Behind the Scenes
Check out my process, take a stroll through my sketchbook, and check out some other interesting things that happen behind the scenes!
Ever wondered what goes into making a comic?
It starts with a storyboard.
To everyone who's asked for a glimpse of Volume 2 ... well, here it is! For me, a storyboard is the first step in making a finished graphic novel. These tiny scribbles won't make much sense to anyone else, but the storyboarding stage extremely useful. It's much easier to cut up and rearrange a rough draft than it is to make changes on a half-inked final page.
Here's a closer look at one of my storyboard pages -- notice how rough and scribbly it is!
These little scribble pages don't look like much now, but that's okay -- the less detail work I do on the storyboard, the better! This step isn't about having a perfect drawing. It's about making sure everything fits on the page and will read smoothly. See how much effort I put into blocking that scary bear on the right? That's about as detailed as the storyboards get!
Once I'm happy with how the panels fit together and the story flows in the rough draft, it's time to start penciling in the final pages.
During this stage, I'm mostly concerned with transferring the panels off the storyboard onto good paper. Depending on the complexity of a page, I may or may not spend a lot of time on the pencils. Since I'm the one who's going to do the inking, I'll often use simple outlines to mark where the characters will be, then ink and paint in the details later. If it's a more complex page, I'll spend more time mapping out where everything will go. Sometimes I'll even test textures in pencil first -- it's much easier to erase a pencil mistake than an inked one!
The inking stage is the most time-consuming for me. This is the part where I'll really take my time, building up the bland pencils by putting in all the details. I have to make sure to put a timer on to remind me to take breaks, or I get hand cramps!
Once the outlines are inked, I get to move on to my favourite part -- painting!
Painting is the part that really makes the page come alive. Since I've already done all the ink outlines, this stage feels kind of like doing a colouring book. I'll put on an interesting podcast, break out my teeny-tiny paintbrushes, and paint every panel by hand!
Once the page is fully painted and dried, it's time to scan it into the computer so I can add the text.
That's one page down -- only a hundred more pages to go!
Bonus Cool Stuff from my work desk!
Original Artwork VS Final Print Copy
This is the binder with all the hand-worked pages that make up Volume 1, sitting next to my very first proof copy. The original pages are all inked and painted by hand. I store them in clear, acid-free sleeves to help preserve the original artwork.
It's funny how the same number of pages can take up a lot more room on my bookshelf than the final print!