Compare and contrast

It's back to the graphic novel work today. I'm redrawing a few pages before I submit the first sample chapter of 'the great secret' to a publisher. Here's today's re-drawn page. I'm pleased how fast I can produce the work nowadays. It's exciting to find that it isn't just the quality of the work that improves when you put in the practice but also the speed at which you can produce the work.

steamship-dock

This might a good moment to compare and contrast the new version with the old one. Here's my original version of the page, drawn in 2013:

2013-steamship

I remember being very pleased with it. I felt I'd gone up a level. Now, eighteen months later, I'm trying to work why I honestly thought it was good. I seem to have drawn a child's toy tugboat and tried to pass it off as an ocean-going passenger liner. Also, the buildings on the right seem to be made out of Lego and half the passengers have clothing made from plasticene. The logo and the left-hand crate aren't bad, but that's about it. Ow!

There's definitely an embarrassing side to making progress as a writer or illustrator. In the early stages, you think you're doing great work and you can't understand why you're not being picked up for publication. 'What's wrong with those publishers, why aren't they interested!?' A year-or-so later, after several hundred more hours of practice, you look at the same work again and the reason is painfully clear. D'oh!