Every time I draw

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“Every time I draw, I’m drawing things that I have never drawn before.”

I started with this (true) sentence, which I found catchy enough to use as a rhythm. But it didn’t really take shape as a comic idea until I connected it to the overall theme of “noob gains”.

I’m sure you’ve had the thrill of “noob gains”. It’s that rapid improvement you get when you start doing something regularly that you’ve never done before. For me, it is really a rush to face a seemingly insurmountable challenge every time I start a drawing, and then to feel like I have conquered that challenge just by committing to and finishing the drawing.

But I know myself too well to think this feeling will last – in fact it happens with every new thing I try, and the plateau is always coming.

Other than drawing, the other two pursuits shown here (learning a language, getting fit) are also things I have gotten hot and then cold on. There’s a million other things I could have put in here, that I started, kinda got the hang of and thought I would do forever, and then dropped in a couple of months.

The message from the “old heads” is really just that slow and steady wins the race, or if you like, that there’s no need to rush because there isn’t really a race. But it’s only natural to feel the way the “young bloods” do, so I wanted to try and put both perspectives on the page while having some fun with it. 

Production notes

Character design: I really like how the characters turned out but it was a lot of time to spend on characters who only appear in a few panels. There were five character designs for the last comic at five pages, and six character designs for this one at eight pages.

I think my favourite character is Tracksuit Auntie because her design was intended to play off the younger version. The other two “old heads” are more generic older versions.

Japanese: The Japanese on page 2 is not important and mostly just me amusing myself, but if you are interested in a translation (read L-R):

Panel 1: “Good morning!”

Panel 2: “Wow, it’s like an oven out there today.” / “Oh, you speak Japanese so well!”

Panel 3: “Clooose your eyes” (this is taken from a song by Ken Hirai)

Panel 4: “Teach, did you forget your pants this morning?!” / “Freeze! You’re under arrest!”

Panel 5: “That’s so funny!” / “Omigod sooo funny!”

I haven’t checked the accuracy and I’m not going to so please don’t look too deep into it.

Length: This is the longest comic I’ve done yet, and was a challenge at eight pages. I think I need to do some shorter ones now. This one took over a month, but I’m still glad to have posted it within November, which is apparently is Poetry Comics Month! If you want to check out more poetry comics, or learn how to make your own, head over to Grant Snider’s website where he has been posting cool stuff almost every day in November.

Did you really draw that bird: Hell no, I took a picture of a magpie on my street and posterised that little bastard in Clip Studio Paint.

Legibility: I’m still struggling with getting everything to display the way I would like it. In some cases, my lines are too fine and show up as broken when compressed into web-friendly images. And like I did for the last comic, I drew it using Clip Studio’s screentones tool but as I am still seeing a moire pattern on some platforms, I am exporting them as gray values.

The biggest thing I tried to improve mobile legibility was remove all of the panel gutters. That way each panel is slightly bigger overall. This makes it look a bit cramped but I figure I can always put them back in again if I decide to print it.

If you’re having any difficulty reading this on your device or have any suggestions for how it could be easier to read, drop me a comment!