Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Achievement Unlocked

I had a major achievement this week - I guest-authored for Sarah Frisk's web comic Tavern Wenches!

My Guest-Authored Tavern Wenches
I'm happy to help out another webcomic, and I am excited because it makes me feel more like a "real" webcomic author. I mean, it's one thing to call myself a webcomic author because I can put frog graphics on a web page, but I must be a real webcomic author if another webcomic author believes me to be a webcomic author.

Drawing someone else's comic for them is a little terrifying. I didn't think of that before I volunteered, but afterwards I developed some anxiety. I hadn't been reading Tavern Wenches that long (I discovered Sarah's work through my participation in CodeNewbie's Twitter chats) and I was nervous that I didn't have enough background to do it justice. So I read over most of the site's archive a few times. Tavern Wenches had guest authors twice before, so at least I wasn't the first. But I also considered that as an established comic, the regular readers will most likely have expectations that my comic style might not be able to meet. Would people be disappointed with some silly puns and a frog? Finally, with the exception of a crayon sketch of my daughter here and there, I hadn't really drawn a human character in a looooong time. While I did once draw with pencil and paper (a comic strip about a frog that ran in a local newspaper for many years) all my work lately has been in vector graphics. I wasn't quite sure where to start drawing a person again. Could I really do this?

The Last Person I Drew
I wasn't sure. But after a day I decided to do my best and stick with what works for me. That meant Inkscape, frogs, and puns. Being a guest author doesn't mean you have to do everything the way the regular author does it. It's more about bringing your own unique style and perspective to someone else's comic world (at least that's what I decided). So I made an SVG of Veronica and had her do a double act with a frog I styled to appear more medieval. After I had everything arranged in Inkscape, I exported it to a .PNG and sent it to Sarah.

Despite my trepidation, I think it turned out pretty good. It was beneficial for me to work outside my comfort zone and draw a person again. I'm not saying that Amphibian.com will start having human characters, but I won't rule it out simply because I'm not sure that I can draw one.

So in addition to today's regular frog comic, I would encourage everyone to go check out Tavern Wenches - not just my guest comic but be sure to read Sarah's comics as well. I really like her art style. She also does a monthly comic called Monster Markup Manual which features monsters from Tavern Wenches helping to instruct people on software development topics. My frogs should probably look into reading those, because, well, you know...the frogs don't really know what they're doing.

Amphibian.com comic for 25 February 2015