Ögrëxx is an erotic, steampunk webcomic (adult webcomic, mature webcomic) set in Old Iron Spain. Most of the Western world has fallen under extreme and absolute rule by the Iron Inquisition.
An erotomaniac and phonomaniac, Ada (known as the notorious ögrëxx), is a mercenary pirate-rogue gifted with the psionic power to stop time. She pilots an airship and accepts commissions. Her methods are crafty and brutal earning her her callous reputation. Ada will steal … and murder … for the right price, and especially if it’s to contravene the ruling Iron Inquisition. She most largely confides in her hand-made doll, Rufus.
The Ögrëxx story is told from the slice-of-life perspective of Ada. It is intentionally minimalistic noir and rendered in a moment-to-moment and aspect-to-aspect sequential art format. Read the full story here …
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Author & Artist
Ögrëxx is written and drawn by Swanie. My top influences are Mike Mignola, Frank Frazetta, H.R. Giger, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Miller. You can visit my personal website for bio, journal, and personal sketchbook here … swanie.com
How I Make This Webcomic
Below are the minimalist webcomic processes and tools I use to make and publish this webcomic …
I decided to create an erotic steampunk webcomic drawn in a minimalist noir style using a moment-to-moment and aspect-to-aspect sequential art format. I learned the most about making comics by reading Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud and How to Draw Noir Comics by Shawn Martinbrough.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
How to Draw Noir Comics
Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets
WRITING & DRAWING
I write, take notes, sketch, thumbnail, and draw Ögrëxx in a 8×8″ Illo® Sketchbook with 0.5mm Pentel® mechanical pencils and just the standard HB pencil lead. I prefer the Pentel Twist Erase III® over other types of mechanical pencils. They’re inexpensive and I like the size of the retractable eraser. Other mechanical pencils have small, flimsy erasers. I do not use any software to storyboard or write the comic. Overall, this keeps the writing and drawing process pretty quick and simple.
8×8″ Illo® Sketchbook
Pentel Twist Erase III® Mechanical Pencil
When I draw, I hold the pencil upright and in the middle of the barrel or higher. At the same time, I don’t anchor my palm on the table. And I never use a ruler or any other drawing aid. As a result, it’s very difficult to draw a quick, steady, clean line. My drawing is instead slow, clumsy, and quite imperfect … which is perfect, just what I want!
Sometimes, I might look at my thumbnails as reference while I draw. But most of the time, I don’t use any reference material. I rely purely on my memory or mental inference.
As I draw freehand, I make no corrections or redos. I take what I get (most of the time) in my first take. And I actually prefer the imperfect lines. They have character, they seem more real, human. I find that the strength and joy of my art is not in my technical accuracy or craft, but instead in capturing the raw essence of form and character.
I do not ink my art. I do not use a Wacom tablet or iPad.
I use a Canon® LIDE 400 to scan my final pencil art into my computer. It’s fairly inexpensive, high quality scanning, portable, lightweight, and doesn’t need its own power cord. It draws power through the USB connection. It works for both Mac and PC computers.
I downloaded and installed the free Canon IJ Scan Utility Lite software for Mac from Canon’s website. The software is pretty straight forward, but I do use a Custom Setting to scan Grayscale, 300 dpi, .TIFF. I find that this captures the imperfect pencil line art the way I like it.
I have a 2022 MacBook Air and use a combination of Adobe® Photoshop and Illustrator to create final art files for web. After I scan the pencil line art, I use Photoshop to clean up stray, unwanted lines and fill in all the solid black shapes.
I then Place the .tiff art file into a 8×8 (756×756 pixels) RGB Illustrator (.ai) document. I AutoTrace to convert the raster line art to vector. I then finish coloring and lettering in Illustrator. I might even add some details with some of the vector tools. When done, I outline all strokes and text. I then save a .svg file. I find that SVG graphics are much crisper when viewed on a computer screen than JPG or PNG.
I registered and host my webcomic on DreamHost®. I also use DreamHost for email. Their Basic plan should work for most people. I went with the DreamPress plan to get a few extra features.
I use self-hosted WordPress® as my website content management system. It’s free and installing it on DreamHost is easy and fast to do. There are other third-party platforms to publish web comics … probably much easier and faster to set up than this website. But I prefer having more control and customization, so the time spent in the initial setup was worth it for me.
I purchased and use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress® and the Wintersong Pro child theme (which isn’t available anymore). I’m pretty handy at web coding, so I made quite a few CSS customizations to my liking. I also added several WordPress plugins to enhance the website performance and SEO. I also made sure the webcomic read well on both desktop computers and mobile devices.
I started with a free MailChimp account to collect email subscriptions and publish RSS campaigns.
I haven’t printed my webcomic yet. Maybe some day.
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