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Phase 7 by Alec Longstreth

Phase 7.

For this one, I began with just the panel composition and the three faces running parallel to the long diagonal panel border.  To contrast the three faces, I added in a fourth face looking outside of the comic, which gave me the title for this strip.  I don't know what made me add in the hands at that point, but it fit the weighing-the-options kind of feel that it seemed to be heading, and it filled in the next two panels.  

I added the earth to provide a setting, and I liked how the shape of it fit into the divided part at the top.  Having the characters looking out into space created a pretty loaded image, so it was a nice way to focus the mood of the strip.  I used a really dry brush to make the space texture, and then I started to write in different things that I had been thinking about lately.  Then I came up with what needed to be on the palms of the hands, and then drew an upside-down Michigan in the last panel- which felt a bit disconnected until I wrote the very last phrase beneath the comic strip.  I cleaned up a few things, colored the planet in, and then scanned it.  

I don't know if you can tell, but I wrote the "... time to start something new" line way too close to the panel border and had a really hard time moving it back up to make the panel feel more balanced.  This was particularly difficult because I wrote the phrase over the spacey texture, so it wasn't a quick cut & paste thing.  I spent a really long time messing with the cloning tool in photoshop, so it does look a bit better than it did before, but I can still tell that it looks a little weird there at the bottom.