galactic scrap collector

Announcing WAYFARER by Richard Rudge

It’s been awhile since GALACTIC SCRAP COLLECTOR ended, a webcomic that I spent almost two years writing and drawing, and while I’m debating the route to go with a physical printing of it, I have to go forward to the future. So with that being said...

New project announcement! (I’m imagining a lot of air horns and crowds going wild right about now)

WAYFARER is a science fiction short story series focusing on Abigail Quinn as she lives through her cybernetically enhanced 5000 years of life. With a focus on technology, society, and and finding a purpose in life when given such freedom. The series will approach a large range of topics, with the series becoming more science fiction the further into the future Abigail lives.

Here’s a little about Abigail and WAYFARER as a whole:

Abigail Quinn had worked hard to achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut. She was fitted with a cybernetic augmentation that would extend her life to survive the journey. She would travel further than any human would have travelled in space at that time.

Her plans changed however, when that was taken away from her.

Now she has 5000 years to see the world, the universe even, to reclaim what she lost and so much more.

Abigail is curious, empathetic, and always striving to go forward. Always looking for adventure, fighting injustice and simply to help those in need. She lives by a mantra that she doesn’t know everything but she can always learn more.

Abigail is our eyes into the future, seeing the world and the universe change as she stays the same, seeing society rise and fall many times over.

Wayfarer is thoughtful science fiction, contemplating what it means to be human in an increasingly artificial world, how the universe will open up to humanity in the next 5000 years, and what happens when the limitation of lifespan is taken away.

Wayfarer is a journey 5000 years into the future through the eyes of one person, one short story at a time.

Abigail Quinn appeared in final third of GSC, Abigail is a character I’ve had developing in my head for a while. And with my new ongoing project WAYFARER, I’ve finally found a place that fits her well.

Wayfarer is a digital and physical comics project, with Wayfarer: Closure being the first printed issue being released May 15 2017. With webcomic short stories beginning to be published online shortly after.

Wayfarer: Closure follows Abigail as she goes on a roadtrip across a future America to see a location of historic importance. Seeing the sites of the Nevada desert, chatting about self driving  with truck driver Teddy along the way.

Wayfarer: Closure was written and drawn by Richard Rudge (me), with interior colours from Riley Jones.

Here’s a little preview. If you’d like a review copy and publishable preview pages like the ones above, send me an email to r_rudge@hotmail.com

Print copies of Wayfarer: Closure will be available to buy here on my online store.
For the digital part of this two pronged assault I’ll be writing and drawing slightly shorter stories to be published in a weekly webcomic format on Tapas and on it’s own site wayfarercomic.com.

I'm so excited to begin sharing the stories WAYFARER is capable of. The broad timescale combined with the short story format is primed for some excellent comics.

The End of Galactic Scrap Collector by Richard Rudge

Today I posted the final page of GALACTIC SCRAP COLLECTOR, a science fiction tale that follows a working class family trying to survive underneath the shadow of galaxy spanning corporations. Which you can read yourself on tapastic here. From some rough calculations, it’s been about two years since I started, and an interesting ride all told.

My original intention for GSC was to follow Keira and her family as they did their job, lived their life, but in this bizarre and otherworldly setting, picture a kid riding with their dad as they do plumbing or maintenance work. But it morphed into something a little bigger. The context of the state of their society formed around them, the wild west of factions and corporations doing whatever they wanted in space, free of any kind of regulation. The same kind of freedom that let’s Keira and family survive day to day, but let’s larger forces dictate what happens on a galactic scale. It became a bigger adventure, where I could explore a topic just a little bit, Keira and her family being focal point, taken along for the ride.

Here’s some early sketches of Keira I dug out from the vault ( a fancy term for a folder on my computer ) The biggest difference is I removed her goggles as her character and job became a bit more defined, this original sketches are more of a post apocalyptic survivor type character. She became a little less raggidy.

 

GSC also started out in black and white, and a silly format, which I only changed to a standard comic format for the third (final) chapter. Which I think says a lot about my confidence in my own work since beginning the project. But it also brings a problem.

Here's some early work on colouring the first two chapters.

This blog post is called the END, but I want GSC to have a lasting permanence, and to do that I feel the first couple chapters need editing so they have some coherency with the later chapters. While not a total revamp, I’ll be do a lot of tweaking adjusting, adding a new panel here and there and absolutely adding colour to those first chapters. I’m proud of what I’ve made but can’t help see all the things I need to improve on.

After that It’s thinking about a physical copy and getting it on comixology and things like that, getting it to a wider audience than the fine folks who have been reading GSC so far. I’ll be doing editing updates on here as I go and try to give a rough timetable of when GSC will *actually* be finished.


