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It's Sabina's (HWA) birthday today!

A collage of two side-by-side images. The left image shows an inked drawing of an original character looking somewhat surprised while holding a an open notebook with her left hand. The character has wavy hair and is wearing a hooded coat and backpack. The right image is the same as the left, but coloured in with grey watercolour tones.

I often chat with Benjamin Rivers who is a comic artist and game maker! He has a new comic continuation of one of his games, Worse Than Death.

We got into the topic of real g-nibs and art supplies, which led to us talking about how hearing the feedback of a real nib on paper can be a form of ASMR. I got fountain pens so I didn't have to constantly re-dip into ink. A video of the drawing and inking portion (not the painting portion haha) is below.

Materials:

  • Paper - not sure, probably Canson or Strathmore watercolour paper
  • Mechanical pencil - Kurutoga 0.5mm
  • Fountain pen - Platinum carbon black desk pen (with Platinum carbon black ink)
  • Brush pen - Pentel pocket brush
  • Eraser - Unknown...
  • Watercolour - some mystery mix of brown and blues...

Today's music post: Agua De Rosa - Rooftop Mix by Angelica Garcia & Sinego

JAnniversary

4-panel gag comics featuring Jake and Austin from Here We Are

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December 20 is a special day for Here We Are!!

In personal celebration of this day, I have prepared some poorly drawn, wholesome, and extremely cheesy 4-panel comics!!!

There are spoilers for anything post-chapter 11.

Two 4-panel comic strips, featuring characters (Jake and Austin) from Here We Are webcomic. First strip is titled "Naturally Romantic" and shows Jake being embarrassed by "sweet" things that Austin says. Second strip is titled "Intimacy Anxiety" and shows Jake spiralling into anxiety about how to reciprocate affection.

Two 4-panel comic strips, featuring characters (Jake and Austin) from Here We Are webcomic. First strip is titled "Competitive Romance I" and shows Jake getting fired up to learn how to be romantic. He looked up tips on the internet and settles on buying matching heart-shaped lucky bamboo plants for himself and Austin. Second strip is titled "Competitive Romance II" and shows Jake visiting Austin's place and asking Austin about how the lucky bamboo plant is doing. Austin's lucky bamboo plant is thriving, which Jake attributes to the fact that Austin is a tree nerd. Austin goes on a wiki-fact-style-barrage, which reminds Jake about how Austin is a huge nerd. Austin tells Jake that the plant is taken EXTRA good care of because it's a gift from Jake.

Two 4-panel comic strips, featuring characters (Jake and Austin) from Here We Are webcomic. First strip is titled "Competitive Romance III" and shows Jake trying to write a letter to Austin. The letter begins as "Hi Austin, You're a nice guy. You have nice eyelashes." Jake promptly realizes that he is an idiot for even trying. Second strip is titled "Competitive Romance IV" and shows Jake reading a tip about how to smile and look into a partner's eyes. He feels NOT confident about trying this, as his lip twitches uncomfortably the next time he is around Austin. Austin notices Jake staring and him, lip quivering, and wonders if Jake is hungry. Jake feels his failure deeply.

Two 4-panel comic strips, featuring characters (Jake and Austin) from Here We Are webcomic. First strip is titled "Competitive Romance V" and shows Jake giving up on trying to beat Austin at romance, because Austin's charisma stat is too high level. He slumps over Austin in defeat, leading to Austin feeling very charmed. Second strip is titled "Raccoon" and shows Austin asking Jake about a plush raccoon in Jake's apartment. Jake tells Austin about the childhood plush, and Austin (in his own skewed vision) things that they (Jake and the raccoon) are equally cute, fiesty, vulnerable, and hungry looking. Austin is charmed by this pairing/revelation and hugs them both.

These two are so helplessly uncool...but I clearly love them...but this time, the raccoon has stolen my heart.

Today's music post: Paradise (Stay Forever) by Barry "Epoch" Topping from the Paradise Killer soundtrack.

HWA ch12 pages from draft to tone

WIP showing draft to final pages for HWA comic.

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Here We Are arc 2 begins with chapter 12, or you can read from the beginning!

WIP for chapter 12 is below (spoilers!)

