Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lady sketches.

Fashionable lady from The Sartorialist. I think she's taking her gloves off, not that she has a crazy hand.
Lady in the street from The Sartorialist.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Comic Review: Octopus Pie

Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran (There are no stars in Brooklyn (2010), and Listen at home (2011))

I got both the Octopus Pie books at the same time, which you saw a while ago if you follow me on Twitter (@lunavalse). I have seen her at a number of cons on panels and found her interesting. She has an interesting take on the web comic. She waits until a whole story line is complete (they aren’t super long) and then posts the whole thing at once. As a reader, I am not a fan of this style but that is because I am a horrible creature of habit and like to check my web comics on a set schedule by day of the week.

Anyways, I saw a comic of hers that someone linked to, Sarah Beacon on Sauceome if I remember right – I think it was a comic about peeing on a bike or something, but that sounds gross and not quite right. Anyways, I saw the comic and laughed really hard and went home and bought the books.
Octopus Pie is about a post college girl, Eve Ning, and her friends. Eve is so snarky so I quite enjoy her. Actually, she story style reminds me a lot of Questionable Content. Eve even reminds me of Faye a bit. So we follow them through their lives and they are about where I am now, or actually a few years ago, so it is really relatable for me. Hannah, an acquaintance from preschool, ends up moving in with her and they become friends. She is quite active and an instigator of lots of the commotion in the stories. Eve seems like she would quietly sit about her apartment at all times without the hyper Hannah to get her off her butt (like me). Hannah’s beau, Marek, is a great counter piece to Hanah, help provide a ground point for her. Hannah appears to still be in college, but it doesn’t come up.

The first book was more like a long meandering story even though they both have chapters. I think I noticed the chapter sections more in book 2 because she also included text describing the story: her forethoughts and afterthoughts. This included answer some questions and responding to comments that readers had when the story was originally published online. Nothing specific, but just general responses to trends she noticed, like explaining confusing points and characters.

Over the course of the first book – the art style changes. It starts out very smooth and exact. I am assuming this is digital inking. It looks great. Then towards the end, there is a story that changes to a reedy style, perhaps a nib pen. The lines are jagged and less precise. Then the next story switched to a thicker more varied line. I would guess a brush. These are probably horrible guesses but they have the looks I associated with each of those tools. I prefer the original style, but the final style she seems to have ended on is still nice.
Regardless of her line style, her character design is fun and varied. The characters have a wide range of sizes and genders and backgrounds and it is really fun to watch them all interact and piss each other off and have fun together.

I pounded through these two books in about 4 days (I did other stuff too). I adored them and I am so sad they are over. I can’t wait for the next one, whenever that will be. I want more even months later. More!! I definitely recommend these. You can even read them for free on her website, but if you like them, you should buy something from her because they are so great. She’s also got posters and shirts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Ysolda is a great knitting designer. This is a picture of her from this post on her blog. Isn't she adorable? She has a great looking knitting book out, Little Red in the City, and I WANT IT.   >:D
This is an adorable outfit from this collection on ModCloth (last one). So fun to draw these. ModCloth has such colorful clothes!

Monday, November 21, 2011


 This one was so fun. From ModCloth, 7th in this list. And I used my fun Copic markers. Yay! I think I need more colors.
I accidentally made this lady from the first image in this Sartorialist post look more like a child than I had intended. I think her head is just too big.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Undies and more!

So I haven't posted, but I kept drawing. Abe was working for the last two days so my scanner was unavailable. Because I am lazy and make Abe scan everything.
Lovely dress from ModCloth.
And of course sketches from Sartorialist.
 Not sure how this happened but I majorly elongated her.
And I was watching Psych, so I drew Shawn Spencer. Whenever I see him, I ogle his nostrils. Man, that show cracks me up.
Strong undies.
Dancing, romantic undies.
Dancing undies
Muscular undies.

And we are all caught up. Just thought I would mention I have the inks finished for my current comic in process A (CCIPA). Abe is scanning it as I write this. Then it needs to be printed so I can color it. Or I will color the originals. I don't know what is the best or most common method. Copic Markers. I am also working on a poem for CCIPB. It is rhymed and metered and I keep sending it to my mom and she says to make it better. She is a poet, so I trust her judgement. So keep working I shall.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I think you got it...
Natural progression, I think. Animal yawns.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lady Pinup

I wanted to do a color test of the lady and the car, so I thought what sort of picture could I do with a lady and a car. Well, the lady/car pinup is pretty standard. So here she is!

