The drawing that I eventually labelled “The Monster” was the start of a new phase. I had met my wife over the summer of 2012 and after a few months of not thinking about the Singing Bone at all, the story came back into my consciousness as something I really wanted to work on. I was not living at home at this point and it had it’s advantages: I did not have access to my computer as much, so overly retouching the drawings in Photoshop was not an option. If I did not like something, I would need redraw it by hand. This was of crucial importance as this drawing marks the start of relying less on Photoshop. Also, I had addressed some of the issues that the earlier drawings had. Now, the panels were active and relating to each other and the characters are committing to their feelings.
Comparing the 3 panels above (the old version) with the 3 panels below, I wanted to show the wild boar as a threatening creature, something that I failed to do in the original. I also wanted less storytelling gaps between the panels, so more panels would need to eventually come in between those that I already created to better tell the story. Every time I reached a point when I thought I was finished with the story, I saw how much more work still needed to be done in order to get the results I was hoping for. I kept starting over. In this case, by focusing most of my attention on the villagers fleeing from the wild boar, I was free from from the constraints of continuing to redraw the same characters over and over. I was now enjoying the freedom of focusing on new faces and it helped me to push myself further.
Still, it was clear that it was not enough. The new drawing I had done with the fleeing villagers had opened my mind to new possibilities, but I needed to take this further if it was going to work.