Sunday, December 7, 2008
Here's the last page.
I'm proud of the visual communication here of the mindwipe, it's not exactly the easiest thing to convey without a stupid-ass panel reading "and this is how the robot got the relevant part of his brain erased". This isn't the golden age anymore, thankfully, we can trust the viewer to understand the action just by showing it, right? Right?
I guess it would have been easier if the screen read something silly like 'R U SURE U WATN FULL MEMORY WIPE Y / N ?' but nerds will be nerds and I had my nerd friend Ghormak write me some c64-like BASIC code that would theoretically clear some memory. Well... all the memory, really. Let's pretend ZX is running on 20 internal c64 chips in parallel and has different memories stored on different ones. Also the irony of a robot named ZX64 running on c64 processors. I will have none of it on the ongoing vendetta between Spectrum and Commodore users, both machines have their strengths. It's just a shame the c64 has many, many more of them. That's the final word on this, now, you hear?
I think this page works and I wouldn't really change much about it. This is also a byproduct of this art being closer to today than some of the other stuff I've posted so it's not that I've changed radically as an artist since.
Here's some more Ptoing slave comments on the coloring:
Page four was frustrating as I accidentally saved the resized .jpg into the photoshop file when I was almost done, and that would have been of course totally useless for print, so I had to start over. Still I am happy with the outcome especially the psychedelic colours in the middle panel as well as the three last ones, which in a way echo the colours of page three.
The only rationalization going on here is how I colored the last panel as well as the background in the last three panels, which I did in a way to guide the eyes as well as focus on where important stuff was. If you look at how ZX is shaded in the last panel and think a bit about it, it makes no sense whatsoever as far as realism goes, but at this point Helm has indoctrinated me with his "Screw Realism" credo, that my compulsions never stood a chance.
On a side note, the text of the pseudo code in the first panel is made with the C64 charset. I actually fired up WINVice (a C64 emulator) and typed the stuff in there and then printscreened it and adjusted it for the comic as needed. So many interesting facts, no?
Very notable is that Helm did not do any adjustments to the last two pages, he saw them and was happy. (The last 3 panels are a very good example of his inconsistencies. Note the eye positions of ZX)
In closing I have to say I really enjoyed colouring this comic and I am looking forward to colour more of Helm's comics in the future. Tho one thing I learned is that I never want to colour comics professionally unless I really have to.
Thank you for bearing with me and my ramblings. You are released now.
Hehe, c64 charset... nerds will be nerds.
An interesting point to note is that the comic has some internal symmetry. Page 1 ends with a 'hello' and an embrace, page 4 ends with a 'hello' and a handshake :(
Oh about handshakes, I guess I should say that whereas most people think them old-fashioned I am a firm believer in a firm handshake upon meeting someone. ZX takes from his artist in this amongst other superficial character traits (like being AWESOME ALL THE TIME).
Page 2 is all words words words and panels panels panels and page 3 is all about silence and few panels, that's a contrast bookended by symmetrical pages more or less (for instance page 1 and 4 all end on three vertical panels of close action, so on). I like playing up the forms of comics, I hope I don't constrict the actual happenings inside them with my such concerns.
Closing thoughts on the comic's abstract: "Man, imagine how harsh digital, perfect memory would be if you were a heartachey robot" was the initial thought that came to me while I was taking a shower/touching myself. I stepped out and kept a single doodle note of ZX running a big cartoon magnet all over his forehead and saying "fuck you, bitch" and the idea stewed from there to something a bit more human, heh.
Whereas I don't think it mirrors anything real very completely, what with none of us being robots, it does have something to it if you ever have been in love and you acutely remember parts of that relationship. For a long time you think you'll never forget, that there won't pass a single day that you won't think about that person and nothing anybody else tells you makes you change your mind. Eventually you forget, but this comic is about tough choices and the very blurry line between bravery and cowardice in interpersonal relationships. There is also the sad suggestion of the deterministic repeat, of something having happened just to happen again and again, ourselves looking at ourselves making the very same mistakes, kicking and screaming and crying but still saying 'yes' at the right times and 'no' hardly if ever. I mean, who knows what happens after the last panel, here? Perhaps she never explains what just happened, perhaps she pretends she was 'fixing him' and they meet all over again all the time she's secretly hoping, yearning that things won't play out as they did last time. For all we know... this has happened many times before. Always the same pseudocode, always the same last words
I love you so much.