..::drew’s blomblog::..

Poor Man’s Comic Creation Process (part 1)
January 2, 2009, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Personal Work | Tags: , ,

Steampunk Rapunzel in progress…webcam_20081223_1747

First I sketch out my layouts on regular 8.5×11 paper. 3 pages fit lengthwise across in landscape mode. Drawing smaller makes it go quicker. I like red Col-Erase, but have been known to use blue. And even green on a particularly messed up day.

I then scan in the pages with an HP All-in-One that was given to me by a friend. Free. Can’t beat that.But scanner/printer combos have come down in price quite a bit. You can get into a decent one for under $200 easy.

I blow up each page in Photoshop Elements. That’s right, Elements. I have CS3 on my work PC but prefer working on my newly-revived Mac. Feels trendier and as you can tell by the hat, trendy is what I’m all about. Elements has all the tools you need for this. And it’s, much cheaper than buying Adobe’s market clogging, all-too-quickly-out-of-date behemoth of a CS package. If you have money laying around or don’t mind being the scum of the software industry and pirating stuff, go for it. But I’m keeping it legal.

I desaturate, mess with contrast for easy tracing and rework the panels, fitting them into safe title, trim etc… And I blow them up to the proper 11×17 image size.


Next, since I don’t have a fancy 11×17 printer, print out the newly-enlarged pages 3 times in landscape mode. One for the top, one for the middle and one for the bottom of the page. I then tape them together, making sure to match them up. 4 pages didn’t take more than a couple minutes.

webcam_20081223_1748What I’m left with is an ugly big rough drawing that is ready to move into final layout. Snip, snip, tape, tape.

webcam_20081223_1751For this project, I’m using Canson Comic Book Art Boards. They’re not Blue Line Pro or even Strathmore, but they’re cheap. I think I got 20 pages for less than $15 bucks.


I then move on to my Poor Man’s Light Table. I’ve been using this technique since I was a kid. Good news: Free. Bad news: You can only work in the daytime. Or in my case since my studio is in the basement in Minnesota in winter, only between 8 a.m. and around 3 p.m. I go back to my Col-erase and get out the non-repro blue. Not that I love the feel, but again, practicality. I could get some non-repro for my Staedtler lead holder, but I like real pencils whenever possible.

I only trace the backgrounds. Why? Well that will come out in the wash in an upcoming post. And I draw in everything, even if it would be covered by a character, just to be safe. webcam_20081223_1806

In the next step, I grab some plate bristol from AquaBee. Or anything else cheap. This is for the characters. Again, keep coming back and you’ll see why. webcam_20081223_1750

Back to the light table. To trace out the characters. Hurry, sun’s cresting my neighbor’s roof.webcam_20081223_1807

And I can’t forget. No World For Tomorrow by Coheed and Cambria. It was a gift, so that was cheap too.



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Hey Drew i really like your poor mans light table. I used that same technique yesterday to do my character drawings. lol Also really like the way those drawings you did turned out.

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