Work continues.  Spring labor has begun.  The winter art session went pretty well… I’ll give it a B-.   I was hampered by that tooth situation.  By the end of January I was lousy with infection…it got into my blood and I felt like I was dying.  Then, after the root canal the damn thing cracked and had to be pulled!  $2500 dollars down the drain.  Double ouch!  So, I have a good excuse this year at least, vs last year when I just got stoned and watched Ukraine war on Youtube.  Still i was able to make color flats for all the pages I was working on and highlighting done for the first half of them.  Without the tooth problems I think I would have been right on course.

now that I’m back to job/work I’m going to put Issue 7 aside for a minute to recharge.  Its following the same pattern as Issue 4, The longest issue to complete so far… I don’t think it will be done anytime soon, unfortunately.  I am going to keep working… first I’ll finish up this current Kalthar adventure.  Four more pages.  After that I’ll get Issue 5&6 to the printer.  6 is mostly good to go and I’ve already begun the touch ups on 5.  should only take a couple days to get it straight.  Issue 4 is still intimidating me.   I’m not looking forward to tackling it.  I’m actually tempted to use AI to assist on some of the Art nouveau back grounds.  I ran it thru one of those apps and it came up with stuff that was much better than I could do….

What to say about AI.  As someone who is using source material to cobble together their comics I don’t feel as antagonistic to it as some people, for good reason, do.  I think it would suck to be Bill Sienkiewicz or a Mike Mignola or a Hans Rickheit and have someone type in “draw this or that in the style of Bill S”  and then make an image (or a whole comic) out of it and try to sell it as their own, having leeched the images from someone else.  That fucking sucks for obvious reasons.  I’m opposed to that.  But is it wrong to type in “Art Nouveau Ballroom”  generate 50 images until one shows up that works and then use it as the source material for a background of a panel?  That doesn’t seem quite as egregious to me.  I actually think it could make for a better final product in a lot of cases, issue #4 to belabor the point.  I adhere to the Scott McCloud idea that in the artistic medium of comics, the comic is the thing… its the total, final book itself… the individual pages/drawings are just the memorabilia of the process, albeit not without value in their own right.

In my work, I try to make sure that the panels go though a collage processing.  I don’t like just ripping an image whole sale.  The circus scene in issue 5 is guilty of this.  I wanted to get through the material so I just grabbed a whole bunch of circus pics and cobbled together the scene as opposed to plotting out the positioning of the characters and using the images to inspire their appearance…you know, actual drawing.  It was lazy and it bugs me… but sometimes its hard to figure out things like “draw a circus”.  And there’s still half a graphic novel to draw.  With AI i could generate hundreds of images which pull from the same source images that I drew from, but comparably unique.  Then I would apply adjustment, my inks and colors and probably wind up with sounder panels.  I think using it as part of your creative process – a tool – seems much less appalling that passing it off as straight up  “yours”.

I’m pretty sure It’s already possible to upload all of my pages of art and have images made in my own style.  Art nouveau ballrooom in the style of “the enchanted dagger”.  How much faster would I be able to get through one of these things if I could have 50 complete images to choose from for each panel.  Soon we’ll be able to just up load our character designs and the “Furious Purple Hairy Man throwing Super-man punch”  will require 30 seconds of design vs 30 minutes….or 3 hours as is often the case.  Could it mean the difference between 30 pages a year and 60?  That doubles my productivity!  Why wouldn’t I use it.  Luckily I don’t think AI is smart enough to design a page of comic book art in totality in one go or we’d be in for a lot of AI comics.  Why would a publisher not use it if it meant he could make books with no artists to pay?

I appreciate the conflict I really do.  I fiddled with it for about 5 minute to get that Art Nouveau ballroom (actually it was a hallway) and put it aside.  So I don’t know how useful it will actually be, how much time it will save.  ….Yet.  Got a felling its not going away.