Volume 1 Page 18
Posted November 13, 2015 at 12:54 am

For an overview of the varying approaches I use for drawing Emp’s mouth, compare and contrast the first and last panels of this page. The toothy maw of panel 1’s Yelling Emp is, you’ll notice, distinctly different from the full lips evinced by Uncertain Emp on panel 6. At this time, I did often favor drawing Emp with the fabled Big Pouty Lips for which I am so frequently criticized, but the sad reality is that such exaggerated embouchure doesn’t lend itself particularly well to a very wide variety of facial expressions. Thus, as seen so prominently on this page, you’ll notice that our heroine’s mouth rapidly cycles from arguably shark-like cartooniness to, well, a full-lipped different mode of cartooniness. Despite the common belief that manga and anime characters “don’t have lips,” note that I was inspired in this approach by manga-artist masters of Big Pouty Lippiness such as Katsuya Terada and Tetsuro Ueyama. (The latter mangaka, it should be said, journeyed so far into extreme Big Pouty Lippiness during his manga Solevision Mitsuyoshi that even yours truly was forced to think, “Maybe you should chill out with the giant soupcoolers, dude.”)

For the record, I’ve presently kicked the Big Pouty Lips habit as of the last few volumes of Empowered—but the trend will be very much in full—and plump, and lip-glossy—effect in the next 1000 or so pages. (My apologies in advance, haters of extreme Emp embouchure.)

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