So like any respectable artist I have a backlog of questions pertaining to Breakaway that just never got answered. I do read every single comment, I just don't always have the time to respond to them. So now that I have a bit, I figured I'd compile everything into a big, long post.
Thank you to everyone who's left constructive criticism and kind words. It helps, even if it seems small. It isn't. It's huge.
Jul 11th 2012 - What's the name of the duck in the striped shirt with the white (I think it's white) beak? S/he looks very interesting.
I actually did respond to this when it was asked and the answer I gave was ‘it keeps changing’ because I wasn’t sure. I eventually settled on Ariana (which can be pronounced any number of ways but in this case is ‘AIRiana’). There’s baggage with the name but I always thought it was pretty.
Aug 7th 2012 - I love the beaks (bills, technically I guess). You can draw them dead on from any angle. Is it just practice or is there a reference of some sort that you use? I'm getting back into drawing ducks again and I could use some tips in my weaker areas. Even thought about sculpting a couple of beaks to draw from like sculpy.
It’s a lot of practice and trial and error. Trying to draw them correctly became a bit of a challenge that I purposefully impose on myself, and gets easier with time. I don’t have a big ‘secret’ that made it click for me, but I can admit that there’s a bit of fudging involved – if you ever get a side-view of them, you’ll notice the bill tends to rest in a way that obscures vision if it were head-on, yet doesn’t when I draw that. I think that comes directly from the show, though maybe it’s just me. Lol
I don’t know who it was but years ago I did see an artist suggest using two slightly rolled pieces of paper for reference if you need something more solid. As with anything, the trick is understanding the underlying shapes before you get bogged in the details.
May 4th 2013 - Oh,question, why did Dragaunus teleport out and take his drones with him? I understand him wanting to get out of the line of fire, but aren't the drones armed too? Wouldn't they have outmatched the ducks and their...what?...three guns between them?
I think I chose not to answer this purposefully because it was a good question but it was a conscious choice. For whatever reason, there appears to have been a decision not to risk harm to the newcomers, even if that meant losing control of them in the short term. What are the forces of evil up to?
May 29th 2013 - Wait a second, I thought the Raptor was currently underwater in the ocean. Even in the Breakaway: 1-42 the characters mentioned about the ship being underwater. Why is the Raptor back in Anaheim being cloaked like it was before it went down into the ocean?
Also a good question but also a conscious decision. My best answer at the moment is Wildwing’s assumption was based on the same incomplete information ‘we’ previously had – he was wrong. The Raptor was somehow constantly moving without anyone noticing for the full year we observed, and I’m not sure anyone’s ever had a good explanation for that. It just sort of happens. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but it’s consistent within the universe.
May 27th 2013 - Question... I'm currently writing some Mighty Duck Fan Fiction over at fanfiction dot net (War of the Oranges, if you're curious). Would it be okay if I used your smug/confident Wildwing image from page 47 as the 'book cover' for my story? If you say no, coolio; I totally understand. If you say yes, all credit will be given!
I’m a giant jerk and didn’t see this. I’m generally ok with stuff like this as long as I’m properly credited and nothing is being ‘sold’ without my permission.
Sep 9 2013 - Anaheim and LA cops always travel with partners. I guess it's a minor quibble to always have Klegghorn driving around on his own, but it's a thing.
I responded to this at the time but thought I’d repeat it generally – this is another one of those things that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us but consistently happens within the duck’s universe. Is that a good excuse? I don’t know. Though it would have been interesting to give him a partner – preferably someone who finds Klegghorn’s habit of hot sauce on doughnuts questionable (that happened right, I didn’t just imagine it?)
Jun 22 2013 - Klegghorn looks so much better in your style! I never understood why they did that to the humans in the show either. It just didn't seem to go with the way the ducks were drawn.
What I don’t understand is why the humans have 5 fingers and the ducks 4. Like I’m sure having the main characters with simpler hands made things easier on the animators, but then why bother giving that detail to the secondary/tertiary ones?
But yeah, if you look screengrabs you’ll find that really none of the human characters were drawn flatteringly.
Jun 17 2013- You know, I was never that into Wildwing until you started drawing him. His character always seemed kind of flat in the cartoon, except for in First Face off and Take Me to Your Leader. You do a great job building on what little we get from the cartoon. And, you make him danged pretty to look at too
I get a bizarre number of comments that like my Wildwing despite a fandom who mostly shipping Duke and Nosedive with every OC under the sun
This is another I answered at the time but thought I would more generally address. Wildwing doesn’t really have a personality in canon (outside of where you mentioned). He has some amusing moments but generally he’s the guy that holds everyone else’s competing personalities in check. His role is to be a stabilizer and external motivation for the people around him more than his own person.
A lot of people write him in fanfiction as taking on an overprotective role or a privately stressed and depressed person, both of which have clear origins. It’s pretty obvious where those stories come from and why he becomes the go-to person to explore those themes.
I think a lot of media tries to condense characters into what’s ‘canon’ and ‘in character’, and people within fandom get hung up on those rules. I think that, if I were to describe you as someone as only having one personality trait, you would be pretty offended, especially if I chose a trait generally perceived as negative – because sure, we all have obvious signatures that make us memorable, but as people we’re much more complex.