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The chapter was originally designed to be 12 pages, but I had too much required text and I had to insert more pages to get it all to fit. Yeah I know my text size is gigantic compared to most webcomics, but my eyeballs aren't getting any younger!

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Today's music post: Maria 마리아 by Hwasa 화사.

Fortune linocut

DIY linocut print of 福, printed in red ink.

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If you ordered a print copy of Here We Are 1, you may have had the experience of a piece of white paper (with red print) tumbling out of the back of your book.

The character itself is 福, which sounds like Fu in Mandarin or Fook in Cantonese. In essence it means something like good fortune or good luck. More history on the character can be found here.

An upside-down 福 is pasted on Jake's front door (it's barely seen in chapter 7). The upside-down version represents good fortune/luck arrives, which is like a blessing upon a place/space when it's pasted up. It's fairly common to see in Chinese spaces, especially during lunar new year. It doesn't really match Jake's home aesthetic, but I imagine it was something his mom gave to him when he moved out, and thus, he obliged.

The print itself was hand carved out of linoleum.

Then printed on layout bond with red block printing ink. I hadn't used my ink in a few years so the paint was separating, thus leading to a few failures. I had to re-mix the paint!

I like the imperfect/faded/aged look of some of the prints, so a wide variety were included in orders.

The reason for its inclusion in the HWA book package is 2-fold:

  1. 2020 is a rough year for many of us and I wanted to wish readers the best. If you have one, you can paste it upside down in your own dwellings!
  2. As I thought about where HWA book 1 ended, I wanted to leave it off with some good vibes for J+A as their lives continue beyond the book.

Thanks to everyone who ordered a copy of the book. Although the process for making all this stuff is labourious, I'm happy to spend the effort to make the reading experience special for the handful of you who are engaged and who value the DIY-ness of it all! The book is made to order (limited to 50 copies) if you don't have your own.

Wishing you all 福 x infinity!

Today's music post: HK 80s disco hit from superstar Roman Tam 羅文's Lasers 激光中. The video is really fabulous in that 80s disco way. I enjoyed reading this article about him. I feel like he is HK's equivalent of David Bowie in terms of influence and versatility (not that Roman or David are really comparable people; this is simply a point of reference for western readers).

HWA social media

Work-in-progress pencil, inks, and watercolours.

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I had a concept in my notebook that was about the different relationships between the characters in Here We Are (HWA), and part of those notes included social media posting and commenting. This idea burned in the back of my mind for a while and one weekend I pulled out watercolour paper and brought it to life!

It was an interesting/fun thought exercise to think about the differences in their posting habits, how they comment/type, as well as what kind of avatar/icon and usernames they'd have. Another way to go about character development! The UI is loosely based off of Pixelfed! All the characters in HWA are in their early 20s (as of now) so my guess is that they're all using social media in some way.

The rest of this post includes WIP.

The original concept in my notebook

Loose pencils and beginning to ink with the Platinum carbon desk pen (first time doing this meaningfully!)

Erase the lines and re-use some old painter tape from a previous painting ...

I never really know what I'm doing with watercolours

I have a tendency to overdo details so I stopped myself before getting in too deep. I really struggled to draw this cursed thing...it's not innate for me. I kept trying to make it look more cursed but it just got stranger...

Each panel is ~2.5" square in real life. I don't have a working scanner anymore so I just made the faux-posts with photos of the paintings.

Today's music post: Augury by Nos. This track is included on their album of original piano songs called Perspectives. I commissioned Nos to make a piano track for HWAnimation earlier this year, so I was delighted to find out that they released an album!

Added note: Alphonso Dunn has recently noted that J@ke P@rker of Inkt0ber fame has plagiarized his work :(. I didn't know about Alphonso's work before, but it looks aces, so please support!

Scarf

I commissioned Pía to draw Jake and Austin from Here We Are.

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Earlier this year I commissioned Pía Prado Bley (please check out her store and webcomics, she's awesome and I own her books too) to draw Jake and Austin (from my webcomic Here We Are for me. They're soooooooooooo cute and perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel that Pía really captured the essence of their relationship, haha.

I made a "prologue" comic, inspired by her drawing :). Thanks Pía!!

Austin loves to spoil/pamper Jake.........................

Today's music post: Patience of Mind by Tough Age. Another local band featuring some cool people I kinda know!!!