I am so not sure what to do about the color problems though. The colors from the Copic markers just won't come through right. Abe has a few more tests to do to see if he can get the colors right, but I might have to color the story on the computer which I am not as excited about. Copics are really fun.
I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She cracks me up. And I have so much fun watching The New Adventures of Old Christine. I am bummed it was canceled. I think I made her face to long in that drawing though. Doesn't really look like her.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Practice drawings of unnamed character

Same fella sitting at a fireplace drinking some lovely tea. Comfy looking slippers, no?
The color in this looks a billion times better in person, but apparently my favorite Copic markers to use are the ones that come through the worst.
Sartorialist archives for this one. A bit exaggerated.
And this one I tried to make her elongated and cartoony and then forgot and just made her elongated.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Puss in Boots

 Abe and I saw Puss in Boots this weekend and it was delightful. I was feeling a bit blue and it was a nice reprieve. I think I laughed more than anyone else in the theater, but it always feels like that.

Here I was trying to really go for the blacks - inspired by Mike Mignola's stunning work. From The Sartorialist.
And here, as I watched Kitchen Nightmares, I was trying to go for a more cartoony style. From The Sartorialist.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Character colors

More practicing for the short comic I am working on now. These are all I worked on last night. :|
Practice ink of the guy.
I think I want to color this comic with Copic markers, like I did Lemming, so I did some test colors. I don't think that is the suit he will actually wear, but for some reason I wanted to draw him in a polyester leisure suit. The numbers are to identify the markers I used so I could reproduce it.
And a sketch of the lady. Her hands will likely be smaller in the comics.
And here are the color tests for her.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Japanese masks

Boy were these fun to draw. I just did a google search on Japanese masks because I have an idea for an upcoming story. But now I am confused about which type of mask I am supposed to look up and what the differences are. To the Research Machine! Not really. I am too tired, but maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

INKtober day 31

First up, I did this last night. Based off this great dress.
This is from Halloween. This was inspired by Lucy Knisley dressed as a squid for Halloween. (She's an awesome cartoonist, fyi.)
Bat Girl costume based on this adorable costume from Ye Olde Fashion.
And of course, because I am addicted to it, this lady from The Sartorialist.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Comic Review: Hollow Fields

Seven Seas, 2009, $14.99

I got this book a long time ago, so I don’t really know what drew me to it, but I would assume the cute cover with the great colors.  This one is manga, I think. It follows the right to left pattern and everything. I often don’t like manga. For example, I started reading Nana and couldn’t even get far enough in to meet the second Nana. That one may have been particularly brutal, though. Brutal = ridiculously girly.
Fan art of Stinch
Hollow Fields is about a school for budding evil mad scientists – kids about 9 or 10 years old. Like a grade school or something. A normal kid accidentally gets lost and wanders into the mad scientist school without realizing. With a little help from her one friend and a little luck, she makes it through by the skin of her overly sweet teeth. In the end notes, the creator points out that she made the main popular mean girl blonde because she originally had black hair and there were too many people with dark hair. So she says instead of blonde, she has lavender hair so she doesn't fall into the blonde mean girl cliche. In the black and white art… That made me laugh. J

The story was also cutesy, maybe more cutsey than the art even. When I read it consistantly, I liked it. I put it down in the middle for almost a year, but when I picked it back up, I got right back into it.  Sometimes, it was too childish. The headmistress was forcefully sneaky, saying things like "That thing I don’t talk about" and the "secret to hollow fields" over and over even though she was in a secluded room with the person she worked on "the secret" with. The evil was also very cliché. Really, there was just lots of cliché. But with the cliché was a lot of interesting story idea that kept me enjoying it and let me get past all the cliché.

Most of the characters are girls. They are powerful and smart. The only two main fellas have their strengths – they are very smart – but that is about it. They are whiny and have a very hard time accomplishing their goals because their hands are tied by rules and bad luck.

I thought the character design was great, and as much as I often don’t enjoy manga stories, I do often like the style. It was very cutesy, but in an adorable way. Okay, sometimes it was too much. But this is a story about 9 year old or so so cutesy is appropriate.

The layouts were sometimes hard to follow. But again, this might have been a translation thing from having to switch to the right-to-left organization. I have read other manga, like Vampire Hunter D, but not enough to be used to it yet.

I bet a 10 or 11 year old girl would like this a lot. The four most main characters are all girls. While I was reading it, I was sucked in, but that’s not saying much because I had the same reaction to Twilight. Maybe that is just my reaction to guilty pleasures. If I think about it, I could take it or leave it, but while I am reading it I can’t put it down.

P.S. I did my sketches for INKtober last night, but I haven't scanned them yet. I will post them tomorrow.