I’ve had people tell me they don’t like what I do to the characters but I think Wildwing can be overprotective and self hating without those being the only two things he does.
Jun 29th 2013 - Fascinating cover for part two. I like how the "chest tentacles" kind of looks like a heart and circulatory system. Nice, simple design.
I don’t really have a response to this other than furious nodding.
Jul 11th 2013 - Love seeing Drake DuCaine and your spaceships are totally awesome. However, this is the first panel o fyour comic where I kinda went 'huh?' to the dialogue. Seems weird that Drake would use all of his enemies titles to warn of his impending doom. But, tis just me and I realize you've got to fit in who he's up against some way.
A large drawback of the visual format is much of the story needs to be conveyed in a way that isn’t disruptive. Is this a way that a normal person would address an adversary? Probably not, but it is a way to explain why they’re adversaries without throwing a ton of exposition no one cares about in.
I’m trying to remember the context in which the page was written and can’t, it’s possible that Lord of the Rings (where everyone has 345 titles) was involved in my thought process.
Jul 15th 2013 - Anyway, the voice I'm think of when I hear Drake DuCaine talk and speak, is "Emilio Estevez" aka Coach Gordon Bombay.
I don’t really have a voice picked out for DuCaine. There’s a weird side effect of The Mask that seems to make everyone talk deeply and super srs, but I don’t know anything beyond that.
Jul 13th 1013 - That last panel is totally made of win. I love Avarice's speech bubbles. Interesting to think that Drake DuCaine may not be as pure a hero as we've been led to believe. Can't wait to see where this is going!
More furious nodding.
DuCaine’s story is an aside that probably seems pretty random now, but works back into the Breakaway plot as time goes on.
Aug 25th 2013 - Mind if I ask you a dumb question? and feel free to throw things at me after this, but, how did you come up with Winterwing? Curiosity is getting the better of me. xP
I answered this one with visual aids in a tumblr response. I don’t have the original drawing anymore, I imagine it was thrown out when my parents moved out of my childhood home. It’s perfectly ok though because my memory of it is probably not representative of how horrible it was.
Sep 13th 2013 - Thank you for making Tanya look so good. Why couldn't Disney at least use your hairstyle?
Tanya’s an odd point for me because I’m on the fence with her. I like that a woman’s the scientist – but I don’t get why that translates into…. Let’s be honest, pretty unflattering attire (cargo pants, just why). But on the other hand I feel bad for wanting to make her more conventionally attractive. I don’t know. Really most of what I did was change her hair and make some modifications to her wardrobe, I try to be sure she keeps her fuller figure.
I also insist that she’s a much better inventor/engineer than Monster Rally would have you believe.
Nov 20th 2013 - Loved the oven comment. Glad I'm catching up on this now. Wasn't there an article about them planning on changing Tanya's appearance had the show continued? That and your rendition is what kind of inspired me to add that upcoming change in my fictions.
I think that letter has since been lost to time (because it was hosted on GeoCities or Angelfire or something), but the context of it was someone managed to get a response back from David Wise (or perhaps just his office) that talked a bit about the original plan for the second season. There was to be a new villain as well as an ongoing story arc where the ducks are basically taken to court for all the property damage they caused in the first season. I think the new villain was some weird food based thing (which someone else used in a fanfiction shortly there after, mentioned in passing).
This letter was the one that also mentioned Tanya was getting a makeover and that she was someone who went through ‘phases’, thus we could expect a dramatic appearance change (to what, I’m not sure).
Sep 25th 2013 - So, speech bubbles. Since I've mentioned them twice already, I've got another question for you! How do you handle your speech bubbles? Do you draw them by hand, use a program, or what? They always look very clean and nicely done, so I'm quite curious.
I get this one quite a lot so I thought I’d answer again. The majority of Breakaway is done in Photoshop. The speech bubbles, however, are done in Adobe Illustrator, which is 10 times better for placing text than Photoshop has ever been. I don’t know why because it’s the same company, I suppose the cynical part of me thinks it’s because they want you to buy two programs instead of one. The bubbles themselves are vector objects that can be easily manipulated to the size and shape you need in Illustrator.
The text is a font called ‘Smack Attack’, which is free to use ONLY in instances where the final product is not being sold, thus I will likely have to find something else for other projects fairly soon.
Dec 8th 2013 - "I might still have your jacket" Classic George Costanza trick for another date!
Not sure how I missed this one, but legit LOL
Dec 8th 2013 - Ooh! Now we get to see the real apartment Emily lives in instead of just the dream version from earlier! Neat. I wonder who her roommate is. Probably someone not too important, I'm guessing.
Big explosion! If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was the saurian invasion, but that clearly didn't happen in this universe.
I’m actually not sure if Maria was a roommate or a close friend who was hanging out that night. I feel silly because I’m basically saying ‘I don’t know’ to things that honestly I’m the only person who SHOULD know lol.
I think this has since been clarified, but Emily is from our Duck’s universe which suffered the invasion, while Winterwing’s wasn’t.
