Q:hello!!! i would just like to say that i really really love your webcomic (if u didnt notice the url and icon haha!) and that you are a huge inspiration to me!!! ohs is great and the characters are great and you are great and i hope you have a great day and rest of your week and such!!!
Guess who just made my morning???
I T ’ S Y O U
Q:When you imagine Al, Brendan and Sulla speaking, what do their voices sound like? Do you imagine any particular voice actors for them?
I wrote this about a year ago, but to recap - almost from the beginning Al sounded like Ron Perlman, Brendan reminded me of young 1980s actors who’ve kept their boyish voices into their forties and fifties, and Sulla was just a lower-pitched, very expressive teenage girl voice.
When I thought recently about who could actually play them in a movie adaptation (HA HA), I came up with a few actors who look pretty different from how I originally pictured the characters but who would be amazing in the roles. It’s just embarrassing because the exercise hinges on deciding which actors I’d like to see make out. :T
Q:hi, i've saw yours amazing marbling results, like the ones you posted times ago i want to ask in details what's kind of paint do you use (acrylic, watercolors i don't know... also the brand) and the quantity of color that you use, i'm trying this technique and i have some problems to figure out what i'm doing wrong...
I did those pieces in a class, so I’m far from an expert on how to marble stuff, but here’s what I remember:
The paint’s acrylic - I think the brand’s called Golden - and it’s suspended on top of a mixture of water and carrageenan, which is a seaweed powder that makes the water more viscous (like jello water). You pour the water in a shallow tub and add the paint via eyedropper, then use a comb over the surface to create those crazy patterns. Before you lay any paper over the surface you have to spray the paper with an alum/water solution so it’ll take the paint.
Once you lay the paper on the paint it’ll take whatever pattern you’d made and you can lift it off, run it under water and let it dry. You have to skim the remains of the paint pattern off the top of the water each time you marble a new page, but you can use the same batch of water at least a dozen times.
Q:I just powered through the archive of O Human Star, and I wanted to tell you it's pretty neat, and the events of Chapter 2 Pages 32-46 were very entertaining. I just have one question. I can't tell from the limited coloring, but -- does older!Alastair have a mustache? It's been driving me nuts; sometimes it looks like he does and sometimes it doesn't. Help me!
Yup, he does. You’re not the only one who couldn’t tell right away, and making it more readable as a mustache is something I’ve been working on. I think it’s way easier to tell in Chapter 3 as opposed to Chapter 1, but oh well.
Q:hey i think the o human star server is down just fyi
Q:hey, i just wanted to thank you for how well you're portraying sulla; when i realised she was talking about being trans when she talked about people not knowing she was any different to them and that al thought she was talking about being synthetic, my heart kind of skipped a beat; i'm a trans man and also gay and i have literally never seen both topics treated as well and as sensibly and touchingly as you have; thank you so much, because i needed sff like this in my life for a very long time
That’s extremely kind of you to write in about this - it really means a lot to me that people have reacted to Sulla’s character development in such a positive way.
When I started writing OHS I was really nervous about writing for Sulla and I was afraid of her seeming unrealistic or disingenuous. But over time she’s become this really smart and sensitive girl who wants to live up to everyone’s expectations and and at the same time tries to figure out what she wants for herself. I think lots of people have found ways to relate to her, but I’m especially glad that she resonates as a trans* character.
If I ever run my own book imprint or something, I’m gonna name it “Like The Color Press” because I have said that phrase almost every day of my life since I was five. And yet people always want to spell it “Bleu,” like the cheese.
And yes, living in an Italian speaking country was the only time my last name was ever pronounced correctly on a regular basis.
Here’s my basic process for how I make a page of O Human Star.
Every chapter starts with me drafting a rough outline. With some chapters, I already know ahead of time pretty much every action that needs to take place (Chapter 2, for example, was extremely easy to write), while with others, I only know what the emotional trajectory of the chapter needs to be. Because OHS is a story about relationships, each chapter must track how Al, Brendan, and Sulla’s interactions change, improve, or deteriorate, and I write scenes to follow that trajectory.
Mmm, schematics. The goal of this most recent scene is for Sulla to start trusting Al more, and for Al to realize how much she needs someone for guidance. They’re both put in a situation where Al feels the need to “help” her.
From there, I start thumbnailing pages (Yes, they’re very messy). By this point, I know what images I want in certain scenes, so I will just draw them in a sketchbook. Not trying to figure out how they fit on a page, just figuring out what images I want, which to cut, and which to make more detailed. Only then do I start making them fit into pages, making sure that each page has a purpose. (Is there a new piece of information given? A change in setting? A shift in mood? Does the page have its own mini-conclusion/punchline, or leave an unanswered question to be picked up on the next page?) A good page can stand on its own as well as in a two-page spread.
Thumbnails finished! Now I’ll drag one into a Photoshop template and start drawing panels and gutters to match the ones I sketched out. Before I draw anything else, I’ll also add in the page’s dialogue. That way, I can actually see how much room is taken up by text, and how the art will be affected by moving text around. I will often edit my dialogue a bit here and trim it down.
Time to “pencil.” I will begin sketching in Photoshop, allowing myself loose lines that will get tightened up later. If there is a detailed room or a difficult angle, I will use reference or map it in one of the Google Sketchup files I use, and sketch over a screenshot. (I have a file for the workshop, and one for the Pinsky house.) I’ll then make the lines transparent and light blue and start putting down finished lines - “inks.” Inks for characters and for backgrounds are on different layers.
On to color! I’ll make a layer just for characters’ colors, fill them all with a single color, then flat tones, then highlights/shadows. Ditto for backgrounds. It’s the backgrounds that make all the difference for how long a page takes - lineart and colors for a page that’s nothing but talking heads may take only two days, but add a complex background (or several) and the time needed can double. My increased focus on well-rendered backgrounds is partly why the last month of updates had been so down to the wire, but I like how I’ve been improving.
Q:Isn't it kind of weird that Brendan essentially raised a version of his boyfriend?
Sulla is an entity who had a personality uploaded from another person, but no memories to give her context for how to continue existing as that person. Brendan accepted long ago that the Al he knew was probably gone forever and is acting as a responsible parent to what is basically a robot child. It’s only weird in that this situation has never happened in real life ever.
Q:HEY BRENDAN, did Sulla make you that mug? Is she actually any good at art?
Happy Father’s Day!