Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This month's ALT news is the first of the new school year, and it's my first, fully-illustrated joint. No Internet printing, everything's drawn and colored by me. Everything colored on the paper is tuned up with my Copic Ciaos, with guest vocals by my trusty Zebras. We've taken the Copics for a spin or two before, but this time we're utterly reliant on them.

Since there's so much art in this month's poster, we're splitting it up between two posts, this one focusing on the bottom quadrants (that's not a euphemism for something, you cheeky tanooki, you!).

I wasn't sure how to close the poster out, so I thought I'd try something I've always wanted to do with these ALT News posters: introduce a new, practical, non-text-booky expression to the jKids. As a rain enthusiast, I was loving the rains we've been having recently, so I went with, "April showers bring May flowers."

With that quote, I knew I needed an illustration to go with it. Something that celebrates the rain. Enter the kappa. I love rain, and so do they. Fuelled with the immediacy of the eureka moment, this draw just flowed, but then I mouse-cookied myself into having to Ciao it to the nines.

Coloring was ridiculous fun, and I could feel the leveling up, but it did tack on another day of labor onto the already vaguely-due poster. But I'd say it was worth it, I'm quite happy with how it came out and it looks pretty neat live.

This is what the kappa quadrant ended up looking like. Did you catch the cucumber reference?

Easter Eggs
: Kappa love cucumber, so I figured he'd sport a cucumber-themed umbrella. But wait, there's more! The brella's bright yellow to mimic the elementary school umbrella "uniform" since kappa are often associated with young kids. Further defining him a good-guy kappa (as opposed to other sorts of kappa), his cucumber's cut into a smiley face.

Fun Facts: When discussing this piece with a Japanese man who saw me working on it, I out-Japwnd him on kappa trivia! Take that, Japan! USA! USA! USA!

This is quadrant III of the poster, a breakdown of April Fools' plus a description of how to Easter Egg hunt. I was running short on time, but I knew I wanted to try stylizing a bit, so I went with a traffic light coloring scheme on the fool illo and a restrained, graphic style for the Easter Egg hunt bits.

Next time, how we anchored this image, proper.


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