Hi! Here's page 5. Click to enlarge. I'll write some stuff underneath the image.
I took a family vacation in the middle of this one, hence the two-week turnaround.
This was the toughest page so far. The first time you draw a thing is always the easiest time, because you don't have to worry about consistency and you can tailor designs to meet compositional requirements. But the second time you draw that same thing, your right brain has to call your left brain in on the action, and things get ugly real fast. This page is almost all stuff you've seen on previous pages, but from different angles (the palanquin, the sister, the rocks, the dude's armor). I think I may worry a little too much about consistency -- people probably aren't counting how many grooves are etched into some guy's gauntlet. Anyway. Major time sink. Podcasts come in handy.
Come to think of it, every page has been the toughest so far. Sometimes it feels like I'm running a marathon while tied to the starting line with a bungee cord. Each step takes more effort. I'm like Steve Martin in the Three Amigos, held against the prison wall by weighted chains. "Gonna make it! Gonna make it! Gonna make it! Notgonnamakeit notgonnamakeit notgonnamakeit!"
I wonder if I should try to get in touch with other comic artists? Maybe I could benefit from a little back-and-forth with a kindred spirit or something. I can't exactly start cold-calling my heroes, though. And even if I did, what would I say? The only time I've ever talked to one of my comic idols was a couple of years ago at the Seattle Comic Convention. I ran across Paul Chadwick, and nobody was talking to him. He was just sitting there at his little table, bored. Paul Chadwick! I'm not a go-up-to-people kind of person, but for some reason I went over and mumbled something about how he helped me get through my teens. I'm pretty sure I turned beet red. I told him I grew up in Eagle Rock (where Concrete is set), and he was like, "wow, Eagle Rock!" I couldn't really think of anything to say after that, so I scurried away. Not a real confidence-builder for old Nate.
I get the feeling I don't have enough to show to be taken seriously by a pro at this point. Maybe after ten pages? Do any of you guys ever fantasize about showing your stuff to your heroes? What's your best-case scenario? I guess if Mike Mignola said something like "I really like the way you draw creatures," I could probably just go ahead and call it a life. Or if Bryan Lee O'Malley called me "cool." That's at least two months' worth of dopamine right there.
Hm. Well, on to page 6! I'm stoked because I get to draw two new characters, including our heroine!