~ Revolyutsiya... ~
"Lev Tsarya", Ch. I:
I found the importance of coming up with the character design sheets first before settling into a sequential involving several main characters - if for nothing else than to codify their look, uniforms, and getting comfortable with possible facial expressions. Was interesting to go back to page 2 (first one done) after hitting page 15, and realizing that a couple of characters had to be redrawn; "Wait; who's that again? Oh yeah..."
I'm usually pretty good about kicking myself to do the exploratory sketch thing first. (I actually had a couple of full page illos of these characters before this.) Then again, I wasn't anticipating doing a short sequential off an initial loose sketch (second page, first panel).
..Snowball kept on rolling, and found myself just making it up as I went - which probably shows. But I did my best with improvising and not going back to readjust panels (although this happened a few times). First pass, with all the bells and whistles happening as I was drawing. ("Ah wait, this guy could be the angry leader.", "This guy could be the simple peasant that always lifts his hat to everyone.", "This is how the inner sanctum and Patriarch will look."; "These are the two prisoners they release.","This is how everyone gets into a Keystone Cops scenario.", etc)
But it pretty much follows the same theme as the WWII sequence I did a while back (on the portfolio page) - just added a few little things here and there. Stories can be the same as rough sketches - exploring and reworking the look and feel until you get an offshoot that's more refined.
Anyhow, there's hopefully some clarity in the panels. Some of it's pretty crammed, but that's what happens when this stuff's happening in one go. Besides, story's supposed to be organic and all - which is just another way of saying that it does its own thing while having some sort of structure in the meanwhile - kind of like an Amazonian jungle, nitroglycerin, or Windows Vista.