scan-creative-process: C: That's How Sally Walks #250: Rain
Episode #250 was one of the most ambitious comics I ever made, and one which I very nearly didn't make at all! The idea came in late 2019 to have a Sally-goes-aborad story and to have a true roundoff to her father Oscar's redemption arc.
All the special episodes have colour and backgrounds in THSW, but this one was more special than most. As I had already planned a trip to Hong Kong with my friend Elle for November 2019, the plan was to take photos myself to use as backgrounds. But then the protests happened and the risk of being stranded at a closed airport when I already had very little money just wasn't worth it. Then some other cheeky thing happened on a global scale not long after...
But thankfully, the website Pexels became extremely resourceful. My usual style of cartoonifying real photos is to use the Poster Edges and Watercolour filters, then create a dupe layer above with Find Edges and Threshold, with a Multiply blend. Still learning to perfect it to this day...
Exerpt from upcoming document, Ellie The Artist: Behind The Panels
Visually, How Did I Make Time Pass?
First step was to make entering Hong Kong a transition from the norm of the series. For 3 and half years, we'd seen Sally in a mostly black-and-white environment with few backgrounds. The logical thing to do was to make this faraway place the opposite of that. But first, they must transition:
On the plane with the night sea outside, exiting her usual black-and-white world and entering a new one of colour
Our hero of 3 years looks out into the sea of a new world.
They’ve entered the strange new place with colour and backgrounds. But they’re still in the plane from their land, in an isolated bubble of familiar black and white, getting ready to come out.
Now they’re here, treading bravely.
First time we’ve seen Sally in such a faraway place. It’s clearly not her home. Codes and conventions: Mountains, palm trees, signs in Chinese symbols, a clearly tropical sea, sleeves rolled up and loose clothing to indicate heat.
I was also sure to make some lovely parallel shots to previous episodes.
To keep it familiar (and to save working time), I kept most of the interior shots black-and-white.
In an earlier episode Sally mentioned that she hasn’t been abroad since she was a kid. You’d think someone as anxious as her would be crippled with fear going somewhere this far. But she came all this way to help her dad. So he won’t be alone when he faces his aunty’s death, and to be a wingman for his reconnected childhood love. This is a man who, at the beginning of the series, she despised and was terrified of. Now THIS is their relationship by the end. Sally came all this way to help him like it was nothing. It’s not just about Oscar and Susie. It’s also about Sally coming full circle with her dad who redeemed himself.
And I believe Susie’s design is adorable and Oscar deserved the second chance!
Tune in soon for more.... y'know... stuff.