The Coloring Process

I live in the fortunate circumstance that my husband Yiri is also an artist and helps me with my books. Not only does he provide necessary feedback and peptalks, he has taken on the coloring ever since 2009, when we started Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics.

Since then, he has colored Religion, Science – which almost killed him (no kidding! He had a heart attack while we were working on that 192-page monster) – and World Domination. It took a lot from his health and especially caused chronic shoulder and neck pains. So we decided to do things differently for the book about Love; after all, too much love will kill you, as the song says.

Our coloring process in the last year has been this:

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We’re in the last phase of the book now, the deadline for the publisher is next month. So far, this new routine is fast, fun and relatively stress-free. And Yiri is not half dead, which is a great relief to both of us.

Finishings

When making a graphic novel, there are many milestones that can be celebrated with a heart-felt: “Finished!”. There’s the moment all the pages are drawn; then when they are all digitalized, lettered and put in the right order; when they’re all colored; when the file is sent to the publisher; when the file is sent to the printer’s; and then, finally, when the actual book arrives and can be held in my greedy hands. Finished!

booklet

Yiri and I especially celebrate the first finishing: when all the pages are drawn. It has become tradition to make a little doodle in a tiny booklet, marking time and date.

Here’s the first Finishing, in 2009, when we made Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics:

philosophy

This one was drawn a year later, in 2010, when finishing Religion: a Discovery in Comics:

religion

Science: a Discovery in Comics was a heavy one – it was finished in the summer of 2012:

science

The fourth book, about World Domination, is not out in the States yet, but I have just made an info page on my site if you want to take a look. This is how I felt when finishing it, in 2015:

worlddomination

And just a few weeks ago, the last pages of the book about Love were drawn!

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We’re now in the process of finishing up the other finishings: the colors, the text corrections, the index etc. But those are minor finishings – the big one is out of the way!

Here’s another drawing from the little book, by the way, the only one in English:

doumph

Words to live by!

The Cover of Love

At the moment I’m working on my fifth book in the ‘Discovery in Comics’-series: about Love.

The Dutch version will come out in February, and this is the time to frantically work on the last pages, promotional blurbs for the publisher and the finalisation of the cover design.

It all started months ago, when I thought I had a great idea that would convey both the loveliness of love as well as its darker connotations: a heart-shaped hole in the ground, with different fumes coming out… Here’s the sketch version:

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My colorist/husband Yiri and I then came up with three different color versions, which we presented to my helpful Facebook-friends:

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This was the winning design we settled on:

liefde1_cover

As the months passed, this cover increasingly irked me, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then someone commented that they did not really see the heart as a heart-shaped hole, and that did it. Time for a complete revision.

I decided I wanted to incorporate some traditional “lovey” symbols – like hearts and roses. Roses with thorns, of course:

liefde2_roses

And then I’d have the Loving Couple (me and Yiri) swing precariously over them-

liefde2_us

add a heart and some color, and this was the result:

liefde2_cover

I felt good about this one for a few days, then I started to get annoyed by the anxious looks on our faces. Love is fun! At least, mostly. So the precarious swing went out of the window, and I drew us cozily snuggled together in a rose…

liefde3_bits

Now ain’t that sweet? I added some bees and a ladybug, and the final result is this:

liefde3-cover

There. This one’s probably going to be it – although you never know. At least it has that sweet & fun love vibe I was going for.

Whoever said that Love is a lot of work, was definitely not kidding! And that’s just the cover!

My local Omnipresence at the Stripdagen Haarlem

This weekend I will be at the Stripdagen in Haarlem, Holland’s most prestigious comics convention! Where to find me? Almost everywhere!

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First of all, there’s a big expo of my religion-related comics work in the beautiful St. Bavochurch, right in the middle of town. It features pages from my graphic novel Religion: a Discovery in Comics, but also other work, such as Reverend De Heer and this church window depicting the shared paths of Christianity and Islam, almost 3 meters high!

kerkraam-print

The expo has been up since end of April (and will be on for another two weeks) and has already garnered lovely comments from visitors all over the world:

guestbook

Another place where my work can be found at the Stripdagen, is in De Nieuwe Vide, where the expo ¡VIVA PONTIAC! takes place, about artist Peter Pontiac who passed away last year. I made a comic about it which can be seen in print, and there’s work from my amazing yet humble husband Yiri T. Kohl as well – Yiri was heavily influenced by the work of Pontiac, and even succeeded him as illustrator for magazine Mainline in the 1990s. Here’s an example of his work that can also be found at the expo:

yiri_mainline-a

Last week, I got the surprising news that my webcomic has been shortlisted for the Comik Web Award. I didn’t even know I was nominated! In the Philharmonie there’s an expo of all the shortlisted webcomics. To cash in on this exposure I ordered another print run of my webcomics collection, which will be for sale for 5 euros:

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And then, last but not least, I will manifest in the flesh – on both Saturday and Sunday, you can find me at my own table in de Grote Zaal of the Philharmonie, together with Yiri and a bunch of our books:

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I hope to see some of you there! Come by for freebies and a chat!

 

Group Behavior

What’s wrong with the world today? Hmm, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, not much more than what was wrong yesterday or a decade ago… One of the problems is this deep-seated psychological phenomenon of group behavior.

This comic is from my graphic novel World Domination: a Discovery in Comics – only out in Dutch yet, but here’s a little preview in English.