One of the other webcomics I work on, the Erstwhile fairytale anthology, is kickstarting a second print collection of our comics! Speaking from experience, volume 1 has some serious bookshelf appeal so volume 2 should be awesome :)

The collection will include my versions of Brother & Sister and Death of the Little Hen. There are also some great incentives for backers, like art commissions, plushies of one of my characters from the Singing Springing Lark, and some paper dolls drawn by Louisa! If we reach our first stretch goal I'll also be drawing a short comic about some super lazy princes :D

EDIT: Thank you so much to everyone for supporting this project and helping us reach our goal! We couldn't have done it without you :3
This weekend is Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, October 12-13. I'll be at table 514, which you can find on the map here.

I will be there with minicomics, Erstwhile volume 1, some original comic pages, and tiny original paintings. I'm available for a limited number of commissions so swing by early if you want to grab one!
More Comics By Me!
For those who haven't seen it yet, my adaptation of the Singing Springing Lark has started running at Erstwhile Tales and it will be running through November. If you like my work I highly recommend checking it out, since the entire comic is watercolor painted. It takes me forever but I am super proud of the results.

Tumbl(r)weeds
Soooo I broke down and got a tumblr for my cartoons and comics and stuff. Right now it's like 99% Pacific Rim and Missing Monday fanart, but there will probably be some original stuff soon. I will reblog any and all fanart of my characters, by the by. Just putting that out there ;)

Conventions!
I'll be tabling at SPX! I'm sharing with CJ of City of Cards. This is my very first con outside the Bay Area, actually, so I'm super excited and nervous at the same time. Merchandise is still TBA but I will definitely be available for small commissions :)
I also added a handy widget to the sidebar which says which events I'm attending this year ^_^

First up is Fanime, over Memorial Day weekend in San Jose. I'll be at table #17 sitting below a banner of Foyle and Monday ;) The Official Map is here, and an easier to read fan-made map is here. On the fan-made map I'm in G block.

I'm a little thin on Monday merch since so much of my focus is on actually creating the comic, but I do have a Monday/Foyle button design and 2 print/miniprint designs featuring the girls :) I also have a few small original paintings that will be coming with me, such as the watercolor for Monday and the key, chibiFoyle, and the ridiculous ridiculous My Little Pony mashups. I do on-site commissions as well, so there could always be new Monday art ;)

Otherwise, I'll also have my minicomics, the roller derby comics, a limited number of Erstwhile hardcovers (first come, first serve!), and a random assortment of original comic art for sale (including some of the original painted pages for Death of the Little Hen).

On a related note, next week's page will go up a day late due to being away from the computer for 5 days. I'll have filler art for you to tide you over, though, I promise :)
Hey guys! It's the Ides of March today, which means it's the official second year anniversary of this webcomic :) You can tell it's been on my mind a bit with the new header art and some tweaks to the site layout here and there. I also figured I should keep up a tradition of doing adorable art in celebration, so I made sure I had a drawing posted and at the ready:


Happy 2nd Year, Missing Monday! by *elleskinner on deviantART

Key to Somewhere by *elleskinner on deviantART

Monday on her side of the door. Cryptic art is cryptic!

Right now my priority list for the site is: (1) trying to build a comic buffer because I've gone two entire years without one and that is really difficult, (2) getting a basic character page up, and (3) putting up an art gallery. Hopefully I can actually achieve #1 someday and move to the other items on the list! :)
Mini Monday 01

Silly comic that jumped into my head after page 96/97, because poor Monday's pastry got abandoned in the dirt. And food is like one of her favorite things~!

This happens to me a lot, where I'll get a flash of silly spinoff panels to the page I'm working on. I was thinking it might be fun to draw some of them out sometimes, sort of like the omake comics you'll see in the back of manga :) So, here you go.

(I'm a dork. This is not news.)
elle_cold-sketchBad news: I thought I could pull off a new comic page this weekend but I couldn't ^^; Next page is going up Wednesday night my time. Thanks for your patience, guys! I should be back into my normal swing of things by next week.

