*I’m currently in the layout phase of reworking my entire website, from my portfolio page to the webcomics portal. I know enough about html to create a decent page but there’s a big learning curve when it comes to the CSS part of this site. I’m really close to wrapping this up and getting back to the drawing board. (A month perhaps?) Thanks for hanging in there.
Q: So why are there only comics on Tuesdays right now? It says ‘Sundays through Thursdays’ on your frontpage? What up with all that jibba-jabba?
A: Right now I’m gradually launching the comics. Eventually yes, the goal is to run new comics from Sunday to Thursday. I’m trying to resist posting comics as I finish each page. I want to have a nice buffer in the que so as to not disrupt the reading experience because I’m running late on a page, re-writes and or life gets in the way. I have a couple of long players I’m diligently working on. Once I get up to at least six months (roughly 26 to 30 pages) worth, they will commence.
Q: Is are of these comics ‘kid friendly’?
A: Short answer: probably not. I’m not sure I have it in me to create comics for kids unless I collaborate with a writer who does. Tonally the stuff I do is stuff I would like to read. I don’t really have the time to police the site (except for the comments section) but I encourage any parent to page through any website their kid might actively read.
Q: Any advice on creating comics?
A: It can be as easy as taking some sheets together, folding them in the middle like a booklet and start drawing pages. It’s a good exercise to draw the first page (beginning) and the last page (end of the story) in this booklet and work out the middle. It’s okay if it’s a mess but show it around to see if the story makes any sense to your family, your cat (okay, maybe not the cat.), and or friends. It’s as easy as that. Hell, I’m still a work in progress when it comes to telling a story. Be open to criticism as it’s the only way you’ll get better but don’t be a doormat. It’s a lot of hours spent alone drawing on blank sheets of bristol board, so be prepared for that. You’ll miss checking out bands or hanging out with friends. Long hours spent in the studio are not great for most relationships. If you get to the point where you feel like you’re ready to publish, or be published. Research how to create a pitch to editors. I’ll be honest with you, the rewards currently seem to be better online than in print. There’s a lot of small publishers in the comics industry that while they’re really enthusiastic about comics, they don’t really pay all that well, and yeah, it can be soul crushing at times. It’s a niche industry which doesn’t translate to most people when they see comic characters on screen. Comics in Hollywood appear to not be calming down anytime soon but it’s not the norm. You have to love what you do. Period.
Q: What do you draw with? what programs?
A: There’s two different approaches to my illustration (and original pages). It starts off traditional but the finish winds up being mostly digital. In either case I work almost double the size of the ‘standard’ comics page. On average, the sheet size is 14 x 21 inches for most of my comics. It depends on what the end format size is. I’m heavy handed so it works for me. Programs used are Photoshop, Manga Studio, and Painter. Painter’s primarily my go-to for coloring the art. Manga Studio for touch up and fixes (also superior with laying down graytone that look like the old school duotone. Cheap program to pick up if you want to do it all digital from beginning to end.) The only downside to the current version of Manga Studio I have is it’s a memory hog when it comes to coloring the art. Painter is still superior to Photoshop for digital art. A wacom tablet is a must. Some people ink in Photoshop. I’ve never been satisfied with their thick to thin line quality.
- With illustration, the look is more like a very finished under drawing done in mixed media. Graphite, a little bit of acrylic, wash and things that spray everywhere. That then gets scanned in once I feel it’s ready. Then again, sometimes I’ll forgo this and go right to drawing live on screen.
- The original pages are all done with brush and ink. A variety of different size brushes: the next to smallest sable one can buy. I buy whatever the store brand is at the local Dick Blick because the fibers of the brush eventually get destroyed by the ink. Washing it out extends the life sort of but I am a brush killer. For spot-blacks: I’ve settled on a sumi brush, what’s called a ‘comb’ brush, and foam brushes that you can buy at any place that has a hardware section. For ink choice, I swear by Koh-I-Noor (Universal Drawing Ink) I’m lucky to live near asian gift shops that carry sumi ink. It took a while for the sumi ink to ‘air’ out before it started laying down a nice black.