1) Robot fight scenes are the hardest things to draw ever.
Over the past five years of working fulltime in comics, I’ve drawn a wide variety of things. Summer camps, creepy alien birds, graveyards, ships, ghosts, schools, ponies …. but nothing is as difficult to draw as two killer robots fighting to the death. Robots are hard enough to draw when they’re standing still, but drawing them flying through the air to do battle? I may have broken down weeping over my drawing desk a few times.
2) It’s important to escape the drawing desk every now and then.
I really love my job of making comics. I probably love it a little too much, because when I’m away from my drawing desk and not making comics, I’m mostly thinking about all the comics I’m going to make when I get back to the studio. This is kind of terrible and unhealthy! I got serious about running while drawing Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, and can now jog 8 kilometers at a pretty good clip. I’d like to jog 10 kilometers at some point this summer. I hate jogging in the winter (I live in the often freezing cold Canadian city of Halifax), but in the summer it’s wonderful to get outside and spend some time with things that aren’t comics. Like the sun, and grass, and the ocean and even other people! Then I can go back to making comics.
3) I need to do better with diversity in my comics.
I was on a panel at a recent comic festival about diversity in comic books, which is a huge issue. Comics struggle a lot with representing different people, different ethnicities, different sexualities, and it’s something I want to do better. One thing that was brought up at the panel was the idea that diversity shouldn’t mean just making sure that “your group” is represented, it should be that all people are represented. I thought that was really important and useful. I’ve been very focused on women in comics (we are pretty underrepresented), and I feel I’ve been successful in making lots of comics with women and girls in them, and encouraging my fellow Lady Cartoonists. Now I need to look beyond that, and do a better job of representing the diversity of the world around me.
4) Collaborating is great fun.
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is the first adaptation I’ve done of someone else’s story. It was really fun to dive into a fully formed story where I didn’t have to do too much reshaping, and just start drawing. Prudence did most of the heavy lifting for me already! All I had to do was beat her story into graphic novel shape.
5) I am a sucker for a cute boy and a geeky girl.
So, spoilers, but two characters in Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong get together in the end. That was not in Prudence’s original story, but I snuck it in at the end because I am a geeky girl, and I like seeing the geeky girl get the cute boy. Also I may secretly want Prudence to write a Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong fanfiction (can you do fanfic of your own book?) about Nate and Holly dating. Because that would be hilarious.
Find out more about the graphic novel at the official website for Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.
holy shit tho faith erin hicks reblogged my post i never even fucking noticed that.
IZUMI! Badass lady alchemist/housewife/teacher of our heroes Ed and Al from Fullmetal Alchemist! Over break I got my paws on a bunch of volumes of the manga, and fell madly in love with it. It reminds me a lot of Avater: The Last Airbender in that while it’s very much aimed at young boys, it’s full of great female characters, and some of the best illustrated fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a manga. I love it a lot. I don’t think there’s a single character in it that I don’t like, which is pretty amazing. And it’s written and drawn by a lady! I was really excited when I found that out. I’m always looking for new lady cartoonists to look up to, and when I find a particularly badass one, well, that’s nifty keen.
I was just nodding along with this and going “I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW RIGHT” so I had to post it.
I HAVE A HIROMU ARAKAWA APPRECIATION LIIIIIIFE JUST LIKE FAITH ERIN HICKS SO
any way, done with the FEH spam. Actually going to do homework. I swear.
I’m sorry now I’m reading through FEH’s blog and she did an amazing post on Winry to go with her Winry fanart
ALL MY THOUGHTS ON WINRY IS THIS WOMAN ME
WINRY! Adorable mechanic of Ed and Al, brave and smart and a great “normal” character in a manga primarily concerned with superpowered individuals.
Okay, and this brings me to a point: I like Winry a lot. I think Arakawa does great things with her character. She’s sweet and tough and Al and Ed treat her with respect, and more importantly Arakawa treats her with respect. There is a character trope typical of stories that revolve around superpowered characters, and that trope is that those characters in the story who are not superpowerer are lesser beings. They exist in the story only to be kidnapped, or killed, or to act as emotional fodder for whatever SuperDuperCharacter is doing, and it drives me freaking crazy, because to me it reveals a storytelling distain for ordinary humans.
I feel like if you are going to write a story about superpowered beings (be they superheroes, wizards or alchemists), you have to make the non-superpowered characters worth fighting for. Maybe they aren’t as powerful as the superpowered characters, but they have to be worth those characters’ time, because otherwise what is the point of the story? Why are these superheroes or wizards or alchemists fighting for the lives of these ordinary men and women if they’re so weak and helpless that they come across as completely useless? They have to be able to stand on their own two feet as (non-superpowered, but still strong) characters.
Winry is the great emotional centre of Fullmetal Alchemist. She’s “ordinary,” but she’s never useless, although sometimes she feels so in the face of Al and Ed’s power. There’s a great scene in volume 12 where Winry faces down the man who killed her parents, only to fail to kill him and then is saved by (superpowered) Ed. He dashes off after the baddie, and Winry sits in the street staring after him, and says: “Why is there never anything for me to do but wait?”
AHHHH. AWESOME WRITING. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST HAS IT. It’s such a sympathetic moment, the lament of the ordinary character in a story with superpowered ones. She knows she will never be as strong as Roy or Ed or Izumi, but she manages to be awesome just the same. Just sometimes it’s hard to see it, when you’re surrounded by people so much more powerful than you are.
asdfghjkl; SHE GETS IT.