Good news: I finally learned how to put up galleries with word press. Soooo, there is a guest art page all set up with goodies in it, now :) I'll follow that with an illustration gallery soon (perhaps that will motivate me to do more art of these guys? I ought to!)

About the filler art: Gear is meant to be one of those mild climates where it gets chilly but it rarely gets full on freezing. It probably snows like three days a year there. That's still like three too many days for Foyle because Foyle hates winter.
[Cross-posted from my blog at Littlest Elle because I'm trying to be better about promoting myself :) Sorry for the duplication!]

My latest fairytale, Death of the Little Hen, launched on Erstwhile Tales this week! I picked and scripted this story myself, and apparently IÂ’m a masochist because I also decided I should paint the entire thing in watercolor pencils? Which was, well. IÂ’ve always been very rough and loose with pencils and inks for my comics because I have Photoshop to help me clean up. To have to pencil lightly (so I can ERASE my pencils, what on earth) and to have to ink precisely because the only corrections I could do would be minorÂ… it was challenging, to put it mildly. But itÂ’s a challenge IÂ’m glad I tried, because now IÂ’ve learned all sorts of things and I feel like my art skill gained some experience points :)

Plus, IÂ’ll be forever indebted to this comic for introducing me to my new life partner, the T-Square.

Anyway.

Even if youÂ’re not a fairytale fan, the art on this thing just COLORFUL AND FUN and I encourage you to go check it out :) ItÂ’ll be running three times a week for the next month or so.
As promised, I posted some new art for you guys this weekend :)


Fix It, Foyle! by *elleskinner on deviantART

For those who are like "what on earth...?" I saw and adored Wreck-it-Ralph. Could not resist the urge to do a fusion piece with Foyle and Monday. I mean, Foyle with a magic fixing hammer, what isn't perfection about that? ;) Also, if it's not clear, I enjoy drawing Sassy!Monday when I have the chance.
For those not in the know, I'll be tabling at APE this year! I'll be Table 634 in the middle room with my art, comics, and other goodies. I also take commissions during the event (or pre-ordered for event pickup) and will happily demonstrate technique for the curious while I hang out at my table.

And hey, speaking of art, I finished a watercolor recently. Foyle and Monday being happy, because they're due :P


Shoulders are for Leaning by *elleskinner

For those in the area, I've confirmed that I'll be tabling at the second annual Castro Valley Pride on July 21 (at Castro Valley HS), and San Francisco Zinefest September 1-2 (in Golden Gate Park/San Francisco).

About shows, in general:
I always assume that nobody knows who I am or reads my work (Google tells me otherwise but my brain refuses to acknowledge this?), so I'm usually caught off-guard if someone I've never met namedrops my comics at an event. Suffice to say, if you see me at a show and you say "hi, I read your stuff!" I might look like a deer in headlights for a second while I process this but you'll pretty much make my day/week/month. I sometimes get a little busy when I'm behind the table but I'm always happy to answer questions or demonstrate techniques or take cheapie sketch commissions. So, you know, FYI.

In unrelated news entirely, here's a sketch of Monday that I uploaded last week:

Monday in Trousers by ~cozyair on deviantART
For those interested in the artistic process, I took some progress photos while I was working on page 66 so you could see how I set up the page :) And then explanation of what I'm doing, in case random photos aren't explanation enough.

Anyway.


Rather than a formal script, I have a list of what needs to happen in each chapter and how I think that'll be accomplished. I then start to breakdown each scene by taking notes (see my handy portable notebook there). By "notes" I mean I'll jot rough dialogue between characters, key actions, key visuals (if any), and other miscellaneous details.

I know my writing shorthand well enough that these brief notes give me all the information I need for setting, emotions, what the characters are doing, etc. If I have time, I try to make the dialogue as final as possible at this notes phase, but if I'm crunched for time I usually have to finalize it later on. I am trying not to let myself do that, it's not very efficient :P


I then roughly chop the scene into pages based on my notes and work out thumbnails of the first page (I try to thumb a couple at once if I can). As I thumbnail I am basically taking my notes and fleshing them out visually on the page instead of fleshing them out verbally in a script. Depending on how clear the scene is in my head, this can go really quickly or it can be super slow.

