Page 71

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  1. … All that you learned was worth it. That first panel looks great!

    Also, that The Patriarch and Captain Samara are having a bit of a verbal duel/testing of water/investigation here. It’s very interesting!

    1. Thanks! I wanted to tighten it up a bit more, but it was already 1am when I posted this and I think I could have easily driven myself mad trying to paint every single step.

      1. I don’t know if you use photoshop on any of your line-art, but it might make doing repeating elements like the stairs much easier. I’ve done similar stuff with real photography, and after adding certain filters it looks much less like a copy and paste job. I work pretty slowly myself, and I bet that you’re much more efficient just drawing. I really love the bricks, pillars, and blending of the red vs blue lights in the first panel! Your artwork is astonishing, as always.

        1. It’s a good suggestion! So good I’ve actually been doing that for a while, haha. The entire comic is made in Photoshop from start to finish. As far as efficiency goes, my pages take (on average) ten hours from start to finish, including thumbnailing but not scripting.

          There are a few problems with the method, however. The first one is finding suitable photographs that are available for commercial use, obviously you can’t just grab stuff from google image search and assume it’s fine. So, in this case, finding the exact shot of a vast spiral staircase from above that’s also actually legal to use is quite unlikely.

          On top of that, solely applying filters to a photograph won’t make it suitable for use in an otherwise drawn/painted work such as a comic. To me, at least, stuff like that sticks out like a sore thumb.

          I take a lot of care to integrate and paint over any photographic elements I use in RMR – the most recent example is on page 69, the window in panels one, four and five, and the backdrop in panel five, are from photos I took while I was in Italy. (I did say I would get good use out of them!) Of course, it was a lovely sunny day when I took those photos. I painted over them quite heavily in this context.

          In the end, I’ve been finding more and more recently that it would be just as much work to hunt down a stock photo, manipulate it suitably, and paint it into place as it would be to just paint the thing from scratch. There’s no substitute for practice in the end!

          Anyway, thanks for your comment! I always like an excuse to ramble about page production. 🙂

  2. Gosh, what are they keeping in the rooms (cells?) on all these floors? Is this ALL for the Imaran government’s use? o.O It looks really nice, but so spooky!

    Oh wait, there aren’t any cells, it seems there’s just a cellar very, very deep down. Where’s cool I suppose, so far below the ground. Hmm.

    1. At the moment you probably know about as much the captain does in this scenario, very few officials from Ashul know what’s going on deep in the heart of Imara.

      That said, there’s a few doors branching off from the main staircase, I think they might just be a bit obfuscated by the final shading and lettering. I was thinking of posting the sketch/inks for this page since it’s one of my favourites so far, and it’s a bit more visible there.

  3. The stairs here instantly remind me of the stairs of the old tunnel under river Elbe in Hamburg, even the lights are somewhat similar…
    e.g. here:

    1. Oh, nice! I’ve never seen this location, but it’s very, very cool. That’s going in the ol’ inspiration bucket.

  4. I really like the lighting in these past few strips.
    How long more till we get to know about the ’information’? I seriously can’t wait!
    PS, I think you should update the archives page.

    1. Thanks! I’ve been trying some subtly different techniques for the backgrounds, and I’ve also been trying to keep the lighting on the characters quite focussed, I think I’m coming around full circle to the old cel shading that I used in RMR’s early days.

      As for the information, you’ll just have to wait and see, I’m afraid!

      Also, yeah. Wow. The archives page. I keep forgetting about it, but you’re right, I haven’t updated it in a very long time. Will get to that soon.

      1. I have another question, why aren’t you on Patreon?

        1. Honestly, I’ve had trouble finding the time between freelance work and keeping the comic updating to put together a Patreon. I’ve had one sitting half-finished for months now. There was also an issue with EU taxation that was very boring and I won’t get into that made Patreon seem like a no-go for the first six months of this year, so I set it aside while that was happening.

          Plus I have this worry about either offering backers too much (that I then won’t have time to deliver on) or too little (and seeming ungrateful). I guess I’m probably overthinking it.

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