I’ve always been interested in chapter illustrations, which I suppose shows my devotion to print and design. Again this was a result of my absorption of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure; I had never seen such beautiful compositions and attention to detail in a comic. I knew I had to at least try to match that level of dedication to the best of my own ability.

This was also one of the earliest illustrations of Marta’s new appearance: Originally her 3/4 sleeve raglan was orange and yellow, and the central area was striped. I dropped the stripes because they were way too difficult to re-draw on every page. Her hair was layered and cropped a little more awkwardly, to reflect not only a retro influence in her design but that she cuts her own hair. Her original brown hair was replaced with a dull purple, more as a visual analogue for dark hair rather than her hair actually being dyed purple, but this is open to each reader’s interpretation. We also have the appearance of the steaming coffee mug, Marta’s trademark and identity for the comic itself.

Another thing worth mentioning here is breaking borders and panel lines. I find that it creates a more visually stimulating look if you pop the characters out of frame at least once per page. This is part of the visual language I developed for the comic’s new identity. I’ve learned that aside from developing strong character personalities it’s important to push your brand and your identity — If people can tell it’s your comic at first glance, you’ve got a strong visual identity and are memorable.