Ed the Happy Clown #inktober
I was giving a brief talk in a comics class and came up with this page to basically give a summary of how I work. This is more or less the way I’ve worked for my entire comics career (I did A Kidnapped Santa Claus differently but we won’t go into that now).
Panel 1: In my sketchbook I’ll work out all the dialogue and key expressions. Once I have about a page-worth I’ll sketch out a rough layout. I will frequently number the word balloons at this stage, especially if it’s a crowded page. I can do a whole thing on word balloon placement.
Panel 2: I’ll take out a piece of Borden & Riley bristol plate paper (I used to work as large as 10 x 15” when I was doing Box Office Poison but I currently draw at a tiny 6.5 x 11”. I thought this would mean I’d finish pages quicker but, well, we know how that worked out).
I’ll use a T-square to rule out the panel borders and roughly pencil in the figures and background elements.
Panel 3: Yes, this is where I put the lettering in. I don’t rule out guidelines or even pencil my lettering. I’m a maverick! Sometimes I’ll make changes to the dialogue at this point, though, as I said, it can be risky. I’ll change a word or two, forgetting that it might have an impact on later dialogue.
Panel 4: Pretty self-explanatory. I use my T-square to rule out the panel borders (unless there’s a specific reason not to).
Panel 5: Starting to ink, what I consider the real “drawing” part of the process. Many times my pencils are as loose as the examples above, though I’ll sometimes do tighter pencils if I’m trying to do an especially tricky or unusual thing. I like to leave as much room for spontaneity as possible.
As stated, I usually start inking the smallest (or otherwise easiest) panel first, since it’s a good way to get the momentum going. I usually complete one panel at time (as opposed to some people who will do all the figures first and do background later, for instance).
Background are what I call a necessary evil.
Panel 6: (Mostly) Done! After I erase the pencils I fill in the blacks with brushes and Windsor Newton India Ink. I’ll also back and fill in details or other things I only noticed after the pencils were gone. I used to erase the pencils after I filled in the blacks but I noticed it tended to lighten the black ink. Back during Box Office Poison I used to use Sharpies to fill in the blacks but they age very badly, turning a sickly brown/green color (it’s the reason I stopped selling BOP pages—I haven’t looked at them in years and I’m a little scared to do so). Lesson: if you plan on selling your originals, use good materials.
cflorio said: Not sure if the question went through the first time. On the first page of Box Office Poison Sherman Davies says a phone call ruined his life. Which phone call?
*SPOILER WARNING FOR 15 YEAR OLD BOOK BELOW IMAGE**
The phone call he gets finding out his mother passed away.
1980 - Anatomy of a Cover - What If #25
By Dave Simmons and Joe Rubinstein
It’s odd that the idea of the Avengers battling the gods was considered so impossible that it could only be featured in What If?Although they don’t specify which gods so maybe it features a battle scene of Jesus converting Iceman into wine so Tony Stark would drink him. In that case, I understand Marvel’s decision since that would’ve been very controversial since Iceman was not in the Avengers at the time.
Also: Thor is a lefty? Or are all the gods ambidextrous (except Tyr, of course)?
RAGE #1 coming soon!
boblipski said: Stephen is one of my favorite characters from BOP. I always wondered if he really did make a pass at Dorothy when they were roommates, or if she was making that up.
A lot of people have asked me about that over the years. I think the answer is in the book but who can really say for sure?
Here comes The Sun
Attention Christmas nerds!
I’m selling inscribed copies of my graphic novel Too Cool to Be Forgotten. If you’re interested, you can send $25 to my PayPal account at ComicBookArob at gmail.
U.S. orders only please and be sure to indicated to whom you’d like it signed (otherwise I’ll just do a sketch and sign my name).