Honestly, that’s a woefully misleading title. Grabby, though, ain’t it?
In January, comics writer Kieron Gillen teamed up with Project Art Cred to write a script, release it to any artist that wanted it, and bask in the wide variation in storytelling that resulted. You can check out the results that resulted here.
Amongst all the brilliant entries, you’ll find one that does not look like the others. Mine.
I did not adapt Kieron Gillen’s full script because I didn’t realize he had written more than one page. When I downloaded it from his newsletter I didn’t realize it was a multi-page document.
I adapted Kieron’s letter to the artist.
When Gillen mentioned in the letter that he was keeping this loose and minimal, I thought to myself, “No kidding.”
Here’s my final inked artwork. There’s another pass at the pencils below, as well.
i didn’t really use any one image in particular, but it helped me refine my early sketches
for the dragon’s pose i just did an image search for sleeping dogs.
all of that reference helped me refine the drawing and make it more convincing…
i think the sketch, done digitally, has a lot more energy than the final inks.
the biggest change to my work came in the next step.
i haven’t been happy with my inking at all, this inktober, so i decided to draw bigger. i’ve been watching a lot of cartoonist kayfabe lately and somewhere in there ed piskor said ‘pencil small and ink big.’
i’ve been drawing each panel at 4 x 4 inches all inktober. last night i decided to go bigger.
i resized the panels to be 5 x 5 inch and worked on 11 x 14 inch bristol instead of 9 x 12 inch bristol
inking at the larger size made all the difference for me.
i was able to vary the line weight more than in every previous inktober. it took way longer to work, but it was worth it.
Here’s a one-page comic I recently illustrated called the ‘The Origin of The Amazing Spider-Foo’. It’s a Spider-Man parody written by Crhymes; a writer, comedian, and musician based out of San Diego.
From Script to Rough Layout
Originally conceived of as a one-page 12 inch by 12 inch record insert, Crhyme’s script was a brillliant parody of Stan Lee’s verbose Marvel Comics stories.
Here’s the script:
My first task was to break the text up in to individual panels. I was originally thinking a 9 panel grid, but couldn’t squeeze all of the text in, so I added a tenth introduction panel on top. I even started thinking about color at this stage. Here’s an early rough that was meant just for me.
I refined my roughs and sent them over to Crhymes. (I sent them without color, since I wasn’t sure yet what my color plan was.)
At this point, Crhymes had some much-needed suggestions to help make my drawings more convincing, including the addition of palm trees, making Spidey-Foo’s sandals more accurate, and adding tattoos to Pedro Parker’s arms and neck. Crhymes also wanted Spider-Foo to break the panel borders in the last panel.
Changes are welcome at this rough stage because they’re easy to make before inks and color are added.
Pushing and Refining the Poses
At this time I also decided to push the poses in the piece, especially in panels 1 and 2. (The poses of those two panels in the roughs just looked too similar to me.) Pedro Parker also looked too relaxed in panel 3, so I changed up that pose as well.
Here’s a few rough drawings I made while working on the piece.
Digitally Inking the Comics Page
Inking went slowly for me, though you wouldn’t know it from the timelapse below.
If only I could work that fast.
I originally estimated the page would take me about 6 – 8 hours, but each panel took about 3 hours including rough drawing, inks, lettering, and colors.
A lot of that time was spent trying things that didn’t work out, like those early rough colors, or some of the unused poses, for instance. And a lot of undos. Undo. Undo. Undo. Making comics is hard.
Here’s the final inks.
Coloring the Comics Page
I finished the colors, (done on a separate layer from the inks and pencils, as you can see above), choosing not to show Spider-Foo in full-color until the final couple of panels.
I sent the final artwork to Crhymes. He had a few edits to the text, which was no problem since the lettering was a well-crafted font I purchased from PixelSagas.
today’s is another digital strip as i try to get a little ahead in the 30 days of comics game. i can work so much faster in digital. yesterday’s and today’s strip each took about about a half hour to do, compared with a couple hours plus for me to do with real world materials. (though i am getting faster)
p.s. a note on the ‘(happened in july 18)’ note. when artist john porcellino (whose king-cat comics you should really subscribe to) makes his comics, he (often? always?) notes the date when the incident that inspired the comic occurs, and then also notes the dates when he draws and inks it, which i think is a lovely touch. i meant to do it for yesterday’s strip, since the date when the peas incident happened and i actually published the strip were so far apart, but in the rush to get it posted before midnight for yesterday’s 30 days of comics deadline, i completely forgot. so the date is my john p homage.