HOW I MAKE MY COMICS

The wonderful thing about comics is the broad variety of ways in which they can be created. Almost as much fun as looking at the finished comic is seeing how each artist creates them. I thought I’d share my process here.

I start by thinking about a scenario or some daily life event or about some interaction I’ve had and consider how I can turn it into a comic. Once I have at least a vague idea of a concept, I’ll usually begin writing out dialogue. Writing out the dialogue helps me to shape the idea and begin to visualize how it might look on the page. The comic on this page was about a dinner date Jeff and I had one evening.

My next step is to rough sketch the idea on a piece of notebook paper.

Pre-Sketch

I’ll play around with how the sequence will go, where the dialogue will be placed and what the panels will contain. I also write out what reference images I may need and any spellings I need to check on.

My next step is to mark out the pencil lines of the panels on a piece of 8.5in x 11in white card stock. Using a ruler, I mark the lines by hand as a way to relax into the act of drawing. My panels are always 4.75in high. The width varies, but my total width can not exceed 7.5in. (The width is limited by my paper size.) My gutter is .25in.

Once I have my panels drawn, I use my Ames guide to draw lines for my dialogue. (You can read about the Ames guide HERE.) I lightly pencil in my dialogue, then mark out the rough shapes inside each panel.

I refine my sketches using my reference materials and imagination. Sometimes the drawing process will change the dynamic of the comic. I try to relax into it and often visualize drawing before going to sleep. It’s important to allow the comic to morph.

Here’s my final pencil drawing:

Pencil

Once I’m happy with the pencil drawing, I ink. After the ink dries, I erase the pencil lines.

Ink

Then, I color. Mostly I use Copic markers. Sometimes I add acrylic paint and on rare occasions, I use colored pencils.

A finished comic is always better than a perfect comic. The more I can finish, the better I become at creating sequential art.

And here is the finished comic:

8-25-14

I scan the final colored comic in on ‘color document’ at 300 dpi. I resize and I’m ready to post.

A finished comic makes an artist happy!

So get back to creating, why don’t ya? And I will too.

Until next toon,

Pamo

18 Responses to HOW I MAKE MY COMICS

  1. Pingback: A PAMO STYLE FISH TALE | PAMO'S WORLD

  2. Tony Single says:

    Your process is very much like mine, Pam. Great minds think alike! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d never thought about how much work it takes to complete a day’s comics. Lots of work but I bet you lose yourself in it. 😀 Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Daniel Nest says:

    This is actually quite fascinating to learn. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for making me realize that I have neither the finesse, nor the organizational skills, nor patience required to ever excel at comics. Hope you’re happy for making me feel miserable! ARE YOU?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Huggins says:

      I am happy Daniel for the laughter you always bring into my life. You lift me up young man. You are a blessing.
      And you don’t fool me ONE BIT! I see how hard you work over at Nest-Expressed. You are a master of humor writing and satire. You make it look easy when it’s anything but easy.

      Like

  5. Pirate Mike says:

    I love process stuff! Thanks for sharing, Pam!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Huggins says:

      Thank you Brad for reading and commenting. I too love process stuff. It’s always cool to see how other people work. So glad I met you a few months ago. 🙂
      Thanks again.

      Like

  6. danscanvas says:

    Well, one day I thought I would do the comic – takes much less time than painting, I said. But I went, like you, through steps one through four (but no color), except it turned out the paper was too big for my scanner!! Loved every minute of it. I still have quite a few undrawn ideas – and one I have planned out! (Step one). Thanks for the measurements!

    I scan but I push a button called “scan” – I don’t know how many dpi it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Huggins says:

      Comics, like paintings, can take as long as you want. On the other hand, I don’t paint so what do I know. Haha!
      You are a great comics creator Dan. I always enjoy your sequential art.

      Your scanner may not have a resolution button or document preference button. But look for it if you ever start doing comics you may want to print some day. You’ll save time by not having to rescan for the higher resolution.

      You have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements? If so, scan in one half of your too large paper, then scan in the other half. Start a new document in Photoshop, turn on the grid, then place and rotate your two separate images on the screen. I use this technique sometimes to get different box arrangements. For some of my four panel straight comics I did last year, I’ve re-imaged them into my stacked boxes.

      Like

  7. Binky says:

    Nice to see your process. I do all my work digitally, and sometimes forget many people still work with actual ink and paper!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Huggins says:

      I admire you your computer skills! I think there are a lot of benefits to working digitally. I’ve tried it but just never worked at it hard enough to develop any skill.
      I’m an oldster I guess. Sticking with the ink and paper for now. I’ll just enjoy your wonderful work from afar!

      Like

  8. captelaine says:

    Cool, that waiting for the ink to dry part is what messes me up… I had streaks the eraser makes when the ink is wet.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. japhethwg says:

    It seems that the process is much the same as mine, but I prefer to use larger sheets of paper, but these do not scan on a “normal” scanner, so I have been using a camera. Unfortunately; this yields some undesired results. Thanks for sharing your process, it’s nice to see that this process is tried-and-true.

    Liked by 1 person

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