"BOTTOMLESS PITIFUL - PART 5" - TRIPLE-SIZED Episode!
As a weekly reader of this comic, it may have felt like a long time to get here, but when the pages are in a book layout, it's really a short amount of reading time from the point Newt and John enter the 'bottomless pit' to the point the fall out (or up!) the other side. The challenge has been keeping it interesting, creating light-sources, and reminding new readers the characters are actually falling in every panel, since I didn't want to show them motion-blurred for every shot.
So, now they're in China! This was an easy idea to write, but not so easy to create. I tried different styles to the background, including an Asian Watercolour technique... but it really seemed like it needed to be a little more realistic... but not too realistic. I kept the colour scheme of the watercolour style though, pale blues and greens, mixing in a hazy-mist effect for depth... together I feel they create a very familiar look of the Orient.
These flash-files became really RAM-intensive though... sometimes shutting flash down completely. I was saving often to get any progress. For the background, I used many layers of flash designs, ipad designs (sketchbook pro), photoshop designs, and a base reference soft-focus photo to create the depth and perspective of this shot in the mountains near the Great Wall of China. It was all at a high resolution, so it made every shot really slow to work with in Flash.
In panel 13, I created a "rack-focus" effect by exporting an image of John, turning him soft-focus in photoshop, and bringing him back into the scene as a transparent PNG image file.... then placing the PNG over the only "in-focus" image of the background, to direct the readers focus on the Great Wall in the distance. Personally, I like how after that shot, Newt so quickly puts down one of the 'Great Wonders of the World", showing no interest, just because he's hungry.
I had some fun with this section of the story. When I wrote this originally, I had considered leaving the story with them Hitch-hiking at the end, but I wrote some more fun dialogue that rounded out the journey... so this story is not over yet!... and for you true Newt and John Fans, I have some more fun single-episode stories to share in the future... so please keep checking back!
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If you've just discovered this comic, take some time to enjoy all the episodes in the ARCHIVE. Come back each MONDAY to see what else can happen, when Two Roommates take on the Universe!
All the best,
Mike Hogue - October 8th / 2010