The Phantom Inker




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Emily had been a track star in high school, and that had earned her a very nice free ride to college. But when she arrived, she found the competition was fierce, and she knew she couldn't compete without help. So walking through town one day, she found a small occult bookstore, and in it, she found a book of magic spells. The proprietor told her they were real, and sold her the book for a dollar, but when she got home, she was sure she'd been conned. Still, there was only one way to find out, so she hunted through the book for a spell to make her faster, read the magic words — and to her great surprise, she was definitely faster. And probably disqualified too.

Well, here's the finished version. I've been working on this off-and-on since I did the lineart, and I've finally finished it after goodness-only-knows how many hours. Maybe 40 or 50.

Nearly all of this was done in CorelDRAW 11, but as a test, I downloaded an evaluation copy today of CorelDRAW X4 to finish it, and that's what I used for the special effects. Everything here was done with vector art and a mouse, but I used Corel Photo-Paint for a little post-processing work near the end (pretty much anything that glows in this started out as vector art that was run through one or more Photo-Paint filters). I'm not sure if I'm sold on X4; on the one hand, this would've been very difficult to do the same way without it, but on the other hand, it's still missing some features I really was hoping to see after all these years (why is there still no per-color alpha?), and it crashed a lot while I was working on this (I think ten crashes in two hours counts as a lot, don't you?). As usual with CorelDRAW, the crashes were related to the clipboard; you'd think that in the era of Test-Driven Development they'd have a reliable clipboard by now, but apparently not.

Ah, well. She's finished, she's pretty, and she's for sale in high resolution in my Prints Shop!

Edit: Fixed the missing eyebrow that was apparently destroyed during one of CorelDraw X4's crashes :(

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