Happy Wednesday, folks!
This week I'm taking over the Good blog to talk about my recent series of weekly silent comics.
What started as a reaction to lockdown evolved to more than I expected, and is currently being made into a printed comic to be released later this summer. Fancy that! If you'd like to hear a little more about the process, get a nice cuppa, sit somewhere vaguely peaceful (not always possible with lockdown and kids), and read on.
In those first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, there was so much noise. Constant noise. And not from outside - because we were all stuck at home - but on social media, the news, anywhere online.
A silent comic seemed the perfect meditation to work on whilst navigating a world full of panic. Initially, I didn't write a storyline for these comics, I simply drew the living room, then the bedroom, and in the third week, the entrance to my flat building. Oh, and my beat-up old Vans. The epitome of lockdown drawing: making sense of what was around me whilst stuck at home.
The idea behind it being weekly was two-fold. 1, it gave me discipline and structure to keep myself somewhat grounded in this weird time. And 2, I've never made a weekly comic before to share online, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity. A couple of weeks later I was furloughed from my day-job and it was even more important to have some kind of structure to my week.
Now, I'm going to get super nerdy about colour right now, so if you'd find this boring I'll let you know when to scroll to!
- rubs hands together -
My usual approach has been to use one solid colour palette for the whole project. For example, Moon was peaches, blues and neutral tones, whereas Njálla was blues and greens with a touch of neutral, and Ø was bright pinks, yellows and turquoise. Cosmos & Other Stories is the exception to the rule as it was a collection of shorts, but there was an underlying general palette running throughout.
I find colour incredibly exciting, and in this experiment I wanted to move away from set palettes and use a transition of colour throughout instead. The reds and oranges of week one were very much because I just really loved those burnt summer tones that week - so it's not all based on deep, analytical thought. From week to week, the comics developed into a progression of colours depending on the scene or time of day, and from there the tones darkened into the final panels.
OKAY THAT'S IT ABOUT COLOUR GUYS, YOU CAN CARRY ON READING.
Now I look back, these pages feels like quite a natural reaction to a worldwide pandemic - a dystopian and familiar-yet-unfamiliar place. It wasn't initially my intention, but I'm happy with how it ended up, and now I'm working on expanding the 'weeks' into a full story, filling in any gaps before preparing it to print.
Who knew that starting with some drawing from life in my living room would turn into a whole story?
That's the magic of comics!
Rozi is 1/3 of Good Comics and a comics creator, illustrator and zine maker in her own right. She also spent too long drawing and woodworking in lockdown rather than finally learning how to ollie/shuvit, which she regrets deeply.
You can see all of her weekly comics over on her blog.