Page 4 first-pass color complete. Click to enlarge. More below.
Here's why I love the internet: a month ago, I didn't know the word "flatting." Three weeks ago, I didn't know there were flatting plugins. Two weeks ago, it took me fifteen hours to flat a page using those plugins. This week, it took three hours. All because of comments on this blog. Holy shnikeys.
I ended up trying Eagle's method -- that is, removing extraneous lines from the line art layer before running the plugins. Below are examples of the line art for this page in pre- and post-culled states. Note that in many cases all I had to do was make a "leak" in between two areas so that they filled with the same color.
And here's what the plugins spat out. The second image is cleaner and more tractable. All it needs is a few dinks with the magic wand, and I'm on my way.
By the way, I still used the high-noise version at left to add some nice random variation to large single-color areas. And below is the flatted image before coloring began.
Thanks, Eagle! And thanks to everybody else who tossed out suggestions. You guys are teaching me how to fish!
I have received a few e-mails of commiseration, telling me not to get too depressed about the comic-making process. Perhaps I have wallowed a little too much in the whiny pit. Please let the record show that when I manage to make something work, I experience a boundless euphoria (really). Why, when I finished the first panel yesterday, I was so jazzed that I took Jiyoung out and splurged on fine Kentuckian cuisine. Poultry prepared using traditional old-world crispiness techniques.
Also, thank you to everyone who has joined the mailing list over the last few days. It's very heartening to see that there are interested people out there!
On that note, I've begun to think about marketing. The meager research I've done has only highlighted how little I know about, well, everything. I assume the market for this sort of work is relatively small, so I need to gain as much exposure as possible within that narrow demographic. The internet is clearly my friend. Outside of Google ads, does anybody have any idea how to get the word out?
There's also a wild-card issue: I wonder how many people who are currently interested will be put out by the unusual turn the story's about to take. Anyone who was on board for straight-ahead sword and sorcery is about to get a nosebleed.
Oh! And has anybody used Comixpress? I'm intrigued by their online store. No piles of inventory = major selling point.