How do you make comics?

Discussion in 'Comic Discussion' started by Bakertoons, May 25, 2017.

  1. Bakertoons

    Bakertoons 4-Stripe White Belt

    I've always been fascinated by how people draw comics. How do you create yours?

    I wrote a two-part blog post about this a while back, which is here and here. Short version is that, after I plan out the story, I pencil the page on Photoshop with a tablet, print the sketch out, then ink it traditionally before I scan it back into the computer for coloring, etc.

    How about you?
    DLF likes this.
  2. Aron Mason

    Aron Mason Blue Belt

    As I have just changed the way i draw my pages this thread gave me a chance to kill two birds with one stone, so the posted page is also for my readers
    tried posting it here but was a bit small to read. so best going to where i posted it
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
    DLF likes this.
  3. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

    As a writer I use Google Docs (syncs everywhere and all devices, quite handy). I format my scripts in the "full script" method. To this day I have no idea how Marvel Method is even a thing, ha ha.

    As a letterist I use Illustrator and Clip. I must admit I'm now moving over to the latter full-time. It is just operationally better, IMO. I can't wait until some of my newer work is cleared to share!
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  4. Shaneoid

    Shaneoid Purple Belt

    I came in to comics thinking I had to work from a script and for many years that put me in a creative block. I read somewhere that some artists draw 'pivotal' scenes for their comics and build a story around that as another method of creating comics, so I tried this instead and it started me on the road I'm on now, with very few artistic blocks. It's a fun process as an artist as you're constantly able to imagine new ways in which to take a story, where a script may simply dictate.
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  5. DLF

    DLF Blue Belt

    Since I write and draw I do sort of a 'self Marvel method' I generally have a basic story in mind that I try to draw as visually interestingly as possible, and then go back in to write the dialogue. It's probably not the most effective way to make comics but I find it gives me the freedom to add scenes in if I feel there needs to be more breathing room and also doesn't tie me down to any particular thing (writing or art) for too long. That's good because my mind tends to wander. A lot.
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  6. NiinaEveliina

    NiinaEveliina 4-Stripe White Belt

    -Storyboard about 150 or so pages at once.
    -Sketch 10-20 pages. Then color these pages before drawing new ones.
    -20 per month, keep up for 1-3 months, then take time off to work on other projects.
    -Don't work longer than 8 hours on one page. Keep up with the schedule.

    I have very bad habit of keeping all the dialogue in my head. I reeeally should write that down..
  7. grawlixcomix

    grawlixcomix 4-Stripe White Belt

    The Marvel Method is all about collaboration, right? Seems like Disney-esque storyboarding would be a more effective for webcomics.
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  8. StickFreeks

    StickFreeks White Belt

    I carry a sketchbook everywhere and pencil all the pages in it just one at a time with only a mental idea-based script to go off of. It's a dangerous way to go, but I like the thrill of it. It also keeps the dialogue very in-the-moment for me. XD
    Currently I'm redrawing and coloring them digitally and fixing minor dialogue / camera angle mistakes as I go. So far so good!
  9. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

  10. StickFreeks

    StickFreeks White Belt

    Thanks! Looks like you have a pretty good group here! :D
  11. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

    Everyone is awesome. You'll enjoy the vibe for sure!
  12. DMBrigman

    DMBrigman 4-Stripe White Belt

    I write the outline for the arc, then break it into chapters, then scenes, and finalize all the dialogue. I work in Google Docs for this so my editor friend can make suggestions and fix my grammar. It also allows easy sharing with my Letterist. I break everything down by page and panel, with general guidelines for the art.

    I work entirely digitally in Clip Studio Paint on a Cintiq Companion. I start by drawing a layout with suggestions for the word balloon placement so my Letterist can place in rough balloons with Adobe Illustrator. This allows me to see what things will look like and adjust dialogue or art as needed. I then do a cleaner sketch of the page where I embellish the acting and then move to cleaner pencils. The next step is inks, then flats, then colors, then effects. I share each stage with the Letterist so he can see how things are progressing and can adjust as necessary, or get me to fix things. When the whole page is done I send it away and he finalizes the balloons, sends in back then I export for the web.

    I post progress threads on Twitter as the pages come together, here is one for my last completed page.
  13. SpaceTurtleArt

    SpaceTurtleArt Blue Belt

    I usually have the script written first. Then I do rough layouts on paper. I fold printer paper in half and draw one page on each half. Usually I do a whole scene at once, 8-12 pages. Then I scan them.

    I set up the page panel layout in Clip Studio, and draw pencils using the layouts as reference. Then I ink and color, all digitally. I use Frendan's custom brushes.
  14. Remmirath

    Remmirath White Belt

    I write a general outline first, because I've found that I kind of have to have that when I get down into the details, and then I follow that up with a moderately detailed script. I do all of that with whatever writing software is on hand on my computer. After that, I print out the script and get thumbnails for the pages down in a sketchbook, and those two things I try to do in big chunks so that I have plenty of time to follow my normal workload in between the times I have to work on those things. As it stands, my script for volume one is completely finished, and my thumbnails are about halfway through.

