Dirk Maximus
a monster murder mystery
by Sean Carner

Our cast so far...

Man found in the cemetery

The Mystery begins

This man was murdered in a cemetery by a shadowy figure. Who is he? Why did he have to die?

Creepy Silhouette

The Killer

This mysterious silhouette was the last thing the murdered man would ever see.

Dirk

Sleuth without a partner

Dirk trained as Becker’s private investigation partner growing up; with Becker retiring, it’s Dirk’s turn in the driver’s seat. But does he want the wheel?

Emily

Neighbor and childhood friend

Emily is navigating the perils and pitfalls of today’s office workplace. Becker got her a flat in his office building, so now she enjoys catching up with Dirk about detective work.

Marguerite Becker

“Are you eating right, dear?”

Ma and James Becker raised Dirk. Now that Dirk has moved out, they are both contemplating how much support and space he needs.

James Becker

Former Partner

A police officer before becoming a P.I., Becker has taught Dirk everything he knows. Dirk has taken over the biz, but Becker still keeps an eye on things.

Veiled Lady

Mystery Woman

This woman hid her face and came looking for Becker, but took off in a hurry when she only found Dirk.

Man found in the alley

Another Victim

This was the second man found stabbed to death with an inscribed pendant hung around his neck.

Officer Thatcher

Blog

Fontastic (2018-04-21)

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned this here before, but I created the font that I use for dialog in the comic. I drew out all the characters and then uploaded them all to a website that has a computerized tracing function to convert those drawings into a usable font format. It has worked pretty well for comic dialog so far.

But there were always problems. The font was not usable at larger sizes. As you can see in the image above, the details got all soft in the old font when the computer traced it. The ends tapered off too much, and lines that were meant to visually overlap instead became unrelated shapes. There was also another issue where the bottoms of characters were sometimes getting cut off.

So to fix this, I recently went through and manually redrew the characters in a font-suitable format. It’s a time-consuming and sometimes grueling task, but I had been putting it off for a long time. They now look much better!

I will still have to go back sometime to fix some kerning issues, but in the meantime I’ve already started using the new font. Look for upcoming pages to no longer have a copyright symbol that gets cut off on the bottom!

More Store (2018-04-08)

As was foretold, I put the flat colors into my storefronts file. I also added the weird archway building next door to Dirk's office, as well as some more random shops on the other side.

As with all new techniques, I had to take a step back and evaluate just how often I should do this in the future. I still think it was a good idea for these storefronts, because they will get reused in future scenes. I probably will not take the time for any location in one-off scenes however.

Storefronts (2018-03-20)

I’m drawing a scene taking place in the street outside Dirk’s office, and I’ve finally given in and started drawing buildings across the street and down the block.

However, this is exhausting. And repetitive; I’ve drawn the front of Dirk’s office building approximately 7,000 times now.

I saw an artist on Twitter using a neat trick and decided to use it too. Instead of drawing these buildings again and again, I can draw one head-on view of buildings, and then skew them into perspective in each panel. I’ll still have to draw some dimensionality into it, such as steps, fences, window and door frames, but I think it could save a lot of time in the future when drawing complex backgrounds like this. I should even be able to build the flat colors into these designs to save even more time.