 pages laid out and scanned into Clip Studio Paint (aka Manga Studio), with dialogue added. I’m trying out doing rough penciling digitally this chapter, right on top of the layout sketches, then printing them to refine and ink on paper.

I decided to shade pages using monochrome watercolor washes rather than pencils for this chapter. In some ways they’re more work than pencils, but I think the paints look nicer, they don’t subject my wrist to quite as much abuse, and they’re way more fun to work with than pencils. Right now I’m experimenting with different paints, inks, and papers to see how they behave and decide which ones I want to use. If you’d like to watch me paint some practice pages, I’ve started broadcasting on Twitch while I work (currently on Tuesday and Saturday nights EDT, but the schedule may change in the future). Feel free to come chat and ask questions if you’d like, and let me know if you have requests for different stream-session times; I’ll see what I can accommodate.

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe, wherever you are, and that good things are finding their way to you however they can. Take care, everybody.