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illustrating a comics page

The Origin of the Amazing Spider-Foo. A parody comic. Script by Crhymes. Art by Tone.

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.

Leading up to San Diego ComicCon, Crhymes started posting a panel a day to his Instagram. Crhymes is wild, ambitious, and smart. It’s my guess that he has a lot of stories in him, and not just Spider-Man parodies.

I’m grateful he took a chance on this fairly untested comics-maker.

Go buy a shirt from him, or a print of the comic, while he works on his next project.

late layout changes to steps volume 2


the nice thing about printing these up myself is that i can make changes late in the game

when i printed up a few copies of steps volume 2, for instance, i was unsatisfied with the size of the images in the book (in a way that i wasn’t with volume 1)

the comics felt too small. they had no oomph. no impact at that size

so i decided to go with a 2 x 2 frame instead of fully vertical

with this change in the layout the images are quite a bit bigger. i didnt realize how important having those panels be as large as possible is – especially since the panel don’t change much

you can still preorder volume 2 in the store. or save some money with a steps 2 pack if you haven’t yet picked up volume 1

my plan is to start printing these no later than april 16

redacted’s dream

this dream’s not mine, it was a friend of mine, but it was a good one to turn in to comics

i wrote down as many dreams as i could remember in march, so i’ll be making more of these

and today i picked up a ream of cardstock, so i’ll start printing copies of steps volume 2 soon. preorder now!

and if you didn’t pick up volume 1 yet, pick up the 2 pack. they look and feel really good

straw

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  • yesterday’s strip was from my august sketchbook
  • today’s was from my july sketchbook
  • 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.

a new steps strip is up

stepsimage

 

it’s been so long since the last one

but a new ‘steps’ strip, ‘potty training’, is up

almost every other ‘steps’ strip has been done in digital, pushing pixels around

but today’s is fully scribbled in pencil, with lots of (kneadable) erasing, then brushing down puddles of watercolor, and finally a bit of inking

if this is the first ‘steps’ comic you’ve happened to catch

you can start reading ‘steps’ strips here

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