Friends With Boys - Page 153

First off, major apologies for completely neglecting to mention the 20 page update yesterday. It completely slipped my mind that (of course) not everyone is following the comic via the RSS or my twitter feed, and would’ve shown up Monday morning expecting a single page. Really sorry about that, and I hope it wasn’t overly confusing for too many people. To explain, if you missed the previous notes: The Friends With Boys webcomic started up a good month or so later that originally planned, just due to some technical snafus. Since we were starting behind schedule, it meant the comic wouldn’t finish until after the book was published. So we decided to update with a chunk of pages on January 1st to get the comic on to the update schedule it needed to be to complete on February 24th.

So, if you were mixed up by the surprise new 20 pages, you can re-read the whole thing again starting here on page 131, and follow on through to the current pages. Again, sorry if there was confusion! I posted notes explaining the update on Sunday, but it didn’t occur to me that I should do so again on Monday. Duh. XP

I’ve also been getting a few notes that occasionally people are having trouble viewing the pages, like maybe a page won’t load or will drop you to the RSS feed. We can’t find any technical reason for this happening (and it hasn’t happened to me), but we think it’s traffic related issues (many people have been dropping by recently, hello!), so give the site some time to recover, and then check back, if you can. A total pain, I know, and apologies again.

And now, let’s have some 2011 commentary! Because it’s the New Year, and that’s what you do in the New Year! You look back at the old year and either nod your head in contentment (“yeah, I totally did some stuff!”) or feel all depressed because a year’s gone by and you haven’t done as much as you wanted. So click the link to read my 2011 ramblings:

 I had a really great 2011. It was challenging and stressful, but it truly was great. Pretty much the entire year (February being the unemployed exception) I worked full-time on comics, writing and drawing. Financially the year was tricky; although I had more than full-time work in comics, my freelance work, which I use to supplement my comic making income and bridge the gap towards a living wage, dried up. A common occurrence for a lot of comic making folk in 2011, I’ve noticed. Fortunately I had a very good year last year, and had saved my pennies, so my safety net was there and I didn’t have to dig too far into my savings. It’s stressful, though: regular freelance jobs I’d had for many years just vanished, and new ones didn’t emerge to replace the lost income. I can only hope for better things in the future.

But still, despite financial stress, what else would an entire year of drawing comics be but awesome! I still see my art improving, both style-wise and my technical skills. I feel as though I’m climbing a very large mountain very slowly. At the top is total artistic success, but it’s a very large mountain and I’m climbing very slowly. I know my artwork is not knock-’em-dead impressive; it doesn’t arrest the eye the way say …. Gillian Tamaki’s does (how can you not look at drawings like this and not gasp because SO PRETTY), but I’m learning how to play to my art’s strengths, and how to improve my weak points.

I am good at drawing expressions.
I am getting better at drawing more human proportions, stepping away from the earlier cartoony style of The War at Ellsmere.

 I’m learning how to make backgrounds work in my style, so that they’re a little bit cartoony, but still grounded in reality (hint: lots of reference! And ink, lots of ink).
 I’m also slowly, sloooowwwly learning how to colour on the computer, something I’ve let stagnate for many years, as I concentrated on learning to draw. Thanks to a spiffy laptop and help from friends, I’m beginning to feel like I could possibly get a handle on it … in a few years’ time. ;)

I’m looking forward to what I’ll draw in 2012. Currently I’m working on a graphic novel for First Second that has robot fights in it. Yes, really. So that’ll be a challenge, as I don’t typically draw technical things. And I’m hoping (fingers crossed!) that my next project will be even larger and more challanging and include lots of worldbuilding. But that’s all up in the air right now, so who knows?

Next up: I think I’ll talk about comics I read in 2011 that were awesome! Comics that are not Fullmetal Alchemist. I’ve said plenty about that series. XD

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24 Responses

  1. smalls says:

    I can’t seem to find page 152. Previous from 153 and forward from 151 both seem to direct to page 115.

    Page 115 is nice and all but… I can’t let myself read 153 until I get 152!

    Even typing in “www.friendswithboys.com/2012/01/page-152/” redirects to page 115.

    I shall be on pins and needles until I check back tomorrow!! Because: DRAMATIC SHOWDOWN!!

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      Hm, I’m not having that issue. Some people have mentioned that Firefox is causing problems, so maybe give Chrome a try. We’ve had a lot of issues with Firefox for some reason. :(

      • Warren says:

        This doesn’t help much in any way at all, but I’ve been using Firefox to read your pages from the start and have had no troubles at all.

        I’d recommend, if you’ve got Firefox, making sure it’s set to update itself automatically. It’s possible there are some problems with older versions of the browser. Oh, and since I’m on a Mac, maybe getting a Mac as well. :\

  2. AsimovSideburns says:

    Hey, he got Alistair to talk to him!

