This week has literally been nose-to-the-grindstone to get Chapter 3 drawn, so I haven’t really had my attention taken up by other things. So, I’ll just drop another chapter 3 preview and get back to the table this week.


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Josh Tobey inked a few pages’ worth of Chapter 3. Although I didn’t stand over him as he inked, having the final pages in front of me proved to be a very educational experience. For a comic that requires a lot of images of nature, I really had no real artistic ethos with which I approached that kind of subject matter. I just approximated to the best of my ability something that could pass as that thing. Case in point, the tufa towers in the first chapter look nothing like actual tufa towers, but you can tell in the comic that they are not smooth stone. The tree trunks in chapter two evolved because I wanted it to look more like a redwood than not, but it’s still not accurate. I don’t have a codified artistic language from which I can pull and draw natural landscapes with any sort of verisimilitude. I can do passable work that most people will think is just fine, but since this comic is so based in a specific place, I silently lamented my ability to actually capture what the Mono Basin actually looks like.

I still can’t do it.

I am, however, getting better. In the few panels he inked that were nothing but shots of nature, he crafted a scene that looked, holistically, like a mountainside forest. It all looked of a piece. I still haven’t gathered that ability fully, but, in seeing the brush strokes, I can see how these things are built, now. At the very least, I ink better trees as evidenced in this week’s preview. If I had more patience I would practice this side of drawing, but if it’s not for the story or if it doesn’t have people in it, my brain just shuts down and I cease to care. It’s a weakness, for sure, but knowing that it is a weakness I can better prepare for it and slowly––oh so slowly––get better with every attempt.