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Mecha Concepts

Ah yes. The classroom lectures that drifted through my empty skull as I doodled robots and aliens in the margins of my pages are lost to me forever. No matter, here are some cool robots.

 

 

See you in the funny pages

J-

The Making of "Phashion Physics"

Lets see. Where to begin? The best place to begin is always the beginning.

Every comic stars in the same place. It starts with an idea. And ideation is an import part of the process. Doctor Insano’s writer comes up with all of the ideas and writes the scripts. But, there is always a period when we bounce the idea back and forth allowing ourselves to play. We come up with some really wacky stuff as we fall back on our equal enthusiasm for all things sci-fi, comic book and fantasy. And let us not forget a healthy dose of gaming both role-playing and video.

I couldn’t create this stuff alone. Having a collaborator is something I’m very used to. As A teenager I would share comic stories with my best friend down the street. Sometimes, we would stay up all night just coming up with some really fun stuff. But, I digress

When the script is written and ready to go is the only time this become a one-man show. If there are elements to the story that require some study I’ll usually work those things out in my sketchbook a lot that stuff I post on the website to share some original art work.

If I’m feeling randy I’ll dive right in.

The size of the board I work on is really defined by the small scanner bed of my all in one printer. I have to scan each comic in sections and piece the image together digitally.

So this is my workspace it’s a little cramped but it works for me. I used to have a whole apartment devoted to being my studio. Now, I have a desk.

Here is the initial layout. The panels are roughed in and the characters are “Cartooned” for composition. You have to be very conscious of character placement. How are characters interacting with each other? How do they interact with their environment? Where is the copy and dialogue going? If you don’t want to cover up your beautiful art work with bunch of words design your images accordingly.

Here the pencil detail has been added to the characters. Note the small thumbnail on the right. I like to make tiny little comics with stick figures to plan out the action. I usually do this with the script in hand. I read it to myself and draw and make silly little sound effects.

The next step is inking. I keep my inking simple, a thin line for outlines is all I need a thinner line for background art to hint at some atmospheric perspective. I really rely on color and shading to define volumes and provide dimension.

Lets face it folks, I suck at inking. I was told once that I ruin my drawings when I ink them. So, I figure a minimalist approach is best.

For this comic I have the characters conversing in a single scene. The background never changes so in an effort to save time and provide continuity I drew, inked and colored the background separately. And just like some green-screen movie magic I place characters in the scene digitally.

After scanning, I adjust levels and separate the line art from the white background.

Then, I lay in the color, mostly by hand, using my Wacom tablet. All hail Wacom!

Next is shading on a separate layer set to a percentage of transparency based on the intensity of the imaginary light source. And of course, the canned background.

Then letters. You folks should be thankful I don’t letter by hand.

I always save a version of my art with all of the layers active for archival purposes. I then save a separate file flattened and formatted for the website.

And that’s it. That all. No magic or crazy stuff.

Making comics is a total blast. I work a full time job and I’m trying to raise a family that is as minimally screwed up as possible so I don’t get to do this as much as I’d like. But I can try for one comic a week, I enjoy it.

I’ll see you in the funny pages.

J-

Sketchbook Overhaul

I'm Test driving new Blog software. I think I like it.

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