    Okay, so he’s calling Mat out on being a total @$$hat, but it’s still progress!

    …Sort of…

    Also only 11 days until I find out if I won the book on goodreads! SUSPENSE!

  3. Nienke says:

    Actually between Tamaki’s style and yours, I like yours better. She’s very good, yeah, but her art, to me, sometimes feels a little generic, like I’ve seen it before – either in manga or in jugendstil. Whereas your style is very specifically your style – I don’t know anyone who draws like that, and I like that about it.

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      Heh, I’m glad you like my artwork (thank you!) but you needn’t disparage Tamaki’s style in order to tell me that. I really love her work.

      • Nienke says:

        Haha I didn’t mean it like that! But one can prefer someone’s art over the other’s, right? I was talking comic-wise by the way, I do love a lot of her illustrations.

        • Faith Erin Hicks says:

          Of course! But I’ve noticed sometimes people put down artwork when saying they prefer something else, and I don’t think it’s necessary. Good art is good art, and if you prefer one over the other, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean one is *better* than the other, it just means you prefer it. :)

          • Nienke says:

            That’s why I said I like it better instead of it being better ;) But yeah, I agree with you totally, and I wasn’t trying to put her art down, sorry if it came across that way. As said, I’m really impressed with pretty much all her illustration work. It’s just that I prefer your comic art to hers.

  4. Sean says:

    Again, if you’re having problems reading the strip with Firefox, try Chrome or Internet Explorer. The latest version of Firefox has some sort of glitch.

  5. PHMREL says:

    Robot fights? Sign me up.

  6. LOVING the last panel, and the hierarchy of the characters and their positions.

  7. Bettina says:

    *dance dance* You’ve gone mainstream! Well sorta… this is the first time I’ve seen you mentioned anywhere else:
    http://www.geekmom.com/2012/01/who-doesnt-want-to-be-friends-with-boys/

  8. Mercy says:

    I’m kind of really angry at maggie’s mum. She better come back with a REAL good excuse.. or I may just cry at the end of this book.

  9. Chris Boyd says:

    There seems to be a bit more going on with Matt here than him just being a jerk. He seems genuinely hurt by what he sees as Alistair deserting him. Am I reading that right?

  10. Mariedledee says:

    I discovered your comic and read through the whole thing in about two hours, pausing to look at all the wonderful details.
    Your style is really great, and lends itself to the storytelling so well…definitely buying a copy when I’m not poor :p

  11. Wai-Jing says:

    Wait. Matt has been giving them the intimidating jerkface stare-down for that long, and he only JUST realized that Maggie is carrying a rusty old hand?!

    He’s even more self-absorbed than I thought.

  12. Mandie says:

    Maggie looks so teeny in the last panel >3

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Friends With Boys, webcomic edition!

Hello readers, new ones just discovering the comic and those who’ve been with it since the beginning. Friends With Boys is now complete online. You may read it in its entirety, all 200+ pages, for free, for the next eight days. Then the image files of the comic (except for a short preview) will be taken down. While the comic was being serialized online, I blogged a lot about my comic making process. I did write ups about how I make comics, what my opinions on what makes a good comic are, and pointed out various Easter eggs throughout Friends With Boys. That stuff will all remain up, so if you buy a hard copy of Friends With Boys, you can still read along with my thought process.

And now (today!), Friends With Boys is a published book! Yay! I hope that if you’ve read the web version and liked it, and want to support me as a creator, you’ll consider buying the book.

I’ve really enjoyed serializing Friends With Boys online. If you’re new to my work, I started out making comics online before moving into print. I posted the very first page of my very first online comic on my very first website back in August, 1999, and wow, was that page ugly. Here it is! Notice a weird similarity to the first page of Friends With Boys? Yeah, that was not deliberate, I promise. But look how much your drawing skills can improve if you draw thousands of pages of comics over a ten year period! Anyway, I’m really thrilled my wonderful publisher First Second Books has allowed me to return to my roots and put Friends With Boys online as a lead up to its publication. As a reader and purchaser of comics, I have bought quite a few hard copy versions of online comics, because I enjoy the reading experience of having the whole thing collected, and I want to support the author. I hope you will too. :)

Otherwise, there are a few upcoming events I hope to see some readers at:
Book signing! At my local comics shop Strange Adventures, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 3rd (Saturday), 2-4pm (EDITING TO ADD: The book launch has been moved to the following Saturday due to the books not shipping to Strange Adventures on time. The launch will now be March 10th from 2-4pm. Go here for info).
Comic convention! I’ll have a table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 6th-7th. There are a few other conventions I am trying to attend, but everything else is up in the air at the moment. For updates, please follow my twitter or join my Facebook fan page.  I’m pretty good about updating those two spots.


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