Populus tremuloides, or quaking aspen, or trembling poplar, or...many other names.
I don't think it really comes out in the comic (?) but Austin's last name is Poplar. He is a forestry grad and a tree nerd, so at some point I did a bunch of research about trees that were native to where the story takes place: fake Alberta! A lot of poplars are found in Alberta (like Populus balsamifera, but I've always been enamoured by the super bright yellow leaves of trembling poplars and the white trunks with black knots/markings! One of many things I appreciate about Alberta is how you get to experience all 4 seasons distinctly.
Recently, rurupoi, wai, and co. encouraged me to try out 100% cotton paper (Arches 300gsm hot press). I didn't really know what to do with my paper; I'm not much of an illustrator! Long time ago I put down a thumbnail of Austin doing field work in the forest in my notebook.
So this thumbnail turned into the basis for a not particularly well planned (as usual) painting. Drawn directly onto the paper with red col-erase pencil.
I ended up changing the pose and scale a little bit. Maybe I regret changing the pose, but I don't regret changing the placement/scale.
Originally it was meant to be a rainy picture, but I really wanted a super blue sky against yellow colour scheme. I also bought masking fluid and wasn't ready to use it yet, haha.
I have a tendency to overwork drawings/paintings, so I tried my hardest to not do that here!!
In natural light.
I wasn't really sure what to expect with this paper, but I can tell it's better than the scrappy stuff I used before.
Today's music post: RAIN(비) - 나로 바꾸자 Switch to me (duet with JYP). What a good 80s/90s pop vibe!
It's Sabina's (HWA) birthday today!
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.
- 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
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.
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.
Here We Are arc 2 begins with chapter 12, or you can read from the beginning!
WIP for chapter 12 is below (spoilers!)
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!
Today's music post: Maria 마리아 by Hwasa 화사.
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:
- 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!
- 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).