A demo manga page for my project AC1088: Automatic Century. It's not actually going to be a manga, but I wanted to see if it could work. Or if I could do it.
And... I have one of the strongest set of mixed feelings about this that I've ever had over any of my art before.
Now, I like it. This is the first bit of sequential art I've drawn in more than five years. Maybe around six or seven. With all the manga I read, this was overdue. It came out well and, since there's six panels, I'm happy to have finished all the related drawings. But as much as I like it, some of the details and glaring errors really make me not like it as much.
First there's some of the details I drew. I'm starting to reconsider how I drew their eyes. Ironically, this is how I've drawn them for like a year, but when I did their designs, I forgot the style entirely. My last artwork with the Three Brothers (link
) actually did use it, but it's changed up a bit since it's in color. The eyes don't look as good in just black and white.
I also hate some of the botched details. In panel 6, I purposefully used the speech balloon to cover how I seriously botched Malin's right arm. It was too long from the elbow down and above the elbow was way too short. Thankfully it's the only place I cheated like that.
But my biggest problem with this page is not really with the page itself, but what I see in my style that bothers me: It's inconsistent. While I'm getting better at drawing my characters (I drew Cypher four and he looks remotely similar in each panel!) I'm not getting the details to look the same. And sometimes hair has a few problematic differences. Not to mention that Sal's hair is officially way too... butch. (The irony here is kept Cypher's bishounen hair, since it's fitting how is character is changing.)
I really want to practice working on a certain method and a certain style, but simply drawing more isn't cutting it. I originally thought this would hurt, but I think I might start emulating some of the things I see in manga and anime a bit more, but from the same source. I need to pin down whatever it is that I am inconsistent with and fix it because it's so distracting to me.
Anyway, about the scene: It's part of one of the old chapters I wrote, about two years ago. The characters have been swapped in and out and around since Cypher was dead in the original draft (how exactly did that change?) and Rider was the one out, but I digress. The dialogue is very pointed to the situation and is kind of lost outside of context so I'll explain it.
The basic point was that Cypher made a mistake during a stealth mission and got "painted", which means that if he tried to infiltrate again, he'd have about a 97% chance of being detected very quickly. This forces Cypher to sit on the sidelines for a mission that was very important to him and forces his partner, Lucas, to work without him for the first time in several months. The chapter is meant to flesh out Lucas and Cypher as a team, even though they're apart, by putting them both with some of the other characters and also introduce one of the main cast members in the later part of the chapter/arc.
But that's me getting ahead of myself. That's for when I start writing it. I'm probably not going to do another manga page for a while.
Hopefully you like it. Or a part of it.