Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Never Know: Page Process for Playlist Kickstarter

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As you may know, I'm currently working on a project called "You Never Know" for an upcoming comic anthology called Playlist , which is being Kickstarted right now!

All of the comics in the anthology are based around songs by different musicians or bands, drawn in different unique styles. This is something awesome that you'll definitely want to be a part of, so check it out!

The song is a sort of Supernatural Horror/Noir tale that is inspired by and based on the song You Never Know by the band Brazil! Here is a breakdown of the page process step by step.

It's pretty self-explanatory but let me just give a little bit of clarification here.

1 - Concept Art
After getting the general idea for the story from reading the song I do a rough concept design. This gives me a solid visual for what to think about when I'm drawing the thumbnails and finished pages.

2- Song Analysis
This is one of the more exciting parts for me as a storyteller. Since the story was originally written as a song with verse rather than as a comic script, it's up to me to break down each page and panel. This gives me a LOT of freedom and makes the process really enjoyable.

3 - Thumbnails
Once I know what's going on each page as far as the song is concerned, now it's up to me to break it down into individual panels. This goes hand in hand with the script analysis part. These thumbnails are VERY rough. If I was working with an editor or published house I imagine they might be a little frightened about these almost illegible scribbles, so I would have to tighten them up more. I probably should anyway, because coming back to these a few weeks later I even had to discern what I was drawing a few times. Regardless, when it's just for me I don't feel the same need to make these totally definite, I want the freedom to play with the layout and panels just a bit when I get to drawing the page.

4 - Pencils
Rough pencils. I ink my own work so I'm not as concerned with having a final line, black placement, or rendering as I would if I were handing this off to another artist. This saves me time, as well as makes the inking more exciting for me as I usually do it the same day as the pencils. If I made finished pencils and then inked them it would probably take me close to 15-20 hours, and there's just not enough time in the day for that. These pencils are darkened up significantly in Photoshop so that you can actually see them onscreen.

5 - Inks
I think I'm with a lot of artists who ink themselves in that this is my FAVORITE part of making comics. I love coming up with the storytelling and figuring out how to draw the different parts of my story, but the feel of the pens and brushes on the board is really awesome, as well as the variety of marks I can make with them. After inking I erase the pencils, scan, crop, and threshold the inks to get just black and white.

Hope you enjoyed and for all of you interested in making comics I hope this is helpful!

Please check out the Playlist Kickstarter page! We currently have 10 days left to go and it's going to be a tight squeeze for funding! If you found this useful, like comics and/or music, please share it with your friends and back us if it' something you think is cool!

Thanks again!

I use -

Strathmore 500 Series Semi-Smooth 11x17
4H Pencil core and mechanical lead
Micron, Brush, Rapidograph, Marker