I’ve got more to say about my process, but it’s going to wait another week to be paired with a comic that clearly illustrates the next step. This comic is a little different from the others in that I produced it in the middle of the week. I was scheduled to be out of town on the coming weekend, and didn’t want to fall behind on the schedule I’d set for myself. So it was produced over a few evenings after work. Consequently, I think it shows how drained I am when I get home; creative work at the end of the day is always more difficult than first thing in the morning for me. It’s one of the reasons we chose to only update weekly. After work and dinner, I don’t want to draw, I want to shoot digital men in their digital face. It easier to destroy than it is to create. (Antonio Banderas said that.)
This is another early one. I use fake sable brushes (synthetic mixed with sheep works pretty well), a very old pen with lettering nibs that I got from a box of my father’s ancient school supplies that he was holding onto for no reason, and pigment liner markers. I use sumi ink because it’s super black, and NOT waterproof! Most comic guys recommend Black Magic or other waterproof inks, but those contain shellac which destroys brushes and in my experience isn’t all that waterproof anyway. I’m able to brush gouache over the sumi ink, and that’s all that’s necessary anyway (That and keeping the artwork out of the rain). Every time I get ready to shell out for actual sable, I chicken out. I’m hell on brushes as it is, and $50 brushes just aren’t disposable. They work far better than the synthetic crap, though.
See, we can do a 3-panel newspaper style comic too! We’re so versatile. It won’t be long before we’ve amassed all the skills we need to take over the world. You hear that, world? We’re coming for you! Hope you’ve got your shit together!
Another digital gray tone here, but I’m pleased to report that I’ve ordered some sheets of Screen-tone(TM) to experiment with. Soon I’ll be making halftones like we had to do back in the 1950’s. Woo! Seriously, I’m not a luddite. I’m not knocking digital art by any means. I’m producing this comic as traditionally as I can because it’s fun. I work digitally all week at my day job, so actually getting my hands dirty is refreshing and challenging. Working without an undo key feels a bit like a tightrope walk without a net. Of course, I’d have to screw up pretty bad to break my neck while drawing, but you get what I mean.
This is actually the third comic Jack and I completed. We had around a dozen or so comics in the bag when we launched, but rearranged the order in which they publish to better introduce the characters and take advantage of other circumstances. So if the art seems inconsistent, that’s because– from your point of view– it is. But if you look you can tell which comic was drawn first, and which came next. Try to find the first comic I made when I finally got my hands on an Ames Lettering Guide!