Amazingly enough, Pixel Chat is back! And hey, late is better than never, amirite!!!
Actually, I've been sitting on this comic for a week or so now. However, my focus has been somewhat fractured of late, and it wasn't until tonight that I got the time/motivation to sit down and finish up the lettering, which is now hand-written! I guess I should give a moment of silence to Comic Sans MS. It served me well, and it's ubiquitous for a reason (PROTIP: It's a good font, just overused).
This episode of PC is also notewothy as the first one created entirely within Photoshop. In the past, the modus operandi was to draw and ink the panels by hand on paper, and then scan them into PS to do the layout, coloring and lettering. Starting with this episode (and likely continuing), all of the lines are native to PS. The handfull of Innarweb Lulz comics I did last summer were my first experiment with doing 100% digital comics, but Ep. 5.3 is the first "real" foray into becoming an Adobe-assisted hack.
It's taken me years and years of working with a tablet and stylus to feel comfortable enough to transition my drawing from traditional physical media to the bitmap wonderland, and it's a mixed blessing. Obviously, you can correct mistakes with much greater ease on a computer, and having your lines native to Photoshop makes them dramatically easier to work with. However, having such absolute control over your drawing in some way, I don't know....dilutes it. You don't have to take risks. Everything can be reworked over and over and over again until it fits perfectly into your vision of what you supposedly want, but part of the fun of artmaking, illustration and painting in particular, is producing something unexpected and unplanned that's actually more intriguing than what you were originally angling for. It freaked me out how much I was obsessing over some of the lines in this week's comic, redrawing them almost to the point of compulsion. I think that part of maturing as an artist is learning when and how to "step away from the canvas", so to speak, but the near-omniscience that graphic design programs give over said canvas seem to retard that learning process.
I've read articles proposing the idea that the transition of music into an easily acquired, transferred and stockpiled digital format has in some way lessened it's impact, at least compared to the more tangible, valuable physical artifacts of records, tapes and even CDs. The music contained on them automatically becomes imbued with the same sense or rarity and value given to the object, and I think it's a phenomenon that carries over to some extent to digital art. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, but it's one to grow on, as the kids say.
But it's 5 in the morning, I'm tired, and I've had to correct a ridiculoulous number of grammatical errors along this journey, so maybe it's time to call it a night. Until next week, peace, and enjoy the comic!