Page 10 of “Robert Smalls: A Life Reclaimed”
I know I was going to post some WIP pics, but I just kind of blitzed it and finished it faster than I thought I would so here it is!
I will be posting more WIP shots over the coming days.
This page shows the last of the “quarterlies” that Reverend Richard Fuller held at Beaufort Baptist church, and which I spoke a little more about here.
Fuller was a former lawyer who abandoned his law practice to fulfill what he felt was his calling as a pastor. By all accounts, he felt called to minister to the downtrodden and was very popular among enslaved black people as well as free white people.
I wanted to include this page for reasons that will hopefully become apparent later in the story. You see, Robert grew up quite entitled as far as slaves go. As a House Slave, he lived in the slave quarters attached to the house as opposed to a broken-down wooden shack as many field hands did. His clothes were generally better. He was quite favoured by the McKee family he worked for and treated quite well. Growing up, it seems he didn’t realise quite how much better off he was than a lot of other slaves until his mother Lydia realised this and took it upon herself to show him in dramatic fashion.
So I plan to show scenes from Robert’s life up until then, and then re-visit Robert in those same scenarios after he’s had his eyes opened by Lydia and show how he views things differently and how he’s more aware of his situation after this.
I feel that showing Church as a comforting and happier place earlier in his life and contrasting it with how he’ll later see the religious justifications of slavery that were preached there is an important point to make, but not necessarily to spend pages upon pages with which is part of the reason I decided that Robert’s reaction to the feast was more important than showing the feast itself.
With that said, expect the next few pages to be maybe surprisingly light-hearted, before the novel starts to take a darker tone.
In terms of creation: with all my other pages, I’ve been creating them exclusively in Adobe’s Photoshop.
With this page, I started in Photoshop, but then became intrigued by the Clip Studio Paint software (formerly Manga Studio) by Celsys that I’d been reading about, designed explicitly for creating comics, graphic novels, and manga. I downloaded their 30-day free trial and finished this page off with it.
So far, I am really enjoying it and think I will be purchasing the software and making the switch.
While Photoshop is undoubtedly very powerful, it was primarily designed for photo editing and I just don’t use most of the features in it. Its monthly subscription model makes it a very expensive way to use software that I don’t need most of.
In addition, being a more specific tool, Clip Studio Paint is just subtly geared to comic creation and makes some tasks (most noticeably so far, flatting) a little bit easier and less of a grind.
I’m going to try to create page 11 entirely in Clip Studio Paint to see how the process is from start to finish. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes.
Unfortunately, the screen on my laptop has cracked somehow so I sent it off for repair this afternoon (thanks Curry’s “KnowHow” product cover!). While that’s away, I’ll be using an older slower laptop which will no doubt be frustrating, but at least I can continue creating!
Once again, to my Patrons, thanks so much for your support. It really does mean the world to me and it’s nice to know that someone else other than me has some sort of interest in this project! You’re all ace! Enjoy page 10.
To everyone else, thanks for checking in!
Unsung Superheroes is an ongoing project, creating graphic novels based on the stories of real-life historical figures whose stories may not be as well-known as they could be.
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