Thursday, November 24, 2011

A fella named Chad Lambert wrote this story called 'Bliss'. I have always wanted to do one of those process blogs. You know, how I do stuff. Well it all starts with a script. Mr. Lambert's was very clear and easy to follow. For you folks who have never seen a comic script it looks like this:

I take the script and do a really rough layout of what it's gonna look like. I always take the lettering into account. You have to have enough dead space to put the words. My layouts are REAAALLLLLY rough. Some people's are very refined. I don't really bother with them that much. Example:

Then I pencil from my rough. This to me is the most involved part of the art process. This is where you make sure all the figures are placed right, all the panels flow, nothing's confusing. I try to kind of make decisions on lighting and mood. Pencilling takes the most time out of all the steps. It makes your brain hurt sometimes, but the tighter you get it the easier the rest of the page will come. I use a simple mechanical pencil. I start off really light and refine and darken it as I go. I draw on 11x17 smooth bristol board. I usually scan the pencils in case i screw up during the inking process:

Then if everything is cool with the writer...Inking happens. I ink directly over my own pencils usually. If I ink someone else's stuff I usually roll with a light box. The ink i use is Windsor and Newton black waterproof india ink. It has a spider on the box. I use a combination of a number 2 and 3 brush, a croquill pen and of course to fill in large areas of spot black, a Q-tip. I usually do the foreground with the brushes and the background with the pens. I find this makes the foreground pop a bit more. Inking is my favorite part because if you bothered with pencils enough you don't have to think much about it...I find it very relaxing too. I'm not sure why.

Then I head over to the computer. I scan the page and open up ol' Photoshop. Photoshop is the most awesome thing that ever happened to comic book making folks. I usually mess around with the levels so my blacks are all black and my whites are as whit as the undies your mama used to bleach for you. I'm an Indie fella so usually most of the comics I do are in glorious black and white. I like throwing a flat gray tone on my pages. I'm not much on gradients or fancy stuff. i like just a flat 20% gray. I have a wacom tablet that I use to lay the gray down. It's pressure sensitive so it's a very natural and easy way to get some depth and extra shading.

Then, the final step is lettering. I do this two ways. If I'm doing something for myself, that I've written I letter by hand. You do this with an Ames Lettering guide and croquill pen. For this story I'm doing it digitally. This is certainly the more popular way to do it. I'm not sure how the pros do it but I go back to my friend photoshop. If you did your work and were anal in the layout and pencilling stage you should have plenty of room to put down your speech bubbles and boxes in a way that leads the reader's eye both through the panel and to the next panel.

That's all there is to it. You go on to the next page, finish the story then sit back and wait for the ten thousand dollar check to show up.......That last part was a lie. Honestly though none of us do this for the money. Being a doctor or lawyer would have been a better plan for that.