On May 9th, 2009, at 7:00 PM EDT, SoulExodus creator Benjamin J. Colon will ink pages of SoulExodus Volume Three for TWENTY FOUR straight hours. What follows is a documentation of that day.

An establishing shot (as it's often called in comics) of the view from behind my house, to set the tone. The sun will be going down soon. Time to get to work.

Still setting some things up right now. Unfortunately, that means not much progress in the way of actual inking. It's dark now, and things outside are getting quiet. The DVD changer is full and the evening is cooling down (slightly). Good things are coming.

The Workspace. It's not much, but it's mine, and I love it.

My tools of the trade. Micron and Rapidograph pens for ruled, technical lines, brushes for broad and more free-form lines. Later on, when things get fancy, I'll have need for the blades and even toothbrushes.

The ink is still too watery...this is especially bad now that the paper has absorbed some moisture in the air. It causes the ink to bleed too much if it's diluted. I'm in the process of burning some of the water out so it gets a good, thick consistency. Once that happens, I'll really get rolling.

More progress this time. I would've liked to have finished this page before this update, but it's almost done. The first one of the night always takes the longest. I was also mistaken when I thought it would get quiter outside once it got dark. I forgot it was Saturday. I'll have a while longer to wait till I have the night to myself.

Next hour, an update on my friend and SoulExo volume 3 cover artist Dina Brodsky (the adorable young lady in the ComicCon 2009 video on this website's homepage), who's joining me on this 24 hour bout of temporary insanity. If she's reading this - GET BACK TO WORK! :-)

Ink's looking better, but still not 100% where I want it to be. I'm still refining it. I'm also moving on to pens, for fine line detail, and white ink and paint, which I'll be using a LOT.

I didn't have enough time to get any proper new masks like I wanted to, so expect many more like this. And if you think it looks like it'd be hard seeing through something like that, imagine having to do it while wearing glasses.

Finally got that damn first page out of the way. Hopefully it'll be all downhill from here. On the right, we have the next page - three panels, mosty deep blacks. The first thing I notice is the bristles on the brush I'm using are too long. It makes it harder to control. The caffene I've consumed up to this point that's causing my hands to shake won't help any, either. Nevertheless, there's most of a 2 liter Coke in the fridge that's calling my name, and 18 more hours of inking to consider.

More drawing materials, including pens which may or may not work. Also pictured is the infamous SoulExo coffee mug, and the remote controls for TV, cable, DVD player, and VCR, respectively.

What a difference a page makes...the first one takes me just under five hours, the second one takes me just over two. As the wee morning hours roll onward, I've already burned through three DVDs and half a huge bowl of salad that's suposed to last me all day. The fever is growing, though - Several other friends are hanging in there, including Reed Hill (who's webcomic entitled Fire is posted on this very website) all the way in Boston. Further proof that an idea can become so crazy, that it rockets past the point of derision and becomes downright infectious.

Sun's almost up, though spring and summer months tend to breed shorter days here. Another page almost done, further proof that getting started is always the hardest part. My hand is also beginning to hurt a little earler than I expected. It kind of comes and goes, or at least that how it seems. I may need to look into refining my techniques in the near future anyway, if I want to avoid a horrific case of arthritis when I get older. You never think you need to worry about this sort of thing, till it happens. No rest for the weary, though. Back to the drawing board.

 

The pain in my hand I mentioned two hours earlier doesn't seem to be going away. It's still somewhat ignorable, but at some point very soon (perhaps after I finish writing this) I'll have to stop and rest it, at least for a short while (and probably do other things that most normal folk do...like...eating). Dina told me that around this time is when most all-night artists' productivity tends to grind to a screeching halt. I hope that won't be the case because despite the hand stiffening up on me, I've been on kind of a roll.

 

 

A colder than expected morning. Thought I'd stop for food and rest, but didn't. Kept inking. Sometimes it happens that way. Maybe this hour. I may also have to refill the DVD player soon. Time seems to be flying by. Funny how that happens. I've also come to the conclusion that I defintely need to go shopping for some new supplies this week. Many of my pens either don't work or don't work well enough, and I may even need a new brush or two. The ink also still needs burning, but I'll do that when I throw on some coffee in a little while (I burn the water out of the ink by resting the jar it on the hot plate of the coffee maker - it's important to remember to only try this if it's a glass jar). I may also make some Mother's Day phone calls before the next update. Consequentially I don't expect the page I'm working on to be finished by then.

Really running out of makeshift mask ideas, here.

 

As I expected, I'm still on the same page. Planning to add some after effects to it which may eat up some time. But I also have breakfast behind me and I re-upped on the caffene. Looking ahead now, I may be able to tie my number of pages from the last 24 hour session. Even if not, I think it'll be a productive day, overall.

 

 

I ordinarily don't like to do the splash pages right away...I tend to save those for later on because I enjoy them so much. But this happened to be a page that Dina posed for (along with Mathilda Tanner...thanks for the zillionth time, ladies), and one of my personal favorites of the entire volume, so I thought it was appropriate to do it during this session...and really, I couldn't resist. Dina's probably sleeping right now - she started her 24 earlier than I did - but I think she'll get a kick out of this when it's done. It's also simple enough to knock out fairly quickly, making it number 6, with probably about four or five more hours to go. Not bad at all.

The long awaited return of the V for Vendetta mask!

 

The hand thing persists, but it's not as bad as it could be. I just started on the 7th page, as well. As sometimes becomes the problem, I have to balance the whole quality/efficiency thing. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in getting it done, It can sometimes come at the cost of getting it done right.

As things stand, as far as my materials and the like, the ink is in pretty good shape, but the tools aren't what they could be. I'm also without a .5 millimeter rapidograph (which I use A LOT to sharpen wavy or inconsistent lines), and I'm feeling that.

The home stretch approaches. Stay tuned.

 

Seven pages done. As evidenced by the above pic, this one was drafting heavy. It's something I struggle with because it's discipline intensive. It requires a lot of patience and care to make it dimensionally accurate and believable. Inking can take it in either direction. Ideally it will solidify the design into realism. If not done wrong, it'll be a complete mess. Shadows help, too, which I'll add here.

Almost done for the day. Let's see what else I can do in just about two hours...

 

That's just about twenty four hours, and that'll do it. A quick note that I completed almost the exact same amount of work as I did for the last feature (7 complete pages, and about 3/5 of an eighth). I'll be back this week with some final thoughts as I continue the inking process on a more normal schedule. But till then, extra special thanks to Dina Brodsky, Reed Hill, and Sara Tan Velez for keeping me company and participating in this project. If they allow, I'll feature some of the artwork they completed during this time, as well, to round out the feature.

You guys are awesome.

Viva - B