I am happy to announce that the first printing of ‘Catatan Pengembaraan Seorang Flowerman’ was a success!
I was rather worried about the brightness/contrast of the artwork initially but it turned out great 🙂
Order/purchase info will be announced as soon as certain aspects of logistics have been taken care of.
Special thanks to Mr. Haikal Rafek from Eyebleed Studio for his assistance with Layout and printing. Couldn’t have done it without you, bro!
As with many other graphic novels out there, this project also began with a script. From there, the storyboard was developed to lay out the panel-to-panel transitions. This process involved rough pencil sketches to plan out how each page is to be filled up (placement of characters, dialogue boxes, etc). Following this, the initial pencil sketches were improved with more detail followed by retracing everything in black ink. The latter process is more commonly known as the ‘inking’ stage. Some do it digitally these days, but I prefer to use assorted pens. At this point, we end up with black-and-white artwork as shown in the picture above. This is also where the artwork stage ends if one plans to produce a comic in black-and-white. The inked artwork is then scanned onto a computer for final processing (i.e. lettering). I did consider this approach in the beginning as this was a lot easier, saves a huge amount of time and most importantly … much cheaper to print! However, I felt that it failed to capture the ‘mood’ of the story. So I decided to color it anyway.
Deciding on the art direction for ‘Catatan Pengembaraan Seorang Flowerman’ was pretty straight forward once the script was finalized. Growing up reading American superhero comics, their penciling style has strongly influenced me. As a result, I am not that good in drawing ‘cutesy’ Japanese manga characters 🙂
In terms of color scheme, I have always been fascinated by the sepia tone. Particularly, after purchasing the Transcendence album by Butterfingers back in 1999 (amazing cover art!). In the case of ‘Catatan Pengembaraan Seorang Flowerman’, I have a strong feeling the sepia tone will work. Overall, the coloring process was the most time-consuming stage in the production of this work. In coloring digitally, there are two main phases:
(1) Flatting – This is where each object in the artwork is ‘individually separated’. The more ‘objects’ you have on a page, the longer this process will take. This is usually done using a graphics tablet. But I used a mouse instead. Hopefully, I’ll afford a graphics tablet someday.
(2) Rendering – This is the fun part of coloring as it involves introducing gradients, lighting effects and textures. I see this as a ‘reward’ for the tedious flatting stage.
The coloring was performed using Adobe Photoshop CS3 [this is a pretty old version]. Finally, the wording and dialogue bubbles were placed using Adobe Illustrator. In a major production, most of these tasks are performed by different individuals. As a results, you get things done better and faster. I wish to form my own team sometime in the future. Hopefully, together we’ll create more magic!
Two-years in the making and it is finally done. I must admit that this was certainly more fun than writing my PhD thesis as I didn’t have to worry much about gathering data. Even so, the whole process was still challenging in learning (for the first time) the many stages in the production of a graphic novel. There were many instances when the thought of abandoning the project altogether crossed my mind especially when things got too technical. The project actually began as a means to achieve something related to matters of the heart. Unfortunately (or ‘Fortunately’ … as this is a matter of perspective), things took a turn somewhere along the line. Regardless, I do still believe that behind every cloud, there is a silver lining. And so, the project must go on.
The initial draft was over 200 pages long and it was meant to be in English. However, I have decided to remove ~25% of the material in order not to stray too much from the central theme of this first book. Furthermore, the illustrations would have taken a lot longer to complete. God willing, the removed contents will be revisited in the future. Upon finalizing the script, I also realized that the narration worked better in the Malay language as many jokes and awkward situations got lost in translation with the usage of English. There are currently plans for an English adaptation of this book with possibly more unreleased content. So, stay tuned!
Being a huge fan of the comic book format, I have always dreamt of publishing my own work someday (It’s one of those ‘Top-Ten-Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die’ sort of thing). Memoirs have also always fascinated me. Not the ones written by top celebrities, famous politicians or even the world’s richest man; but rather the ones written by ordinary folks. I find it a lot easier to relate to. The stories in their true form can already be so complex without the need for much exaggeration.
In addition to being informative as well as entertaining, I really hope that you will benefit from the tale I am about to share. It’s a tale of an ordinary guy seeking to be extraordinary. With that being said, I present to you …
‘Catatan Pengembaraan Seorang Flowerman’
semoga terhibur 🙂
… ‘A lot of good things begin with a dream’ …
Nothing is random in this picture. Everything was purposely placed accordingly and each object holds a story. This piece of artwork was made on Christmas morning exactly two years ago. I remember that day. It was snowing, all stores were closed and I had no place to go. I’ve held this particular piece close to heart as it marked a significant moment in my life. It was at that moment that I had decided to embark on an ‘adventure’ … hopefully, a life-changing one. I was even determined that there will be no turning back.
Two years have passed since then, and I can honestly say that the journey had not been easy. Interestingly, the most exciting part was not knowing where and how it would end.
Upon uploading this piece on Facebook, it raised many questions from friends and family at the time (particularly, from those who did not know that I had passion for art). Unfortunately, I was not yet ready to answer most of those questions as I felt the timing wasn’t right. For reasons that are somewhat painful and embarassing, very few people know the actual story (to these particular individuals [you know who you are], thanks for keeping it a secret!). Now, I am ready to share. As we come closer to the end of 2012, I am proud to announce that my dream will soon become a reality.
… Mission accomplished!!! …