So, I bought a few more volumes of those Full Metal Alchemist deluxe collections. Here’s the sketch pages beneath the covers!
Previous posts: 1, 2. And of course check out Faith Erin Hicks' work, who started me on these.
from vol. 6:
Sloth, early design.
A big guy. I envisioned something close to Frankenstein [’s monster].
His design was almost completely fixed from the start.
The only real difference is the Ouroboros mark’s location.
claws extend and retract at will.
One jab into Cornello’s head and it’s over.
I scribbled some ideas for the Ouroboros mark on the back of the original pages.
Fat bad guy.
Will eat anything.Even Cornello.
Trademark phrase: “Can I eat it?”
※They are artificial beings created on the base of a (pseudo) philosopher’s stone, which is made from the compressed lives of 50-ish humans. So in order for them to die, one has to kill them 50 times.
The plan is for there to be another 5 of them, named after the 7 deadly sins.(“Greed,” “Envy,” and so on.)
Lust and Gluttony were designed as a set.
A sketch from when I was thinking about what the surroundings of Xerxes would be like. A desert, perhaps?
I can’t find the early designs for Mei Chan! So I was digging through old sketches, and found this page where I messed up the left and right hand.
Pretty amazing I didn’t catch this even after inking it…
Early design for Barry the Chopper.
Looks like his design was pretty close to finalized from the start. Same goes for his real body.
Barry’s real body.
Early design for Scar ①
Looks like he was a little more open about his emotions than the final design.
Early design for Scar ②
More nuanced emotionality than ①.
Possibly lost the cigarette because Havoc was around?
What is this… Maybe a failed design for a TPB cover?
That’s it, another three volumes down! I’ll keep doing these unless I get told to stop, at the pace that I get around to buying them. Which, incidentally, you should too!
FMA collected edition volume 6 on Amazon.co.jp
FMA collected edition volume 7 on Amazon.co.jp
FMA collected edition volume 8 on Amazon.co.jp
Or get the translated editions in your language, or whatever. It’s a great book and belongs in any good manga collection.
Awesome, thanks Phil! Scar’s early designs are HILARIOUS, and the design Arakawa used for early volumes of FMA aren’t much better. I think she knew he was the weakest of the FMA character designs though. Throughout the series her designs didn’t change much with the exception of Scar, who changed radically. She completely redesigned his face, from something that looked early-Joe Madureira to a really gorgeous, slick design.
Goes to show even accomplished pros like Arakawa will look for ways to improve their work & make changes when necessary.
misterloki said: Typically, how many pages are you able to draw in a good week? I know every artist is different, though! I am trying to gauge an appropriate number I should shoot for, while still giving myself appropriate breaks for sanity's sake. Thank you for taking your time to look at my question!
Well, I draw comics full time, so my answer will probably not be feasible for most people who maybe have regular jobs/school. I work about 12 hours a day (with a break for supper), six days a week (I take Saturday off) and my quota is 2 pages a day for pencils, 3 pages a day for inks. It varies with each project, though. That’s my quota for The Nameless City, and it’s a hard one to keep up. I usually need most of my 12 hours.
So if I’m on a penciling week, I’m drawing at least 11 pages a week (sometimes I slack a bit on Sundays, unfortunately). If I’m on an inking week, I’m inking about 16-18 pages.
This schedule is kind of hard, though. I’m really behind on my book right now, so I’m pushing myself to catch up. If you can make your deadlines while taking evenings and weekends off, I think that would be ideal.
When I was in school and doing online comics, I’d do maybe 4+ pages a week, which is still a really high number. The pages I drew back then were much smaller than the size I draw at now, and had less backgrounds. I could churn them out a lot faster. Over the five years I was in school full time and drawing online comics, I drew over 750 pages, which is nuts! I didn’t go out much. Also I was single. ;)
I think if you’re doing an online comic and maybe working a job or going to school, doing 10 pages a month is fantastic. That’s a really good pace, because then you’re drawing 120 pages over the course of a year! That’s an entire graphic novel. Even 5 pages a month will give you 60 pages in a year. It really adds up.
I’d suggest working at the speed you feel comfortable with, but always looking for ways to streamline or improve your process. As you become more accustomed to making comics, you’ll get faster and hopefully your work will become more accomplished. However, I am sad to report that despite drawing over 3,000 pages of comics, I still don’t find them easy to make. ;) I’m always struggling to do better.