Paid work has to take preference over personal projects like making comics, as all freelancers know, but during a brief week of downtime with work, I was somehow able to churn out 17 pages of the fourth and final Palace Club episode, "The Merger", and finally complete it! I started writing it back in May 2008, so this comic has been sitting in my 'To Do' files for a very long time.
This is my first comic ever to be entirely pencilled and inked digitally. I no longer have to draw the lineart on A4 paper, scan it, and then colourize/shade it in Photoshop. Now the entire artwork is produced in Photoshop and then the dialogue added using Comic Life. For someone who used to spend hours getting just one page done, this has really sped up production! I could have never produced 17 pages in five days using my old methods.
Anyway, enough about the vagaries of life on the comic circuit. Here are a couple of sample panels from "The Merger". Drawing it with a graphics tablet really makes an improvement to the artwork; you get much cleaner lines. Scanning lineart and then adjusting the contrast creates 'noise' around the lines – speckly coloured pixels that then affect colourization.
You'll notice I said this was the fourth and final episode of the series. I'm not retiring it for good though! It will make a comeback some day I'm sure, because I really like the series and characters (and, let's face it, making fun of the media and the internet). So I guess it's the final episode just for now. There are plenty more projects in my comics pile that are crying out for more attention! Next comic will probably be Rebirth, the opening story of Airbury Academy Volume IV, which will be in black and white from now on and will also be released in instalments for those of you who want to follow it.
The whole Palace Club series has been compiled into a 176-page omnibus edition, containing all four episodes, and it's called Alpha Beta Gamma Delta. It's got a new colour cover page as you can see on the right here. There is more info on the Palace Club page. At the moment it's in PDF format, perfect for reading on a computer screen, which is what we all do all day anyway, isn't it?