My favorite pages from the last two chapters – Places 1 to 10

Last week, I posted the places 11 to 25 from my personal top list of all pages from the last two chapters of Gaia. Now I want to post my top 10. The following pages are listed in chronological order.

You can vote for your personal favorite of these 10 pages with the voting widget in the right sidebar!

Breaking All Barriers #12
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 012

A nice look back at happier days for our heroes when they were celebrating Lilith’s jailbreak in Silverdale. I love the page layout with the photographs lying on top of each other. I wonder myself what the hidden photographs may be showing since I didn’t give Powree instructions about their content. The best photograph in my opinion is the one with Lilith and Viviana giving each other rabbit ears. They’re just so cute in it!

Breaking All Barriers #36
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 036

Aaaaand we’re already back to our usual show “Terrible things happening to Viviana.” The sound effects look absolutely amazing. This page may have the best lettering I’ve ever seen in a comic page. Powree really outdid herself here. By the way, just two days after writing this page, my right ear began to bleed in exactly the same way as Viviana’s while I was lying ill in bed with a severe cold. That was somewhat worrying since my ear had never bled before in my life.

Breaking All Barriers #42
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 042

Another page with stellar artwork from the episode of Viviana getting lost in the forest of Oakdale. Those shadow creatures look truly terrifying. Viviana can really be gald that they weren’t real and Eldor and his helpers just appeared like that in her imagination. I spent quite some time with adjusting the size of the transparent word bubbles and moving them around on the page until I was satisfied with their positions.

Breaking All Barriers #106
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 106

This may be my favorite Gaia page so far. The transparency effect on Viviana and the rainbow effect of the rainbow knife turned out absolutely perfect. I love how Viviana is almost invisible in the first panel and becomes a little easier to spot in the third panel. But only at a second look when you already know what to look for. The elaborate manner of how the effect is finally removed from her in the fourth panel also looks great. We needed a full week to create this difficult page. The first draft for the page was disregarded completely. This happened for the first time ever regarding a Gaia page. And the second draft underwent several revisions. But in the end, it was more than worth the effort.

Breaking All Barriers #125
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 125

Readers particularly loved how happy Viviana looked in the big fifth panel. But my personal favorite drawing of Viviana in all of Gaia can be found in the second panel. Her cute, unsure look at Ilias couldn’t have be drawn any better. Regarding the general page layout, it would have been much more conventional to make the panel featuring the kiss the largest panel of the page. But I think it was an excellent idea to make the panel showing the moment just before that the most prominent one. For this panel, I asked Powree to redraw Viviana’s face since it just didn’t look as good in the inked version as in the sketch. The final version of it is very similar to the first sketch, maybe even a little better.

Breaking All Barriers #162
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 162

I was very worried about this page when I wrote the script for it. I didn’t find any really good reference pictures for the teleportation effect and I had only a vague idea about how it should look like. So I was more than happy when Powree delivered this beautiful and interesting looking page. Alissa and Ryn looked a bit glued on in the version that Powree sent me, but that was surprisingly easy to fix with a bit of Photoshop layer magic. I have to say that I don’t know how Powree exactly created the whirl effect.

Monster Cover
Gaia: Monster Cover

This is my favorite chapter cover so far. It is based on an illustration which artist Kirsten Moody drew for our Patreon supporters. While I’m not drawing the characters or objects, I play a much larger role regarding the final look of the artwork of the chapter covers than for that of the normal pages. You can have a look at the changes I made for the three previous chapter covers in this article. I made similar enhancements regarding the lighting and drawing details of this cover as well.

Monster #27
Gaia: Monster 027

Now that’s a gruesome (and awesome) page! The drafts for the whole fighting scene in the cellar and this page in particular required several iterations until they looked right. I thought that an isometric view could work well for this page which turned out to be correct in the end. There really are a lot of elaborated visual effects in Gaia for a comic that updates twice a week. They’re the main reason why I knew from the beginning that Gaia had to be colored since all these effects wouldn’t have worked nearly as well in a black-and-white comic such as Sandra and Woo.

Monster #79
Gaia: Monster 079

This page is definitely less spectacular than most other pages in this top 10 list. But I’m absolutely in love with Lilith’s glance at Eldor in the sixth panel. She looks exactly as I envisioned it. Eldor’s notes are taken almost straight from mathematicians Shinichi Mochizuki’s papers about “Inter-universal Teichmülller Theory” (page 1 of 4) in which he allegedly proved the famous abc conjecture. It’s such a bizarre and complicated paper that many math professors didn’t understand anything in it, not even the abstract. You can say that it’s a theory in the middle ground between math and magic, just like Eldor’s calculations on this page.

Monster #82
Gaia: Monster 082

Powree did an amazing job regarding the magic effect in the first three panels. It’s also an example that it’s often the little details that matter. For example, in the first panel, there already is a little hole through Eldor’s illusion to the left of the forefinger. In the first draft, the camera zoomed in to show a close-up of Lilith’s eyes in the last two panels. But that made her look too much like a completely deranged maniac. So we decided to zoom out instead and make her facial expression a bit more reversed.

You can also cast your vote for the winner from the post featuring the places 11 to 25:

Breaking All Barriers #139
Gaia: Breaking All Barriers 139

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