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So you want to know how it's done eh? Well here's a simple step by step walk through of how I put the comic together for those of you who are interested.

Step 1.

Ever page starts as a rough storyboard, usually drawn at least a month ahead of time. Sometimes years ahead of time. This is where I work on layout and blocking without having to waste good paper of time drawing details. The text at this stage is usually only a draft of the final text, but gives an idea of progessiong and baloon layout.

Step 2.

I don't trace my sotryboards. For one thing they are not usually that detail, and for another they are not to scale, drawn at 8.5 X 11 while my final pages for Broken Windmills are at 10 X 12.5. This is larger than Schwarz Kreuz and allows for more detail and a cleaner look once they're scaled down. I draw on a Strathmore sketch pad, not Bristol board, with a cheep Bic mechanical pencil. Bic erasers are very good and I like to have one at the end of my pencil. I am also prone to loosing them so don't like to use expensive pencils.

Step 3.

Next the image is inked. I use Pigma Microns now, for SK I used Staedtlers, there is no difference as far as I'm concerned but you can't find staedtlers in Honolulu. After scanning the image I usually have to clean it up in Photoshop. I have a jumpy hand sometimes and sometimes my scale is a little off but its easier to fic on the computer than to redraw.

Step 4.

Next I fill the colours. Each character has a stadard color palette for skin hair and clothes along with beveling shades for standard scenes. In exceptional lighting as with night scenes I fill and shade the characters with their stadard palette then adjust saturation and bightness to match the background.

Step 5.

Finally the base shades. For characters this is part of their standard palette. For the background I create the shades on the spot and use the same shades for the entire scene page to page.

Step 6.

The special effects shade stage can actually come before shading depending on what's required. The usual effects, like sky, and hair and eye gradiation I usually do before shading, but it depends on my mood.

Step 7.

The final stage of the art is the grain. The grain is a mask I created from a scan of a page of ink wash, there are six different masks I use interchangably for variery. The dark component is taken from the base colour and darkened %50 the light is lightened %50 and the final product retains roughly the same values as the original. I retain true black lines and true white in te eyes and gutters.

Step 8.

And of course there is finally the dialogue. Like the effects this is usually aplied at any stage I like. For SK I hand wrote my dialogue, which was time consuming and hard to read. For Broken Windmills I use a type face called Space Cowboy. Ironicly enough my own brother thought it was still my hand writing.


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