atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#197: Megumi's Diary...again

Over the past several days I've managed to bring the page count up by another five pages, so now there are 22 pages in the layout for Chapter 2.

The last thing I drew in the comic is this image, which strongly resembles a character from Maison Ikkoku in many ways:

One of the biggest deficiencies in my artwork is repeatability. When I try to draw two things exactly the same, the exact opposite ends up happening. The good thing about the japanese style of comic art is that faces are generally not highly detailed; the eyes convey about ninety percent of all emotion.

If you look carefully at Japanese comics and cartoons, you will find that only ugly characters have a lot of facial detail. In Azumanga Daioh, Osaka--who is a perennial favorite among Japanese fans of the series--basically has a dot for a nose. Notice how Fumitsuki's nose, in #195, is also just a dot; that dot is essentially her nose's shadow and it's there to show where her nose is, inversely, by not showing the nose itself. (They add some shading in order to contour her face, of course, since it's a colored image.)

It's not really okay to draw characters differently (by "differently" I mean "not consistently") from panel to panel, but it's not something which even the professionals completely have under control. Rumiko Takahashi's characters vary all over the landscape, from time to time, and I have seen comics (published comics!) of hers which contained images that were pretty badly drawn. The most obvious example is a panel from Maison Ikkoku, in which Akemi looks more like Yoda than a pretty woman in her late 20's--but there are plenty of others.

Takahashi has the excuse of working under a very tight schedule, though.

The picture of Jun, above, looks something like Kozue Nanao from Maison Ikkoku, somewhat punked-out. So, at least I can blame this one on being influenced by Takahashi, right?

* * *

We have learned that Megumi and Jun's homeroom teacher, Ms. Noriko Matsuda, has a terrible temper, a talent for throwing darts, and a willingness to use that talent to peg unruly students with chalk...hard enough to leave a mark.

She's also given the two girls big black X's on their foreheads. (That's what the mark on Jun's forehead is.) This is a sign of her displeasure and it takes three days to wear off; and I have not yet been privy to what dire consequences descend from this non-scarlet "scarlet letter". The Hand will let me know when the time is right, I guess.

I am going to use this as a mechanism to introduce another character to the series--one of Jun's friends--but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

I wish I had the gumption or mojo or WTF-ever to do this much work on some of my other series, though.

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