the process

August 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM

So here's how creating the comic actually works.

stage 1 - the script

First of all, we begin with the script. The story and dialogue has been written for years, so adapting it into comic form has been a fairly painless process, though it has gone through a number of major and minor changes since this whole process began. What works for a screenplay doesn't automatically work for a comic, after all. Issue 1 was done weeks before we began on page 1, but I still find myself tinkering with dialogue even now, so the script writing doesn't end until the page is up on the site. Anyway, when Abel was ready to start on page 1, I sent him the entire script for issue 1, and have been sending him revisions as and when I make them.

stage 2 - the sketch

The first thing that comes back to me from Abel is the sketch. It's a rough drawing of the page as Abel understands it from reading the script. Most of the time it's here that we catch any issues or misunderstandings, but as the drawing is so rough that's not always the case. Luckily, Abel is a complete professional and has never complained about changes, even once the page is technically done!


stage 3 - drawing 

Once we're happy with the sketch, Abel moves on to a more detailed drawing, but still lacking the fine detail. It's during this stage that we usually notice problems that we missed in the sketching stage, and it's here that you can really see the page start to come to life.


stage 4 - ink

Once we're happy that the drawing is correct, Abel moves on to the inking process. As we're a digital comic he uses software to do the inking, but doesn't yet include any shading, just to make sure there are no longer any changes that need to be made.


stage 5 - shading

As I just mentioned, once we're happy that there aren't going to be anymore changes, Abel shades the drawing. He does this on a separate layer to the ink, so it's still easy to make changes if we need to.


stage 6 - colour and dialogue

This is where I finally get to do something! As the ink and the shading are on separate layers, I can create a new layer for the colour beneath them, making the job of colouring the page extremely easy, especially for a non-artist like me! All I do is pick the colours and make sure I don't go outside the lines! Well, there's a little more to it than that, and it still takes a good amount of time. Honestly, Abel would be able to include some subtleties in the colouring that I just wouldn't think of or be skilled enough to do, but colouring it myself means a great deal of money gets saved. Besides, I think it still looks pretty good, even for an amateur!

Finally, the dialogue. Usually, Abel will actually do this for me in the inking stage, adding in the speech bubbles and text. However, as I've said I like to tinker with dialogue for as long as I can before posting the page up, and I often find myself making subtle changes to the text or the size and position of the bubbles. But once I'm happy with that, the page is done!


Category: Blog

Ryan Brain

user_avatar Co-Creator, Writer & Colourist