Feb 16th 2014 - And here I thought it was because you missed seeing him in that green spandex. Is this how you're going to force him to wear something slightly more normal?
Wildwing is basically never going to wear anything normal, near as I can tell.
Mar 4th 2014 - LOL - so Winterwing has a sister? I like that idea a lot and I love her personality -- definitely younger XD
Indeed. Dabble is just starting college and experiencing the freedom of not living with their parents anymore – which makes just about anyone obnoxious, really.
Apr 13th 2014 - Gotta admit, the comment about Wildwing's arms made me take a closer look at Wildwing vs Winterwing. I really like that (now that his jacket's off) we can see how Wildwing is the more muscular of the two. It makes sense that the one who is a team captain and plays goalie at a a professional level would be more fit than the journalist/writer.
If you ever look at screenshots of Wildwing, particularly in ‘The Most Dangerous Duck Hunt’, you will see he is goddamn built like a tank. It’s just a bit ridiculous.
Winterwing has much less muscle mass just as a side effect of giving up the sport.
May 4th 2014 - LOVE the background transitions in the first panel. And now you've confirmed one of my theories about Emily; she's from our team's universe and somehow transported to Winterwing's. Kinda makes you wonder if she was supposed to end up with Wildwing, but things screwed up and she got the wrong drake...
(I answered this but decided to cut & paste the answer I made)
“Emily and Winterwing's relationship is subject to a few outside forces beyond what's been presented. It's not just a matter of who met who first, there's a least one large factor out of their control that's pulling strings.
If, for whatever reason, Winterwing were not part of the scenario, Wildwing's beliefs aren't really compatible with Emily's needs as they currently exist. If the invasion hadn't happened, they also lived in different sections of the planet (the city where Wildwing was placed was attacked at what appears to be sunset, where Emily was it was the middle of the night), and I don't really see a scenario where their paths crossed.
On Winterwing's side, I think it's possible he would have encountered his equivalent to Emily at some point, but it would have been many years in the future, and only in some scenarios. That may have gone somewhere, maybe not.
Really the possibility of infinite, slightly different universes frustrates every 'what if' question.”
The even more infuriatingly vague answer is a lot of these questions are connected, even if it’s not immediately obvious – and even the Ducks themselves get a bit suspicious as time goes on.
May 13th 2014 - Do you have method for how you divide up your page into panels?
I answered this specifically but more generally I heavily suggest thumbnailing before committing to a layout. I’ve tried it with and without and invariably the pages I hate the most are the ones I didn’t plan properly. Thumbnailing is a fast process, but it does require knowing what you want to accomplish (I usually thumbnail about 9-12 pages at a time, so I can clearly work through what needs to be done). My main concerns are what actions need to be shown, and who needs to be involved. Background elements are distractions at that level.
May 17th 2014 - I have managed to read all 100 pages. However, I have to ask because I keep asking this myself. Are these panels an aside to the story of Wraith's spell affecting those who are being treated by Wildwing, Tanya, Mallory, and Winterwing? Or is this happening at the same time, in a novella style?
I would describe them as backstory. The DuCaine story is 700 years or so in the past, the more recent asides are concurrent with the events of the show, the predominantly grayscale pages are strange things only Emily sees.
Jun 6th 2014 - Speaking of voices... Who'd you pick for Emily's voice actor if Disney decided to turn your comic into Season 2? Yeah, yeah, big dreams, I know. But I'm curious!
Way back a long time ago I was really into Helen Hunt, but since then Emily’s had such a personality shift I don’t know if it applies anymore. I admit a more current love of Katee Sackhoff.
Jan 9th 2014 - Hm... Different than the photos she remembers... Perhaps she remembers photos from another dimension?
Ah, but why would they be different do you suppose
Trigger warning: Body horror mentions below this point
Oct 4th 2013 - I like how you portrayed the 'parasite', I had no idea what it was until you said it outright, though it does explain the glowing eyes. Now I'm real curious how you'll expand upon it. Will they be able to manifest it offensive/defensively outside their bodies? One of your earlier pictures implies as such.
Things have gotten much more…well… gross since this was asked. But I have gotten similar questions in the mean time. I’m going to be vague if only because the nature of the parasites is a thing that gets addressed over time and I don’t want to give it all away.
There does seem to be some credibility to the idea that there can be a symbiotic relationship between what I’ve taken to calling the Phage and its host. If it doesn’t try to explode its way out of you first.
Dec 17th 2013 - Buwahaha! The third panel is pure win. LOVE it. Interesting to see what Wildwing might have majored in if not for the saurian invasion and his awesome goalie skills.
Those raised worm lines are creeping me out and making my skin crawl. Eew. Using the holes in the speech bubble to show us that he's falling apart himself is very well done.
I’m actually a total jerk and decided Wildwing was going into accounting. I mean. Seriously. Does that not sound like the most straight laced boring thing a person could do. Lol
I’m a little weirded out by myself because I hate hate hate body horror and somehow managed to draw a lot of it in this comic.
Jan 9th 2014 - Ooh... The plot thickens as the skin dissolves.
I just copied this one to specifically say GAH at.
Jan 31st 2014 - Was the 'pop' really necessary?
No but yes >