Friday Fixup: Paul Jeter

Ok, I have a couple of general rules for how I do the friday fixup, some I’ve made pretty solidly clear, some I’ve sort of not (being as they are part and parcel of the other rules)

Here’s my primary rule for submissions: finished inks, one page, no lettering.

The reason for this is it just lets me think about storytelling, no lettering to confuse, don’t need to worry about colour (and since many of my edits involve me moving things around and resizing, if there’s colour I’ll frequently have to refill those colours, so it’s just extra work with very little outlay).

Now the implicit rule here is: no pencils. Partly that’s because I’m using two very specific tools to edit things, the ability to cut/paste/enlarge/rotate/flip etc which is easier in pure b&w and the ability to add shadow – big thick chunks of black, it’s much harder to do when the art is all grey (light grey, dark grey, smudged grey, etc)

And it’s partly because … well.. sometimes it’s hard to read other peoples pencils. My pencils are a goofy sludge, they make no sense until the inks hit. They are a step towards the inks, they are certainly NOT a piece of art in and of themselves. So I struggle with working with pencils and especially pencil roughs.

And because all rules are made to be broken, here’s a page by Paul Jeter which I’ve treated as a script/rough, and my pencils (which are also rough, but they are very much my own pencils)

Ok, starting off…

Panel 1: We’re in the wide open sea, but we’re given the game away early doors, so let’s start with a little mystery, so we start with the figurine, but I’ve dropped the background altogether and moved the caption over to the left (where captions naturally belong!) I’ve also opened the border, if I’d left it without a background the reader would’ve been casting around (fish pun) to find something to anchor their read too (fish pun) by leaving it without a border, they can’t do that and so this takes place in a totally unknown plaice (fish pun)

Panel 2: Changed the angle here so we see the boat, and the two passengers. The rough doesn’t make it terribly clear that there are two passengers in panel two, so I’m very explicit about it here (it also slightly echos the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, which is a fun art allusion you can wow the art-critics with. It was, of course, entirely accidental)

Panel 3-4 – I’ve swapped the panels. Primarily because the time between someone throwing something and it dropping in to the sea didn’t feel like it would leave enough time for a confrontation. It also made it stronger if the threat came BECAUSE the mermaid hit the sea. So, the new Panel 3 – I’ve pulled way out here, we still get a close up of the mermaid hitting the ocean BUT we also get the boat, and the sea and the sun – a great chance for the reader to see we’re sitting in a vast oceanic expanse, and the reader’s first chance to feel that. The new Panel 4 – I like close up of weapons, but in the original it’s not entirely clear (except through dialogue) who’s pulling the knife. Well, now it is.

Panel 5-A struggle. We’ve plenty of shots of them on the boat, so we can go close now for the grim reality of a struggle.

Panel 6-Close up on faces, it’s hard to know why they’re both turning to the reader given they’d have no idea where the mermaid is in the ocean, so I have them both shouting at each other.

Panel 7 – added some fishies.

Panel 8 – The rough wasn’t clear, in my reading, exactly what was happening (this is the reason I’m not mad keen on doing this with roughs!) but it turns out to be a fish monster snagging the statue, so that’s what we have.

This really breaks my own personal rule of not redrawing anything, I’d much rather move things around, add some black and leave the art 100% yours with 5% of me doing snazzy things with shadows. Here it’s a total redraw so I’m not entirely sure what you’ll get out of this beyond “well, now I know how PJ would draw this”.

That said, I’m pretty happy with the borderless first panel, that’s a keeper if nothing else I’ve done is.

Hope that’s interesting!


Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.