This page happened pretty quickly (maybe it's a poor example? Usually I have to cycle through at least 3-4 thumbnails). I knew I wanted to end on the panel that emphasized Rook's bike, and it was just a matter of shuffling the other panels around until the overall page looked right.

The dream pages have been my favorite so far because I needed them to look "different" from when Foyle wasn't dreaming. Since the main Missing Monday pages are very linear and boxy, the dream pages needed to be flowy and full of curves and diagonals.



Yup. These are how my pencils look. Glorious, right? You can see that I improved upon my thumbnails and split the second panel into 2 panels. It looks better on the page and lets me show both Rook's enthusiasm and Foyle's utter lack of enthusiasm (instead of focusing on just one of their faces).

I should probably explain the red pencil because I get asked about it a lot. Erasing is annoying, especially if you tend to press into the page heavily like I do. By using a tinted pencil, I can skip erasing altogether and just use Photoshop to remove all the red from the image. This works just as well with blue or yellow (though yellow, how would you even see it to ink it?).


Since my pencils are pretty lose, the meat of the drawing happens when I ink. Maybe this is a horrible way to work, but I find that refining too much at the pencil stage makes my art look really stiff and unappealing? Winging it a little keeps it more energetic.

You can see in the photo that I usually have a couple previous comic pages on my desk while I'm working. I use them to check for consistency ("how did Foyle's mom style her hair?") and flow. If I'm not at home, I'll frequently go to the website on my phone and flip through the archives to check details as well.

I ink the panel borders first with a thick brush or brushpen. In each panel I start with the main thrust of the action (usually the characters) and work my way outward into the background. I start out with a skinny tipped felt tip pen for most of my inking. As I work I'll go back with the skinny pen or switch to a medium tip pen to tweak, refine, or add extra line weight to things. You can see the difference between my "first pass" inking and my "refined" inking if you compare the top and bottom panels in this photo.

When I'm done, it looks like this:


This is what I scan into the computer. I put a red star next to any panel where I need to do digital inking - usually this refers to sections that need to be corrected/redrawn/fixed, but it can also refer to details I prefer to add digitally, such as Rook's tatoo.

For an example of how much I correct, you can compare Rook's face to his face in the final page. When I finished inking I was horrified at how much his face looked like a meme face, so I felt I should go back and fix it to avoid distracting people ;)

From here on out, it's all me and Photoshop doing the shading and lettering. Um. Tada?
Ff, it's not like we haven't been waiting a year for them to kiss or anything ;)

Well, a year and change, technically.

For those who aren't on deviant art, I drew a little thing to celebrate the anniversary of the strip back in March (which... I thought I had linked before? How did I not link this before!?). You can see it here:

Happy 1st Year, Missing Monday!

I feel very pleased to have reached the one year mark with this comic and to look behind me and see such a massive stack of vellum and think "those are all pages for this!" I had the hardest time getting this comic off the ground once I settled upon the idea of doing it (history of this comic: blog post for another time!), so to see it finally start to shape into a real thing is very exciting to me. I look forward to another year of storytelling!

In unrelated news... Now that I'm settling into the Wordpress site, I've started to go back into my archives and add transcriptions when I have some free time. The transcriptions I've had time to make are pretty spartan with an emphasis on dialogue, but I am definitely open to feedback or suggestions for how to improve.

There are other features I want to add to the site, as well, but... well... top priority is getting the comic done each week! So we'll see when I have time to tweak to the site :)
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Convention Schedule:

 

CLEXA Con

April 5-9, 2018

Las Vegas, NV

ARTIST ALLEY, TABLE 323

 

Rose City Comic Con

September 8-10, 2018

Portland, OR

ARTIST ALLEY, TABLE TBD

Kraken Con

September 28-30, 2018

Oakland, CA

INDIE ARTIST, TABLE TBD