A Bemurkled Sapphire Nuzlocke

Comic Image

Historic Ride

As I'm sure you can see, this page is an homage to Calvin and Hobbes, the greatest of all newspaper comics. Aside from the characters, I attempted to imitate several of Bill Watterson's techniques in the art and lettering. The page layout follows the structure of a classic Sunday comic instead of my usual "infinite canvas" approach.

Within my Nuzlocke comic, Calvin first appeared back on page 8 as a stand-in for Youngster Calvin (the first opponent in the game after the rival). He and his unusually tall Zigzagoon were originally intended as a throwaway reference, but I ended up reusing the characters several times in the Slateport storyline. The joke was running thin by then, so I gave it a rest. However, looking back more recently, I had the feeling that I hadn't quite done them justice. So I decided to take one more try at it.

I didn't want to simply trace panels or poses from an existing Calvin and Hobbes strip. Instead I wanted to create something that felt like a new, previously unpublished Sunday comic. So what I did was first spend time practicing by copying the characters and art from numerous different strips until I had a feel for the construction. Then I started fresh and drew my own page with minimal references. I did have to go back a few times to check certain details, but nothing on the page was directly copied.

Despite the small number of panels, this page took quite a while to complete. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable experiment and I learned a lot in the process. I made a new custom brush for the linework, since none of ProCreate's built-in tools had the right mix of jagged roughness and inky weight. Compared to my usual process, I found that I had to be very deliberate with the compositions and the line work to capture the right feel of expressive minimalism. I can only imagine the skill required to do one of these pages every week on top of six regular daily comics.