It's been almost three years since I officially mentioned anything to do with my comic series, Sandy Saturday. I've had many requests about what will happen to it, why it wasn't being updated and the like – a fact which I still find quite impressive, seeing as there were only a very small amount of comics.
During the last three years I haven't really tried to work on the comic at all; instead finding other things to draw and putting off "the next Sandy Saturday comic" due to any number of excuses I could come up with at the time. However, today I want to make an announcement.
I'm currently researching art options, and if everything goes well, Sandy Saturday will restart again in February 2015
.If you're only here for the announcement, there it is! You can stick around now for a longer discussion on what I'm doing for the reboot, or you can return to what you were doing before. Just to let you know, the rest of this post is rather image-heavy.
I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think they can sense care.
~ Jonathan Ive
This is probably going to sound vain to the point of narcissism, but I want the reboot to be better than anything I've done in the past. I want it to stand out as something that doesn't look like it was haphazardly thrown together like my older comic; something that I've painstakingly pored time and effort into piecing together. And in order to make this happen, it has to be the best at every level imaginable: from the works themselves to the system that delivers it, and everything in between.
I've spent the better part of my free time last week carefully reworking the server side of my website: cleaning it up and making it better than ever for what I plan to use it for
: I've laid the groundwork for what should be a great content distribution system for my comic. But this is not my site: this is deviantART. My premium status here has expired – I let it happen – but I honestly don't think I was using any of the major features of premium. I'll re-evaluate this closer to the time, but until then I'll make do with regular member status. I'm sorting out my gallery here as well, so that's a positive too.
But galleries, housekeeping and code isn't what Sandy Saturday was ever about. I've also been working absurdly hard on making my art style truly better
. I'm currently concentrating on realism by looking at photos of things and trying to redraw them. The main emphasis of my recent studies is light and shadow, as most of my earlier images use blurred colour areas to represent these.
The first is of the drawing improvements is relatively simple: my desktop computer. The original image was drawn around the end of 2008 (I don't have the exact date any more) and has featured in several of my comic pages, as well as some of my university coursework. Here it is in it's old-style glory:
The recently redone version of this image went for a much more photorealistic style; concentrating on light and shadows as well as much more realistic colours.
I want to now build upon this to extend to more realistic environments: the simple backdrop in that picture is one of the major areas letting it down.
I've also been polishing my characters from the series. While it may be a reboot, the world and the people within it remain the same. They've aged and matured over the past few years, but they will still be recognisable to fans of the original series. I've released an official concept art image in the last month which was deliberately chosen as it is a remake of a pair of images drawn years earlier.
I really didn't like the original I drew in early 2008 - so much so that by the end of the year I had redrawn it several times already, each time getting slightly more anime-styled. However, these had nothing on the work I released recently.
With this version of Paige, I wanted to convey her new character traits in one image. People have described this image as "lonely" and "monochrome" - and while I don't want to give too much away, I'm glad they've said that. Paige is one of the characters which has possibly undergone the most changes as she resembles me the most in the series (which is a bit odd, as I used to cameo in the comics often). Readers of the old comics will have noticed that she was redrawn every few months in a new style - mainly because I was never happy with the way she looked.
And I can't finish off this post without a look-in from the titular character: Sandy herself. Back in 2010, I drew a Halloween image of her.
This year, I also drew a Halloween image of her, just to see how I could improve her image overall.
I think I've improved a great deal over the last few years.
Finally, I'd like to take a minute to discuss a schedule. I originally drew the Sandy Saturday comic every Saturday night, but I found this drained me as I tried to pull ideas put of a hat every week. Seeing as I'm going to be increasing the overall quality of the comic, it doesn't make sense to attempt to try and push a comic out of the door on a weekly basis. So while I'm promising a comic in February next year, it might not make sense to read it until May, when there may
be at least two pages. There may be months in between pages, especially if work out life gets in the way.
I'm looking forward to where this will go, and I honestly hope you are too. Here's to the reboot!