Friday, October 4, 2013

Baby's growing up

I draw a fantasy webcomic, for those of you who don't know. I am about to show you some illustrations. I know I'm not really an artist so don't make fun of me, 'kay?

Anyway, one of the storylines of my comic involves this adorable toddler:

She's supposed to be about two and a half in that drawing, I think. Where I am in the storyline now, she's getting close to her fourth birthday. And when I started this comic, she hadn't been born yet.

I've been drawing her comics since May 20, 2005. Over eight years have passed in real time. And, as kids do, she's growing up.

I have a friend named Kim whom I don't see often. I first met her in 2006--actually, I was friends with her son--and I happened to be working on one of the comics when she came over. This was how the character looked when Kim "met" her for the first time:

(This is a fantasy comic and that baby can fly. She's not
actually just really poorly supported by the guy carrying her.)

Over the years as I hang out with Kim here and there, she sometimes sees the recent issues on my drafting table and comments on how much older the baby looks compared to when she last saw her. It's kinda hilarious to me, because it's almost like she's commenting on the maturation of my actual children.

And, ya know, I think as writers we do sort of think of our works as our "children" sometimes--or at least as an ever-evolving organism that's always maturing, not always completely under our conscious control, sometimes subjecting us to their temper tantrums, frequently refusing to obey, often bringing us more joy than we could possibly fathom. This little girl has come a long way from the day she was born:

. . . and it's so funny that when friends who haven't "seen her" for a long time visit, they notice how much she's grown up, even though I haven't really been putting conscious effort into making sure she looks older week by week. It just sort of seems to have been happening, and I have to have somebody else's perspective to really look at the character--and her story--and see how far everything has come with the movement of time.

I know pretty much everything about this girl's life. I know what she looks like and acts like when she's a teenager. But my readers don't know, and my occasional visitors don't know. They're just slowly watching her grow up in a webcomic, week by week, doodle by doodle.

I love looking back at the old drawings and noticing that I actually seem to be doing a decent job making sure her hair's getting longer, her cheeks aren't quite as round, her limbs are getting longer, her gestures are more controlled. (And of course her language is evolving.) I'm doing it gradually enough that there hasn't been a "jump" between any two issues, but it's noticeable to people who haven't seen her for a while. I'm watching my baby growing up. Just like in real life, it's little by little. But just like in real life, over time, it's a lot.


  1. You are totally an artist. I love your drawings! You have some serious talent. :)

  2. OMG. Thank you for the compliment. Honestly I'm not an art person though. I know just enough about art to know how little I know about art, I think. Haha.

    1. It's a good think if you recognize that there is always room to improve. :) Regardless, kickass job!