Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Draw a Comic

I am a little overwhelmed by the response to my comic. Y'all are awesome.

Being me, any kind of positive feedback makes me doubt myself.

Can I still do this? Can I even draw? Holy crap, I am a total failure, I can't even draw at all, can I? Otherwise, I would totally have been drawing this whole time. That's why I stopped, isn't it? Because I suck? Why do I even try? I should just hide in the cabinet under the sink and never come out.

Somehow, thoughts like these don't make me not try.

But I'm pretty sure I'm doing everything wrong.

Still, I've made you a photo tutorial, in case you would like to fail at this as badly as I do.

How to Write and Draw a Comic, a Photographic Instructional Blog Thingy Written by Leauxra

1) Design.

I usually start with a rectangle, and then start writing words.  I rarely have any idea what the page will look like before I start.  I try not to.  If I have any expectations, I will fail, and then I will never finish.  So I start with a rectangle, maybe a sentence or two and a vague idea.  This is the design phase, and requires a good eraser.
2) Pencil.
Pencil in more of the details because there is no way you can really trust yourself with a pen if there is any kind of  detail to be done.  Pencils are safer.

It is also good to note that if you are at a loss as to what to do in a small panel, a close-up of the eyes usually works.  It makes the character seem more emotive, even if you don't care about your character or your character's feelings.
3) Trace.

Trace your lines with a pen.  There are talented comic book people out there that use a quill or a brush and inks, but having a big box of pens of various widths is much more useful if you want to sit in front of the TV and draw.  Do what you feel comfortable with (but pens are better.  Totally).  Also: don't mess up.  If you mess up now, you will regret it for the rest of the page.
4) Erase.
Let it sit for a few minutes after you finish tracing your page.  Otherwise, when you start erasing the pencil, you will smear the fuck out of everything.  And for the love of all that is holy use a good, clean, eraser.  I like the white Magic Rub types. No, this isn't sexual, that's the name of the eraser.  Shut up.

I also use a soft make-up brush that has never been used for make-up to get rid of the eraser bits.  Your hands are probably covered in graphite, so you need something that won't smear anything.  Blowing on it doesn't work, either,  at least not for me, because I always end up spitting on it by mistake in my effort to get every last bit of eraser off, and then I get pissed off and throw things.
5) Fill it in.
Once there are no eraser bits left, black the big spaces.  You could use a Sharpie here if you are a glutton for punishment... those fuckers will bleed through to the center of the earth and destroy your paper, your sanity, and maybe even your soul.  But any OTHER kind of felt tip will work.  And if you're really patient, you can use a fine tip, but you will totally destroy it in the process.  Blacking in the dark areas makes the thing start to look done-ish.
6) Letter and Detail.

Time to write the letters and fill in details!  This is my favorite part.

After you ink in letters, you will think of about a million better ways to say what you just wrote, and it will be too late.  You will also realize that if you haven't drawn anything in months, you will completely SUCK at this.  Seriously, what the fuck?  I use to be GOOD at drawing hands.  This girl looks like she has flippers.
7) Keep going.
Keep embelishing until you can't stand it anymore.
8) Done.  Finally.

Take a photo of the finished product, because you'll be fucked to try to figure out the scanner.  You're feeling kind of lazy and you had a bad day at work, so to hell with extra efforts.  You'll scan it in LATER.  For now, you'll take a slightly blurry picture under the tungsten lights and then boost the contrast and put it in "black and white" mode.  Done.  Finally.

Try to pretend you are proud of your work even though you mostly feel like a failure and that you should have done better.  You'll look at it and see everything that is wrong with it.  They will never be good enough.  Accept it, and try to do better next time.


A page like this will take me around four hours from start to finish although I usually have to take a break because my hands hurt and I can't see after a while.  These things use to take about three times as long, but apparently I haven't forgotten everything I ever learned.

And there you have it, kids.  Have fun.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Do These Make My Bones Look Fat?

Have you ever wondered where I got the name for this blog? I mean, I am not a health blog. Have you ever wondered, "What the hell, Leauxra?"


Today is your lucky day.


A long, long time ago, at a job far far away...

I was bored at work.

I could only dust the picture frames and vacuum the carpet so many times.  I also did not own a computer. If there was no one in the store for a stretch of time, what was I supposed to do?

One day I thought about writing a story, and ended up sketching this cute picture of a skeleton girl checking out her ass in a mirror, and a little light came on in my head.  Ten minutes here, an hour there... and eventually, I had 23 pages and a complete story.  I made a comic book.

And I haven't done anything like it since.

That was five years ago.


So.  Today, I am sharing this with you, in order to hopefully inspire myself to MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME again.


P.S. I am a little nervous putting a bunch of full sized images out on the interwebz.  Please, play nice.  If you want to use any of these images for... well, anything, please talk to me.  I will probably say yes.  KTHANKS!

P.P.S. These were all drawn on paper that was about 6" by 8", using pens I got at Walgreens up the road.  I didn't have a ruler, so I used the edge of a business card for straight edges and kind of eyeballed the width, which explains much of the crookedness of the images.  Just FYI in case that sort of thing bothers you.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Being all disdainful of meta-posts and talking about my blog, and things that are cliché, and being a big follower of my RULES, I thought if anyone tagged me in one of those little taggy blog posty thingys, I would politely thank them and then tell them that I don't "do" these things.

And then something awesome happened to me.

I got this:

And it made me feel awesome.

Fuck the rules.

I would like to thank all the little people... and give a huge shout out to Misty of Misty's Laws who tagged me.  She is some kind of funny, too, so if you don't read her blog, you should.   Go now.  The read the whole thing.  I'll wait...

Done?  OK.