But before looking to the future I want to say thank you to those who read GSC and have supported the comic up til now. That encouragement has been crucial to me being able to finish the story.

Making of "The Battle of Sentinel Prime" by Richard Rudge

So today I’ve just published the 80th and 81st page of GALACTIC SCRAP COLLECTOR, my jet setting science fiction story following a family of scrap collectors as they get whipped up into a tale of corporate espionage, experimentation and backstabbing. You can start reading the whole thing here: https://tapastic.com/episode/90464

If you’ve read the pages you’ll realise why I published both pages today rather than the regular one a week. It’s a double page spread, a first for GSC. I did this for many reasons. The first being that the story of GSC is escalating, and how I portray that should match it, so a large and dramatic space battle should be given the appropriate stage, secondly I’ve never done a double page spread before so I wanted to have that experience.

So you may be asking, what’s the big deal? Why is a double page spread such cause for celebration and a once in a blue moon blog post? Well I think looking at how I go about making comics will demonstrate that.

I’m something of a traditionalist at the moment, I draw and ink on A3 paper, then scan it into a PC to colour it. So making a double page spread this way brings up some problems.

 Pencils for the double page spread, two sheets of A3 taped in the middle

Pencils for the double page spread, two sheets of A3 taped in the middle

Here are the pencils for the double page spread, bearing in mind half of this is what I usually make for a single page. So what I did here was draw out the page dimensions on each page and then fold one page at the comic page edge as seen here.

 Folded one sheet so I was drawing right to the edge, so there was no gap between the pages

Folded one sheet so I was drawing right to the edge, so there was no gap between the pages

From there I stuck the pages together with tape so I had a single drawing space, so there wasn’t any gap or unalignment with the two pages.

With the problems of practicality out the way, now begins the design challenge. I’m making a double page spread that will be initially published as single pages as a webcomic. So each page as to stand on it’s own but still work as a whole. So obviously things like text can’t go over the centre of the image (doubly so as this would be hard to read in a print format as well because of the book spine)

Secondly I had two stories to tell, the battle happening between Inami and Sentinel Prime and Keira, Abigail and families’ escape from their ship and travelling to the nearby planet. So giving space for the second story while still giving the battle enough room to sell the spectacle of it was a consideration.

 Initial thumbnails and notes on the pages

Initial thumbnails and notes on the pages

So here’s where my notebook comes in. I use this to draw out thumbnails of pages, breakdown large sequences into what I fit into a page and draft dialogue. Here’s what this week’s pages looked like in draft.

 

All the key components of the battle are there, the battle cruiser, Big Bertha, several fighters flying around, and Sentinel Prime and the planet in the background. Below that I draw large thumbnails for the six panels, again with only key components of what I wanted in each panel.

You’ll notice that the 5th panel is completely different to the final page, I felt it smarter to show Abigail leaving as a single panel rather than both ships in one. Plus it gave me the space to show the battle close up with the missiles flying by and the explosions in the distance.

 Finished Inks

Finished Inks

For inking I use a range of pens at various thicknesses for inking, the close the object in the scene the thicker the ink as a general rule. You’ll notice that I haven’t filled in the large black spaces that are through these pages. That’s done digitally once it’s scanned in as I felt it a considerable waste of ink when I can achieve the same effect later on in the process. Should be noted that I did leave little x’s to denote where I need to fill with black so I don’t forget. There will be of course areas that I forget to fill until fairly late in the process. Such is life.

My colouring style for GSC is fairly simple, lots of block colouring, highlights and shadows, and some lighting effects such as the red light inside the small shuttle or the light yellow hue on board Big Bertha.

I add the star effect when colouring also, Clip Studio’s “droplet” tool is really good for this. I can get some good variance in depth and spacing of the stars to make it look non uniform. I also used the crosshatch tool that I blurred afterwards to give clouds to the planet.

 Black Panel Border

Black Panel Border

 White Panel Border

White Panel Border

There was lots of colour hold on this page. By that I mean colouring previously black lines of the original inks so its gives less of an edge, the laser fire from the fighters in this instance. I also did this for the upper half of the six panels to make them stick out a bit more of top of the larger image, as in some cases it was black space on black space so it needed a little more distinction.

From there I added text/letting. Again I was telling two stories at once, the battle and Keira/Abigail leaving Big Bertha so I wanted to be clear but also make sure each page had enough for the reader. Much of the “battle” text was radio chatter from both Inami and Sentinel Prime forces telling a larger story without detracting from the main story. Giving the blue and red distinctions gives some clarity to it.

The finished pages.

Here’s the final pages in full, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. You can find the rest of the story over on tapastic: GALACTIC SCRAP COLLECTOR.


Thanks for reading.