May 23, 2011
Page 10 Book 5: The War Diaries
Now publishing post-Rapture.
Much as I’d love to voice my views on religious doomsday predictions and those that cast them, I do actually have a subject much closer to my heart to discuss today. That is of course the Guarding Soldier itself.
Of course, I’ve already espoused its storyline connotations and its backstory and symbolism for the characters present. What I’d like to talk about really is how it’s drawn and what it actually means to me.
The Guarding Soldier first appeared on February 25th 2008, on page 40 of Book 1. I’d spent quite a bit of time drawing it beforehand, since I had a fair size buffer at the time and wanted to draw it right as I was already aware of its story significance. And at the time, I was pretty satisfied with it, it was for the time a very complex piece of work for me.
It then appeared in big fashion in page 44 of Book 5, on January 1st 2011, almost 3 years later (though it did have a couple minor appearances inbetween) and in its greatest exposure to date in these past four pages of Book 5: The War Diaries. And in these appearances, whilst I might not have been completely satisfied with what I achieved, the Guarding Soldier still represents a high-point in my recent artistic endeavours.
The Soldier then is perhaps a benchmark of how my art has improved. Its important to me in that fashion because it is a very significant marker of how far I’ve come. The original appearance has a lot of the markers that plague my earlier artworks, with the yellow circle sun, the shading, the clumsy positioning, improper framing, pointed hands, and even in just how the page itself is laid out (though for its time it was still fairly unconventional for me in making pages). These new appearances have everything I’ve learned to date, the Soldier now actually grabs and holds things with properly-contorted digits, his shading (where utilised) is as proper and accurate as it needs to be, and I’ve even drawn a completely new angle from scratch in the final frame of page 9 for its hammer striking the outpost.
Is it perfect? No, there’s still quite a few things I’d like to improve, like that I still cling to existing view angles rather than making new ones and that my shading is few and far between, both largely to save time. But is it good? I like to think so, and I’m generally very critical of my art (generally speaking I still consider myself more a writer than an artist, and I’m just as critical there too).
Were I wisened teacher stood beside a student, gazing upon their easel with this page plotted out on it, I would be pleased of their progress and I would want to see more.