How this works is that I tell y'all three things you may not know about me, and I tag three other bloggers that I would like to know more about.  Seems simple enough.

Three blogs you should be reading and that I want to know more about:

  1. Stephanie C of Seriously??...Reeeally?... Seriously?:   If you don't read this blog, I don't even know what to say.  This is the only bloggy friend I have who can also hurt herself several times a day on stupid things JUST LIKE I DO, plus she has a Great Dane, and I freaking LOVE those dogs.
  2. Stephanie of Clay Baboons.  She seriously hit the nail on the head with this new blog, and her illustrations via clay are phenomenal.  She is going to be big.  You should totally be friends with her before she's too famous to notice you.
  3. Hoodyhoo of... hoodyhoo.  Of course you read Ms. Hoo.  Who doesn't read her?  I heard a rumor that she's back around after kicking the shit out of some of her internal organs.  Yay!

Three Things You May Not Know About Me:

  1. I have a sinking suspision that my brain doesn't work right because I never learned how to crawl on my own. For real, this is a true story.  I did not learn how to crawl like a normal baby.  Instead, I developed what my mom calls a "schootch", where I would sort of slither/army crawl like a strange lizard hybrid changeling baby. 

    Thinking this wasn't right, Mom asked the baby doctor what to do, and he suggested having my older brother get down on the floor and teach me to crawl. The advice was followed, but I decided not to crawl anyway and got up and started walking almost immediately.

    Basically, I walked before I crawled, and this is why it's hard for me to learn new things. 

    That, and my first word was, "No!" ...for about 6 months.

    I was born contrary.

    I don't think it should come as any surprise that I don't have any children because I fear they would be like me.
  2. I am not actually a nerd, or even a geek. I am just a huge dork.
    These things are defined, people.

    A nerd is a person who is really smart, and knows a lot about stuff, usually about a lot of stuff.  They are like a geek, but with an additional skill that allows them to learn about real things like science and history.

    A geek is like a nerd, but they keep their knowledge base to the realm of fiction.  They can tell you every single piece of trivia about Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, the Dune series, etc, etc, etc.  A geek can also get into a fist fight about the finer interpretation of rules in Dungeons and Dragons, second edition.

    I am neither of these things.

    I am a dork.

    I am a person who hangs out with people who are smarter than me because I want to be a geek or a nerd, but I have no patience whatsoever for learning new things.  So I know a little bit about a lot of nerdy and geeky things, but not enough to actually gain geek cred.

    Basically, I am a failed nerd.
  3. I am afraid of strapless dresses. (This is the boobs part of the post).
    Over NewYear's, I went to a fancy dress party. This is unusual for me because my normal New Year's Eve party consists of sitting around drinking beer and watching TV with the parents, and maybe pulling a cracker or two at midnight.

    But this year was different.  This year, my sister got me and my boyfriend a package deal to head down to the big city (Denver) to a fancy dancy hotel for a Roaring 20's Flappers and Gangsters party.

    It fucking rocked.

    Anyhoo, before the party, I had time to scour the internet to find the most fabulous but not too expensive and certainly not a Halloween costume dress that would make 5'8" curvy me look like a flapper.

    And I found it.

    This is NOT me.  My hair is much cuter than that.  IMAGE SOURCE: UNIQUE VINTAGE.  If you haven't been there, you should go.  They are awesome.

    It was, however, a little bit low cut, and even though it had cute little beaded spaghetti straps on it, I was constantly and hopefully nonchalantly checking out my chest to make sure nothing had slipped out.

    Although I DID manage to make a T-Rex face at the camera, of which I am proud.

    This is because I have a strapless dress phobia.

    I am not what one would call "well endowed". In fact, me gaining 40lbs over the last two years has given me something I have never in my life had before, which is boobs.  Don't get me wrong, I am shaped like a girl... I have just never been someone who actually needs a sports bra or an underwire.

    For most of my life, I avoided strapless dresses.  Having never worn one, I just assumed they hung off a girl's boobs, and since I didn't have big hangers out front, I figured the strapless dress was not for me.

    This makes the root cause of my fear somewhat baffling.

    I was going out with friends to New Orleans on night, wearing this cute little green and white strapless dress.  It had a vintage pattern, and was a bit shorter than I was use to, but with my platform heeled boots, I felt like a million bucks.  Or at least $200 an hour.  Really, I have no idea what look I was going for, other than "hawt".

    We were headed to a place called the Hookah Cafe.

    Being a not-terribly-girly-girl most of the time, I didn't have a clutch purse or anything like that, but a big canvas army-surplus map case that I used as a purse slung diagonal over my head and shoulder, and pushed behind me.

    I concentrated on not falling down in my awesome if slightly ridiculous boots, but still ended up in the front of the group as we walked into the resturaunt.

    It was warm and soft outside, so the air conditioning inside gave me goose-bumps.

    The host walked up, "Can I... ah... can I help you?"

    I smiled (remember, I looked like at least $200 an hour), and said in a flirty voice, "Chilly in here!"

    He didn't respond, his smile wilting a little.

    "Ah," I said, wondering if my lipstick was on my teeth or something and unsmiled my face, "Table for seven."

    The host scooped up some menus and walked us through the smoky room, not glancing back at me once.  I tried to walk confident, but I was starting to get nervous.  Were all those people looking at me because we were walking?  Because I looked good?  Because my boots made me look like a six foot-three drag queen?  What?  What was it?

    I sat down at the table, making sure my skirt wasn't hiked up or stuck in my panties or anything, and moved to take off my bag.

    And that's when I noticed.

    That my boob was completely free of the strapless dress, which had rolled on one side halfway down my rib cage.

    It must have caught on my purse when I put it on.  Back at my house.  Six blocks away.

    Bit chilly in here, don't you think?