Brocess: Behind the Scenes

Like I said last time, I’m going to share how I do comics–or at least one method that I’ve worked out.

Of course, this is going to completely change depending on the project. I’ve found that it’s a lot more enjoyable for me to change aspects of my working method on the fly than to try to stick to a system.

Cos it’s when a system becomes rigid that it breaks down.

Anyway, I start off, as do most cartoonists, with thumbnails and scripting (developed in tandem in my case). They look sort of like this sometimes:

Then I let that sit for a while, usually setting it down somewhere, forgetting about it, doing long division in red pen on it, setting down a cup of coffee on it, etc. etc.

Then, after I relocate the thing after having lost it, I start the pencils. For the Tentacle Kid story I’m working on right now, I’m working pretty small–at about 9″x12″. I usually work a lot larger, but, uh…see above. I usually use a red pencil and/or a red ballpoint when I’m penciling, along with a mechanical pencil for finer details (or things that I’m having more trouble nailing down). Sometimes, the pencils look like this:

Then of course, inks. I recently purchased my first Windsor-Newton Series 7 brush, by which I think most brush-using cartoonists swear. So that’s what I’ve been mostly using for the linework on this project. It looks like this:

You’ll notice that the red’s not there anymore–that’s cos I dropped it out in PhotoShop.

Then comes toning. Before I started work on this story I rediscovered my love for Copic Markers–as Nomi Kane put it, “they’re like drawing with butter.” She is correct in this assessment.
I have to lightbox the pages in order to get the tones anywhere even close to correct, so before marker touches paper, the inked page has to be scanned, reduced in size so as to fit on letter-sized paper, touched up, upsampled, bitmapped, etc., etc.
So I throw the dang thing on the lightbox and spazz out with the Copics for a while, eventually producing something that looks sort of like this:

Astute readers will notice that this has been dot-screened in PhotoShop. I’ve never used actual screentones before, and I’m wary of them because they’re expensive and kind of hard to find. Also, I’m not real good with drawing on the computer, so I tend to avoid doing things like this digitally. This method developed as a result of my inadequacies! Yay!
Anyway, more ‘Shopping happens, and by around 3 or 4 am I end up with something that on a good day looks sort of like this:

Then, I write a blog post about it, which looks sort of like this:

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2 Responses to “Brocess: Behind the Scenes”

  1. Yes, brocess! This is very well put together and informative. Well done, sir!

  2. I am a fan of this. *firm nod*

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