Swill is being a pain in the ass. We need more stories, and I am girding my loins to begin the process of begging. I've also recalled how much of a pain in the ass it was last issue when I had to do all the art at the last minute. It worked out well, but it was a horrid experience.
So I'm starting a little early this year.
As I mentioned in previous posts, I'm working on a new technique. I want it to look less photographic, more expressionistic. I want size-independent resolution. I want the option of easily reworking the images in color. And I want something that will allow me to use a wider variety of sources with less concern about the initial qualities of the images in question -- I want to be able to blend scans from the newspaper, sketches, and photographs from cameras bad and good seamlessly.
What I'm doing is making composite images in Photoshop, then rendering them as black, white, and .25, .50, and .75 flat gray images on separate layers using a combination of the magic wand selection tool and the pencil tool. Then I bring separate files for each layer into Illustrator, autotrace them, and Bob's your uncle. (First time when that phrase seemed right. Apologies to Bob.)
Here's an early attempt. It's still too photographic and busy.
This time around, I'm laying out color roughs first and only using the photograph as a guide, and the composition already seems a lot livelier to me. Now to find a few hours to noodle compulsively until the edges are clean. Or, rather, dirty in the right way.