Thursday, November 29, 2007


I got some new pens and paper the other day. The paper is just a cheap sketch pad, but at 11" x 14" it's big enough to draw a comic-sized page with bleed at 125% real size. I almost went for the 14" x 17", which would let me draw at 150% real size, but I don't really have the desk space to even use that, so I decided not to bother.

The pens include the Japanese Pentel brush pen that everyone loves. It's fun, but it does put down a ton of ink and I'm still pretty shaky with it. The bristles are really infinitely better than the crappy felt-tipped "brush" pen I was using before. I also got some smaller sizes of the regular Pigma pens, and then I stole a Sharpie from work.

I just wanted to block out and draw a full page on one sheet, and I think Peter inspired me to do a little baseball scene. I'm not working on a longer baseball story or anything: I just wanted to try out the format, and a squeeze play seemed like something I could portray on a single page that would cohere in the absence of a larger narrative context while also giving me a couple interesting backgrounds and figures to draw from a few different angles and positions (nh).

I'm not sure the three bottom panels really make sense the way they're drawn. It might work with color (panels brighter than the background?), or it might be something I'd have to do over.

Update: Those last three panels kept bugging me, so I went back and fixed them. I cut a piece of the same sketch book paper down to fit in my printer, blew the image back up to 125%, and just printed out the bottom part, landscape mode, in very light cyan. I only reinked the panel borders and the parts inside the old panels, then scanned it back in, lined up the new layer, and erased the unneeded lines.

I should have done this as a new post, rather than an update, just so I could title it "Back to the Old Drawing Board...Literally!" Oh well. I just noticed that I left the catcher as bare line art, and it looks kind of out of place. I'm not planning on fixing that, but if I do then I guess I have a title for the blog post.


DU said...

Wow, this is really good. The timing of the pitcher, the shading in the dugout, the perspective in the last frame are all great.

The little reality touches are nice too--I particularly love the pitcher's package (nullus).

Travis said...

Yeah, I'd catch for him anytime, rowr!

Peter Hamtramck said...

Very nicely done. Though don't most base runners slide feet first into home base?

tps12 said...

I don't know! I thought a head-first slide was quicker, allowing your legs to keep going longer and getting you to the plate earlier. But if you want to inflict maximal damage on the catcher and reduce your own chance of injury then I guess you're right, feet-first would be the thing. Is there an established orthodoxy on this point?

DU said...

Orthodoxy was established on August 8, 2007.

The record

Oh wait...this is sliding vs running instead of legs vs head. Well, Grant is still hilarious.

tps12 said...

Actually relevant, though, because you can run through home, so if you aren't trying to dodge the tag then running would be preferred.

It seems that managers discourage head-first slides in general. I found this page, geared towards youth instruction but not squeamish about head-first sliding where appropriate, and they do recommend the legs-first slide at home.

Empirical research demonstrates that 1 in 5 (or 2 in 9, discounting duplicates—call it 20-25%) runners slide head-first into home.

Peter Hamtramck said...

I see the main difference as being a headfirst slide is more often used to avoid the tag (as in a "Hook Slide").

A feet first slide is an aggressive move that directly challenges the tag with possible contact. Wikipedia has a good post on sliding and they point out the "Take-Out Slide" which is a good example of the more aggressive feet first slide, not to mention Ty Cobb's dugout spike sharpening.

Also, "Backdoor Slide"? NSFW! & Nullus!

Also, I rest my case!

tps12 said...

I see the main difference as being a headfirst slide is more often used to avoid the tag (as in a "Hook Slide").

Yeah, that's what I had been can run through home, so if you're sliding at the plate at all then you're probably trying to avoid the tag, right?

But I think your original point stands confirmed: most base runners and managers prefer the legs-first slide across the board, because it's less likely to lead to injury; and the likelihood of injury is greater at the plate, where the head-first slide is even less popular.

Also you rested your case.

DU said...

I liked the old way better. I could hear the old-timey shutter sound the film version of this comic would make, showing the runner in each of the three poses. Now it looks like 3 runners (even with the paneling).

Travis said...

I think it's too confusing to have stuff both inside and outside of the panel borders. But to each his own.

Also not sure why this update just came up on RSS. I posted the update like the day after the original post.