    Then I refer to the thumbnails as I pencil the pages, doing that on comic board with pencil. After that I ink the pages with a variety of pens, erase the pencil lines, and scan them. The only parts of the actual page-making that I do digitally are panel borders, lettering, and word balloons; I'm not so good at drawing square boxes even with a ruler, my hand-writing is pretty awful, and I'm poor at judging how much room I'm going to need with a speech balloon ahead of time. I use Photoshop CS4 for that stuff, since it's what I already have on my computer.
  15. Cleo-San

    Cleo-San Blue Belt

    Since I started Remember a few years ago, many things have changed in how I make comics. But basically I make a list of all important events and other stuff I want to include in the story (This list changes frequently, since I'm inventing more and more stuff I want to include in the comic, so, yeah, neverending story anyone? XD)

    Then I determine what happens in the next chapters, which POVs fit together, who has something interesting for the current point in the story and where can I place that most efficiently.

    After that it's scribbling thumbnails: I actually don't write a script or something like that ^^"

    The rest is something like that: Drawing with a pencil, tracing, including black and then applying screentones and text with MangaStudio =) See here:

  16. Shazzbaa

    Shazzbaa Blue Belt

    Writing process:
    - basic outline
    - list of scenes that will happen in the chapter
    - page breakdown - one sentence describing what happens on each page
    - loose script - more for timing beats and flow of conversation; I don't need many visual notes since I'll also be drawing it, though I do jot down thumbnail ideas in the margins here to make sure everything will fit

    Drawing process:
    - thumbnails (pencil & paper, scan these in)
    - "visual script" where I size up the thumbnail and type in the dialogue, to make sure it still flows okay and all the dialogue will fit -- I run this by a friend if I can
    - print that out in non-photo blue and use it to draw the Rough stage (pencil & paper) - this is where I make decisions about shot calls and such usually
    - scan that in, remove the blue, use photoshop to add perspective grids to panels that need it
    - print it out in non-photo blue, use it to draw the Pencil stage
    - scan that in, remove the blue, print Pencils out in non-photo blue, use it to draw the Ink stage (ballpoint pen)
    - scan that in, remove the blue, colour the page using photoshop
    - use the pen tool for balloons and digitally letter by hand
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  17. Cleo-San

    Cleo-San Blue Belt

    Quite the printing process you got there, @Shazzbaa, but on the other hand knowing your pages it's totally worth it! <3 Is that non-photo-blue simply a light blue or is it something more special? =)
  18. Varethane

    Varethane White Belt

    'Real' non-photo blue (hex code #A4DDED) is a specific colour that, back in the days when Xerox machines were more widely used to duplicate/scan art, would not be scanned by the machine-- so you wouldn't have to erase any of the 'pencils', and still get a clean image with only the inks. You can buy pencils of that colour for doing underdrawing with. With Photoshop you can pencil in different colours/other shades of light blue and still remove them, so using the precise colour is less important, though removing non-photo blue is still easier than most of the alternatives (for instance, red).

    My comic is done all on paper, so it's pretty straightforward; all of it is done on one sheet. I recorded the process here:

    Missing: me erasing all of the pencil lines before starting to tone (there's nothing really special there, though having a good eraser REALLY matters with this approach because it would be easy to wreck the paper). There's some additional descriptions and notes here.
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
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  19. Anna Landin

    Anna Landin Purple Belt

    My process breaks down like this, most of the time:

    - Brainstorm. Throw ideas at the wall, see what sticks.
    - Basic outline. Beginning, middle, end, with enough detail to get me started, but enough looseness to let me change things as needed.
    - Break down outline into chapter-sized chunks.
    - Break down chapter-sized chunk into scenes, and then into page-by-page summaries. Page one: introduce main character. Page two: he walks through the woods, page three, he encounters a bandit, etc.
    (note: none of the stages up until now contain much in the way of dialogue; it's just descriptions and summaries).

    In-between writing+drawing

    - Thumbnailing+dialogue, done in pencil on flimsy paper. With the page-by-page summaries in hand, I start doing small thumbnails (2 inches tall at most) of panel-layouts for each page, covered in stick-figures, and writing the dialogue/stage direction in the margins. This is when the first draft of the dialogue happens.

    - full-size rough sketches+speech bubbles. Done in Manga Studio 4 EX, for the convenience of its text and speechbubble tool. The dialogue gets a second draft, if it needs it.
    - Clean sketches. This and all steps following are done in Manga Studio 5/Clip Studio Paint (they're the same thing; I just bought my copy before they switched names). All the pencils for everything - characters, environment, etc. - and some minor dialogue tweaks/spellchecks.
    - Inks/linework. Curse myself for thinking "I'll fix this environment in inking!" during the sketching stage.
    - Colours. A few last dialogue tweaks.

    In general, I try to sketch an entire chapter before I start inking it, and then I try to ink maybe 5-7 pages before I go back and colour the first page. After that, I switch between inking and colouring. It helps me keep up with my buffer. I've managed to fall behind a bit on this lately, due to freelance-work, issues with my creaky elbow, bouts of cold, etc., etc., but I'm hoping to get back on track with it ASAP.
  20. MegaRdaniels

    MegaRdaniels Blue Belt

    Everything is awesome!
    Everything is cool when you're part of a team!
    Everything is AWESOME!.....

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