So I'm working on a project right now making a lot of comics I wrote about a year ago, all about my time in customer service. Anyone who's worked retail knows you always walk away with some strange stories to tell- once I'm done, I'll have a whole comic's worth.
Here's the newest strip for it, "Sexy Pictures." It may be important at this point to reiterate these stories will all be real-life.
"Sexy Pictures" as a concept would return many times during my stint in that photo lab... be on the lookout for more comics about it.
I thought it would be interesting to show my process for this, so if you're curious how I frankenstein together things into a finished page of comics, this is for you!
First, the original sketch:
When I originally sketched these stories out, I was mostly concerned with getting the story and timing down, and wasn't thinking about format at all. This one had the perfect amount of panels to be refit, so that was no real challenge. The actual layout of the panels though was pretty rudimentary, and needed reworked- a lot. A lot of pencil lead and eraser was burnt through before ending up with these pencils:
I pencil best at a smallish size; the page above is about 7"x9.25". When it comes to inking though, I have to ink larger, or I just can't get the line quality I want. I am a pretty ham-handed individual, so I like to scan my pencils in and then ink on vellum over a blown-up print out of the pencils. Here's a peek at the raw inks (without frames) on vellum, complete with lots of ugly, uncorrected mistakes:
After that, I recompile the inks in Photoshop and adjust thresholds to get things crisp for coloring/printing; at that point we've got this:
Since this is intended for a self-published mini, I have to stick with black and white. I planned on using a very limited, two-limit value palette to get things feeling more solid, so I just popped open a layer and start playing around with the two values I want to use, trying to figure out where I want them to go. Here's what I had when that was done:
Satisfied with that color sketch, at that point it's just a matter of going back in and making the actual fields of flat color the way I want them, and then you've got the final piece at the top of the post.