Ugh. God I hate that freaking hat. FINALLY! I’m so glad that it’s done! For a lot of reasons.
1) I’m constantly drawing it off model. I mean, I like having sort of a free flowing design for characters. For the most part, no 2 faces are going to look EXACTLY the same, but if I’ve done my job, they’ll feel the same and you’ll still be able to tell who anyone is in any given panel. Despite the fact that I do almost all the work in Photoshop, I still draw every panel freehand. I don’t copy/paste that often unless I’m crunched for time or its 5 am and I’m sleepy. Because of that the hat was never the same shape. It drove me nuts. I know it seems silly because it’s just a triangle with a slightly curved base and a few swoopy lines, but it drove me crazy that it never looked “right”. It was too wide sometimes, too narrow others. How’d it stay on his head? Why didn’t it fall off more? Ugh. I’m glad it’s gone.
2) It was a crutch. I don’t remember off hand how much I’ve written about how this all started but the first pages, that first 8, I had no idea what he looked like. So I ran with the stereotypical, overdone “Hat obstructs their face” trope that’s common for the mysterious hero. I didn’t have to worry about drawing a face because there was hat. As long as I could draw a lower jaw I was fine. In reality I just had absolutely no clue what he was going to look like.Did I want characters to be more realistic/detailed or did I want to go with the more cartoony style that seems to be more common with webcomics (can you guess what I ran with?) And ultimately I had no idea about things like head shape, eyes, eyebrows, hair, build, etc. So instead I just ran with it and eventually we went from this
If for some stupid reason we decided he NEEDED the hat, I would even have drawn it differently and given it visible fastening to his head. How did it stay on his head without a tie? I don’t know! I’m assuming impeccable balance. Mostly I’m just glad that stupid hat is gone. Good riddance.
In other, less ranty, way cooler news, I’ve got a surprise! I learned yesterday that one can create animations in Photoshop. Sure it’s just a .gif, and this puts me somewhere behind your average reddit or imgur user, but progress is progress and I’m supremely happy with the outcome. I went back through the previous pages and animated a page from a few months back. Partially because this page has always moved in my head and partially because if I animated a page I’m working on now you wouldn’t see it for months and that’s not fair to you guys. I dunno if this means we’ll start putting animated bits into our pages, I don’t see why not if it adds something to the page and isn’t distracting though.
So, in order to keep it a surprise and to not have a constantly looping, full-page sized gif sitting on our homepage until James or I write a new blog, check it out after the cut!