I was asked to speak at the Dark Industry Night at the spooky club last Thursday and my presentation didn’t go as smooth as I wanted it to. Mainly, my slideshow was more of a partially blind file search…

So I wanted to post the images here and give you the commentary in case you missed the night.

In preparation for the event, I took photos and screen shots of the process I got through when making a comic strip.

First, I write. I have several small notebooks that I carry with me wherever I go. Inspiration strikes at the oddest moments and you can’t be caught without something to write it down.

I go through my notebooks and choose which entries can be written as comic strips. I type these in bulk, sometimes 3-10 at a time. These are then sent to be edited by my girlfriend, who writes notes, corrects spelling, and generally helps me make everything make sense.

I take the edited text and convert it to word balloons in a program called Manga Studio.

I then bulk print the ballons, fitting as many on a page as I can to save paper and ink.

I also print blank panels so that I can do my sketching and drawing on normal paper without ruining my good paper with deep pencil marks and eraser smudges.

I use my light box to transfer the word balloons onto the blank panels page. I work backward compared to a lot of comic artists. I like to know how big the balloons are going to be before I start drawing. That way the final composition turns out decent and I also don’t end up spending time drawing something that’s just going to be covered up.

The next stage is sketching.

After sketching is drawing.

Another thing I do in bulk is cut down a bunch of my good paper [Borden & Riley #234 Bleedproof Paper For Pens] and measure out the panels.

I then transfer the word balloons onto the good paper and make any last minute changes to their positions in each panel.

Then I lightly transfer the drawing.

Here are my light pencils and word balloons on the good paper.

I ink the word balloons with a Micron pen.

I ink the outlines of the drawings with a Crowquill #102 nib and Bombay Black India Ink.

Sometimes I make mistakes.

I then erase the pencil lines and fill in the large areas of black with my Rapidograph pens.

And fix the mistakes with Dr. Martin’s Pen-White and a very tiny brush.

Here are the corrections up close.

Then I scan the strip 1/2 at a time because my scanner isn’t big enough to do the whole image.

I ink the panel borders after scanning because it is easier to move an image around the digital panel without having the inked panel lines to get in the way.

Here are the inked borders.

I store the original drawings in a portfolio. Hopefully, I can sell them in the future if the comic gets big.

I take the scanned images and place them with the previously created word balloons in Manga Studio. That file is saved.

And placed in Photoshop where more work is completed…

And lines are cleaned up. That final black & white artwork is saved.

The coloring process starts.

The colors begin as “Flats.”

All the colors are then worked up to create three-dimensionality.
The comic is saved, reduced to web-viewing size, uploaded to the website, then scheduled to be posted.