Courageous Cora Concepts

2. Oktober 2011

I want to share these concepts with you. I made them while planing my comic on the 24-hours comic day.

First I started with a work in progress title. From there I developed a rough story  layout, noting only the story beats. No picture ideas noted yet. Then I arranged to story to fit on 24 pages exactly (actually 23 pages + cover).

I made some character concept sheets, mostly to precisely define the character, and to be able to come back to it for reference. Also it helped to get into the groove. Cora, the main character, I designed a few years ago, so I already knew how she looks and acts. I gave her arms this time, because I wanted her to interact with her environment a bit, and knew I would need them for expressions. The small woollike Character is would be the reason for Cora to stand up to her fear an help him to get home. So I wanted the Wool to look fragile but still cute. And a bit funny, to add some comical relieve.
The shadow-monster would have to be like a phantom character. It isn’t real, but only part of Coras and Wools imagination. So I designed the character as a silhouette with only slightly suggested features.

I also did some environment designs. There are three areas Cora visites: The rock city, the dark forest and the shore. I wanted the cores to be really spooky and made it dark an gloomy. In contrast the other two areas needed to be light. The shore should be the most friendly place, because that is the place the story concludes. The rock city on the other hand I wanted to be light, but unsettling. Coras isolation needed to be almost palpable there. It basically consists of high walls, made of stone.

When I painted the final pages, I was able to keep track of the story and my progress on the roadmap I made before. I didn’t draw all pages in advance, but painted page by page. Since I painted them directly in color without pre sketching there was no reason for pencils. Instead I did some thumbnails for every page before painting them, just to develop some ideas for panels and rhythm. Also I drew some of the characters in pose, when I was unsure how to stage a scene.

I didn’t keep track of the time I needed for the concept phase. But I think I actually started at about 12 am, and I think at 5 pm we changed the room. There I started to paint the first pages. I finished at 9 am the next day.

I can really recommend to participate at the 24 hours comic day. It was great fun, and a nice way to get to know some really nice comic-artists at my city. The comic day was held all around the planet. In germany, it took place in Leipzig, Frankfurt and Cologne. See the official Blog here.