Adding “Rest Pages” To Your Comic

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Well, since I’m still busy preparing this year’s Halloween comic at the time of writing, I thought that I’d talk briefly about something that can make longer comics projects slightly easier.

As regular readers probably know, I tend to have something of a short creative attention span. It is, for example, why I release my occasional webcomics in mini series of 6-17 daily comic updates (well, more like 6-12 updates these days).

So, making a full-colour A4-size Halloween comic that will be 12 pages in length (including the cover) is something of a stretch for me. But, as I’m learning, it’s certainly possible. So, I thought that I’d talk about one of the techniques that I’m using to reduce the amount of effort that this project requires, in case it’s useful to you.

This technique is simply to include the occasional low-effort page within my comic. If this is done well, then it can be barely noticeable to the audience, whilst still giving you a chance to rest slightly at the same time.

For example, here’s a reduced-size preview of page three of my Halloween comic (which I made the day before writing this article):

The full-size comic update will be posted here on the 23rd October.

The full-size comic update will be posted here on the 23rd October.

This is an example of a low-effort comic page. One of the first things that you might notice is that it only contains six panels (page one contains seven panels and page two contains eight).

Likewise, as I discussed in yesterday’s article, many of the backgrounds are simple interior locations that contain a minimum of detail. There’s just enough detail to make the backgrounds look like convincing locations but, the overall detail level is still fairly low.

In addition to this, the dramatic-looking lighting in the third panel helps to distract from the low levels of detail in most of the artwork. This is further disguised by the fact that the comic features multiple background locations, which adds some visual variety to the page without using too much effort in the process.

Finally, there’s also the fact that it is – for the most part – a “talking head” comic. This is a comic update where the characters just stand around and talk to each other. If this isn’t done right, then it can look lazy or boring. But, I’ve disguised it somewhat by adding a couple of simple action-based panels to the comic (eg: the two panels showing the television screen) and by showing a close-up of a video player in the third panel.

So, although it might not look like it at first glance, this page was a lazy “rest page” that I created in order to conserve effort for other parts of the comic. If you’re making a longer comic and you tend to have a fairly short creative attention span, then learning how to do this kind of thing can be extremely useful.

There are lots of other ways to do something like this, and I don’t currently have time to list them all here, but hopefully this article will have at least pointed you in the right direction.

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Sorry for the short article, but I hope it was useful 🙂

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The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My “Damania Relaxation” Webcomic Mini Series

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Well, since my “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series finished recently, I thought that I’d do my usual thing of showing of all of the ‘work in progress’ line art that I scanned whilst making it.

Unlike some of my previous mini series, there weren’t really that many (if any) significant dialogue or art changes between the line art and the finished comics. The most noticeable is probably the extra speech bubble that was added to the final panel of the third comic (but is missing in the line art).

Likewise, thanks to a foolish decision to go ‘back to basics’ with this mini series, the line art sometimes looks a lot more… spartan …than usual.

You can click on each piece of line art to see a larger version of it.

"Damania Relaxation - Peak Performance (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Peak Performance (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Timeline (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Timeline (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Word (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Word (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - 1990s Survival Horror Games (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – 1990s Survival Horror Games (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Reactions (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Reactions (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Bloatware (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Bloatware (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

The Complete “Damania Relaxation” – All Six Episodes Of The New Webcomic Mini Series By C. A. Brown

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Well, in case you missed any of it, I thought that I’d collect all six episodes of my recent webcomic mini series into one easy-to-read post. If you want to check out lots of (better) comics featuring these characters, then links to them can be found here.

This mini series was, to be honest, an abject failure. Basically, after finishing the last mini series, I didn’t make any comics for a little over a month (and just made my usual daily paintings instead). Since I was worried about comic burnout, I thought that I should make something.

So, I thought that I’d try to make an ‘old-school’ mini series that didn’t have a story or anything like that. Just self-contained comics, with the kind of simpler art that I used in 2016. I thought that it would be relaxing but, as you can probably tell from the emotional tone of the comics, it actually ended up being more of a stress than anything else.

Still, it wasn’t a total waste of time. I learnt what happens if I try to make comics when I’m uninspired. Likewise, I’m also quite happy that I can still switch back to the type of art that I used in 2016’s comics if I need to.

Whilst the first comic in this mini series (“Peak Performance”) is NOT released under any kind of creative commons licence. Comics 2-6 in this mini series ARE released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

Likewise, you can see a larger version of each comic update by clicking on it.

"Damania Relaxation - Peak Performance (With apologies to David Lynch)" By C. A. Brown [Note: This comic is NOT released under a Creative Commons licence of any kind].

“Damania Relaxation – Peak Performance (With apologies to David Lynch)” By C. A. Brown [Note: This comic is NOT released under a Creative Commons licence of any kind].

"Damania Relaxation - Timeline" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Timeline” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Word" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Word” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - 1990s Survival Horror Games" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – 1990s Survival Horror Games” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Reactions" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Reactions” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Relaxation - Bloatware" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Relaxation – Bloatware” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art ( 8th September 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the sixth (and final) comic in my ‘back to basics’ “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series. Stay tuned for a full retrospective later tonight.

If you want to catch up on other old-style mini series, or check out some of the more recent story-based ones, links to them all can be found here. You can also check out previous comics in this mini series here: One, Two, Three, Four, Five

And, yes, this ended up being a fairly ‘opinionated’ comic. Because, seriously, one of the cool things about the modern trend for old-school indie games is that they’ll actually run on older computers. Well, some of them do anyway. On the other hand, I’ve seen cool-looking 1990s-style 2D games that require a dual-core processor, or have downloads in excess of a gigabyte in size! There’s really no excuse for this sort of thing!

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Relaxation - Bloatware" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Relaxation – Bloatware” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (7th September 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the fifth (and penultimate) comic in my ‘back to basics’ “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series. If you missed the ‘old-school’ mini series (where every comic was self-contained), then you’re in luck!

If you want to catch up on other old-style mini series, or check out some of the more recent story-based ones, links to them all can be found here. You can also check out previous comics in this mini series here: One, Two, Three, Four

And, yes, this satire about the vampire genre is probably at least 6-8 years out of date. But, well, it seemed like a funny idea, so I decided to go with it.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Relaxation - Reactions" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Relaxation – Reactions” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art ( 6th September 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the fourth comic in my ‘back to basics’ “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series. If you missed the ‘old-school’ mini series (where every comic was self-contained), then you’re in luck!

If you want to catch up on other old-style mini series, or check out some of the more recent story-based ones, links to them all can be found here. You can also check out previous comics in this mini series here: One, Two, Three

And, yes, old survival horror games are awesome… until you get stuck on one of the puzzles!

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Relaxation - 1990s Survival Horror Games" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Relaxation – 1990s Survival Horror Games” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (5th September 2017)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the third comic in my ‘back to basics’ “Damania Relaxation” webcomic mini series. If you missed the ‘old-school’ mini series (where every comic was self-contained), then you’re in luck!

If you want to catch up on other old-style mini series, or check out some of the more recent story-based ones, links to them all can be found here. You can also check out previous comics in this mini series here: One, Two

And, yes, I used an internet Latin translation to make up the word in the third panel, I think it literally translates as “better-days-desire” or something like that.

Plus, I know that the partial list of “cosy nostalgic 90s DVDs” in this comic includes a Superman-related one. Yes, I’m normally extremely cynical about the superhero genre – but that TV series is one of a few exceptions, purely because of 1990s nostalgia.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Relaxation - Word" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Relaxation – Word” By C. A. Brown