Funday Sunday on Hot Mess – Designing Anna (part 1)
Happy Sunday, everyone! Today is the first of three Funday Sunday posts which I hope will give all of you a little insight into how we developed the look of Hot Mess – specifically that of our main character, Anna.
But before we can talk about Anna, we have to talk about the big picture: the world of Hot Mess.
After the initial spark hit us to do a high school-based comic (more on that will be revealed in a future blog post!), we wanted to make sure we took our time during the early stages of creating our little webcomic series. Best to start out on the right foot, rather than spending TONS of time correcting bad choices we would have inevitably made if we rushed it. After a few creative discussions with Emily, as well as working out what we wanted to accomplish with the writing (in broad strokes at this point), we had all decided on a ‘look’ for Hot Mess that we felt perfectly complimented our vision for what the comic would look and ‘sound’ like when the series debuted.
In my opinion, this is the most important place to spend your valuable time when creating a webcomic: making sure the look fits the story. I always relate it to music. I’m sure you’ve heard songs where the instrumental music is perfectly complimented by the singer’s voice. Almost as if the singer and musicians were genetically designed and destined to create that song together. Conversely, there are many, many songs I could name where the beautiful instrumentals are ruined by a singer’s voice, or vice versa. It could be a band whose entire catalog sounds like they were trying to force a square into a circle, or it could be a band you love trying out a new style on a song that just doesn’t work. It’s not to say either one was bad, or one was worse than the other, but more that the two just don’t compliment each other.
I know I’ve seen more than a few webcomics, or comics for that matter, with stupendous writing and great art, but somehow the two just don’t click. In a lot of those cases, the creatively muddled results aren’t any one person’s fault – but rather the writing/art team making bad choices from the get-go. We were determined to get this right, and hopefully we did – you tell us!
So after establishing what the Hot Mess world would look like, we just needed to make sure that our star character would be able to visually project all the emotions we needed her to within the boundaries of the style we had chosen – so Emily sketched out this “expressions” test first. We liked what we saw on her first try, and all decided to move onto the next step… which we’ll discuss next Funday Sunday!
Ok, so a bit of site stuff:
Wow, wow, wow. Thanks to you, in March we zoomed from somewhere deep in the 300s all the way up to the mid-60s! And it was only half-a-month that I was bugging you guys for votes. Amazing!!! Ok, now I don’t want to push it with you all, but how about we see if we can go higher in April? Let’s prove Slumper wrong!
There’s now just under a month to enter the Contest, so get those entries in, we want to see them! Take a look at Category 1 (personal avatars) and Category 2 (riffs on the Hot Mess characters)! We’d love to see your masterpiece win!
And you can check us out on Facebook for site updates, special content and exclusive art!