Things I've learned about making comics

How should I be Photoshopping?

Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Dave on Fri May 09, 2008 5:34 pm

Greetings, Korin. Let's see what I can do for you.




How does one set up panels for a comic?

Be it on paper with inks, or on a computer, the first thing you need to decide is what kind of panels will best convey the action in the comic. I suggest reading Understanding Comics (and Making Comics) by Scott McCould, he does a great job of explaining how panels (and paneling) work and why. For now, here's a very rough outline:
1. Uniform panels convey a roughly equal passage of time between panels.
2. Wide panels are good for establishing shots, when you wish to draw someone into your panel, when you want to hold your viewer's attention for a few seconds longer, or when you wish to convey a "cinematic" feel. Check out the Iron Man strip Dee and I did as an example. Notice how the first panel has you follow Iron Man's repulsor from the bottom left all the way back and to the right. The following next two panels, however, seem to have a nice and uniform beat.
3. I personally use open space (meta-panels) to have viewers focus on the characters themselves. Since there's no fixed framing aside from the panels around them, the viewer tends to linger just a bit longer on the images.

Again, read up on the books I suggested and take a really good look at other artists' works. Take the moment to figure out why something worked, or why something didn't quite deliver.

How does one acquire one of those miraculous tablets unto which I may draw to my hearts content?

You can get a Wacom Tablet from http://www.wacom.com, or you can go down to your local computer shop and see if they have some for sale.

I recommend a Wacom Intuos3. I personally use the 9x12 to make the most use out of my work space, but a smaller one is fine if your space (or cash flow) is limited. From what I understand, Scott Kurtz and Mike Krahulik both use these nifty little wonders.


How does one get said comics out on the net?

There's several ways you can do this. You can try submitting your work to one of several web comic publishers out there. Direman Press IS one such publisher, but you'd have to work out the details with Dee. He has certain regulations which have to be met. They're very basic like "make sure to stick to your agreed schedual", and you retain the rights to your comic.

You could alternatively pay for your own web space, figure out some basic html, and use Comikaze (a service that lets us post our comics online) to do it all on your own. For the details on this, you could look it up, or ask one of the more Tech Savvy residents at Direman Press (Dee, Arturo, James, and Steve).

Why is inking such a pain?

Because inking is a major skill in its own right. You have to decide what lines need to be emphasized, what lines need to be muted, vary the weight in line quality... not to mention that you sometimes feel like you're doing the work twice (after sketching something out). Keep at it, though. Eventually you'll reach a point where you look forward to it. The inking will give your work life.

Do black and white (colorless) comics bore people?

If you know HOW to do black and white wel, no. The problem with black and white is that you have to be REALLY good at inking, and REALLY good at composition, and REALLY good at knowing how to use your blacks and whites to give shapes weight, depth... yeah, you have to be good. I started off as a black and white comic strip artist. I started to improve quite a bit, but I realized that one of the guys who I really admire on the web comic circuit, Scott Kurtz, took quite some time to really nail black and white (compare his early works to his current work). I decided on color to give some vibrancy to my artwork, something that I still had a ways to go before I could pull it off in black and white.

How does one color a comic?
Huh... that's not something I can really explain here, I'd have to show you. I'd look around the internets for some vids on how to do it. Mike Krahulic has some floating around, but I can't recall how to get them just now.

Where do I find Adobe Photoshop without having to pay $500?
That's like asking us how to find video games or movies without paying for them... sorry.

How does a poor artist get all the tools needed for his cartoons?
If you have a computer, a scanner, some paper, pencils, and maybe some pens, that's all you need to get started. If you don't, you'll have to save up some cash for it.

Hope this helps
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby MadCat on Fri May 09, 2008 10:32 pm

I certainly hope black-and-white doesn't bore people too much. :( Must... be like... Bill Watterson... ;) LOL

I started using black-and-white for various reasons, but largely so I could focus on line quality and figure consistency, and learn to really nail it. I'm still working on it. :P

Also... awesomely informative post, Dave. Thanks! :D
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Korin on Mon May 12, 2008 1:57 pm

Thanks loads for the informative responses, guys.

& Sorry 'bout the Photoshop question, I didn't mean it to infer piracy.

Well, looks like I have a lot more work ahead of me. I'll write down those books n' authors that were mentioned and see if my local library could scare them up for me.

Heh, I wish I could show you guys some of my work, but... What I DO have on the net is quite old and I've since then improved quite a bit. But if anyone's interested I could link the page to my "Ye Olde MSPaint-inked" sketches.

Jeezus, NEVER use MSPaint to ink/color something, it takes FOREVER.

Thanks again, and maybe sometime in the future I'll kidn-err... Persuade Mr. Yun to consider my occupancy here at Direman.com.

:twisted:
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby David Yun on Mon May 12, 2008 10:50 pm

The one book you MUST check out is Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. It's an absolutely brilliant breakdown of the medium. Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner is a tougher read, but the dude was the greatest of all time.
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Dave on Mon May 12, 2008 11:10 pm

MadCat wrote:Also... awesomely informative post, Dave. Thanks! :D



Thanks. What will end up making my posts even more awesomely informative is me actually learning to write clearly and efficiently ;)

As it is, I spout out a gem here or there that's burried within a crusty, rocky layer.
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby MadCat on Tue May 13, 2008 2:40 am

Dave wrote:Thanks. What will end up making my posts even more awesomely informative is me actually learning to write clearly and efficiently ;)

As it is, I spout out a gem here or there that's burried within a crusty, rocky layer.


Really? I thought you did just fine... until you wrote 'burried' that is. ;) LOL <3
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Dave on Tue May 13, 2008 7:05 am

I good write yes.
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby MadCat on Tue May 13, 2008 7:25 am

The place I found some PA videos was
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/penny-arcade-tv
It is seriously cool to watch him at work. I'd love to see Squishy do this sometime. ;)
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Korin on Wed May 14, 2008 3:22 pm

I drew myself yesterday...

It was like a horrific cross between Kids Next Door and David Yun...

I scared the crap out of myself doing it. I HAD NIGHTMARES.

I need a hug... :cry:
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Re: Things I've learned about making comics

Postby Dave on Wed May 14, 2008 3:26 pm

*hug*
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