I have more multi tipped screwdrivers than I have any reasonable need for. Every time I go into a home improvement store, I feel a compulsion to buy one. Or a LED flashlight. It’s the same compulsion I get when I go into a comic shop. It’s nearly impossible for me to leave without a new set of dice.

Ren’s powers aren’t really just super speed and strength. It’s really more reflexes than speed. He can move very fast, but it’s not the sort of super speed that lets him outrun a race car. “Super adrenaline” is really more of his elevator pitch for his powers. There’s more to them than that, but I should get out of the habit of trying to explain everything on one or two pages right as it’s introduced. It’s ok to throw an idea out there then revisit it later when that person is doing something with their power in a more show don’t tell fashion, or more realistically for me, show and also tell. It’s something I’d like to try and transition the comic to. More explain as it happens rather than people standing around talking about stuff.

#MakeComics: I hear people ask artists if they use a lot of references when they draw. It depends on what you already know how to draw and what you’re drawing. I’m generally pretty good with anatomy, but my webcam folder is full of shots of my own hands, and I always need pictures of expressions and heads in different angles. And expressions in different angles. In addition to those usual references, here are some other things I searched for to use as references:

Hallway: for lighting reference in panel 6. The “corner” behind Ren is supposed to be a wall that ends at the lightswitch, then the blueish wall is a perpendicular hallway leading to another room, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the lighting look right. Still need to work on that. The problem with googling “hallways” is that almost every shot I could find was just a photo taken straight down a hallway, no hallways connecting to a room. I googled “kitchens” after that looking for rooms with connecting hallways and didn’t have much luck. My human bodies/faces/hands reference folders (and pre-existing knowledge) are pretty flush. Obviously my architectural knowledge, and the lighting thereof need some supplementing.

On the previous page I searched for “firing range” “shooting range” “military firing range” in order to find some common signage you’d find in such places to populate some of the background with, but 99% of the stuff I found was shots looking downrange or across the shooting… area. You know, all the people doing the shooting. I searched for “firing range signage” and still got really sucky results, but eventually found one sign about “Always treat your gun as if it was loaded” yadda yadda.

Then I came to the thing I needed a reference for that I though would be super easy to find on the interwebs: “Woman smushing boobs together” It’s not that I needed reference for the boobs, it was the hand position I was having trouble with. I had surprisingly poor results, so I tried variants; “Woman squeezing boobs” “smushed boobs” “squeezing boobs” Really poor results. I think the problem is people don’t name photos “woman squeezing boobs” they name the picture “Angela_showing_off_the_girls.jpg” and google has no idea what’s in the picture other than Angela and girls.

So I turned to crowdsourcing my search on Twitter, figuring someone had a folder on their computer of this exact thing. I wound up getting a few people who thought I was asking for selfies, and I’m not going to say no to that (after making it clear I wasn’t looking for anything explicit) So thanks very much those who contributed. You can see the results on this page. I’m not sure why Harem is hefting herself other than that’s what I pictured her doing when I wrote her dialog.

It must be an oversight that I haven’t included The Hero Biz on my list of recommended webcomics. I think I’ve linked to it before, but it should live over there. It’s basically a superhero comic strip from Arianna’s point of view. The Director of PR character actually looks rather a lot like her. Anyway, they’re running a kickstarter, so check out the comic and then the kickstarter if’n you like what you see.

Here’s the link to the new comments highlighter for chrome, and the GitHub link which you can use to install on FireFox via Greasemonkey.