Man, those two-week classes, academies, Annual Training… you show up all ready to go, full of tightly-packed bags of clean and well-organized stuff and a bubbling sense of readiness. Or, at least, that’s the idea. Admittedly, a lot of times I’m still cramming notes and reading the assigned books on the way there, but at least I can give the impression of readiness. It happens on Active Duty, too– when you have to leave the barracks for a two-week downrange exercise or something: you’re GI Joe on Day One, but by time you get ready to drag yourself back to garrison, you more closely resemble the Shaggy Dog.
And then it finally comes– that last day. You’re free! You’ve spent two weeks learning stuff but on that last day you’re already halfway back in the pool back home. That stuff that was so well-packed can’t all seem to fit back in the bags they came in, and who really has time for folding anyway? It also seems to be a feature of training events that everyone leaves at different times on different flights, and there will be people leaving at 4 o’clock in the morning while others will linger until well past nightfall before being shuttle-bussed to the airport.
And then you get back to your unit, and it’s like that two weeks never happened, because damned if you can recall a single thing that you learned there.
Okay, finally! This is the comic that was supposed to post last Thursday. What was so difficult about this one in PhotoShop, you may ask? Fair question! I recently started doing some of the backgrounds separately and then importing the characters onto them. In the past, my backgrounds were kind of “broken up” behind the characters. But then I got my visit from the Good Idea Fairy and took this to its next logical step– I can draw a bare background, and then draw everything else separately: furniture, characters, suitcases, duffle bags, etc, and add them in as I needed. Great, right!?
Except of course now I have to draw everything separately, and in the case of this comic I had to draw two different versions: one tidy and one messy. I was at this constantly and it became a comic that ate four days of my life what with all the individual art I had to do, the coloring, the camouflage, and so on. Previously, I would have drawn the background all as one piece, then copied it and made a “messy” version. Now, I’m still “drawing everything twice” in a way but for some reason it just works faster doing it the “old” way.
Perhaps if I practice in smaller, baby steps here and there, I can make something like this work in the future but trying to assemble a whole comic from scratch this way using a technique I’d never tried before was just too much. Needless to say, I have the next four traditionally-penciled comics already scanned in so I can resume a more regular schedule for awhile.