The process of making a comic, step-by-step
Yesterday I posted a one-page comic that I did as part of a school program, at the beginning of the year, and I promised to post the sequel, so here it is!
By the end of the year I had learned a lot about putting a story together (there was also a lot of creative writing as part of the program), and enough about using Photoshop that I was able to make my last comic of the session my first computer-coloured comic. Those of you who are fluent in computer graphics, please don’t laugh too hard! I did this mostly with gradients!
The assignment was to draw a comic about what we planned to do on our upcoming summer vacation (the first one was about our previous vacation). I planned to go camping with my usual crew at Long Beach, the one on Vancouver Island, part of Pacific Rim National Park, my favourite place in the whole world. As it turned out, I went with another friend because I couldn’t schedule at the same time as my other friends, but I had a great time!
I’ve been asked about my process, so I’ll show the different stages it went though. The first step was to do a script (seems a little much for a one-page comic, but it was practice — I really like to have a detailed script for longer work). Then some tiny thumbnail drawings for ideas on how to lay it out. The final comic was drawn full size, first in pencil, then ink, then scanned and coloured in Photoshop, using the very simplest of fill methods. It took me a long time because I still wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, and was learning things along the way. I can computer-colour a lot faster now!
So that’s the basic process I go through when making a comic. For a longer story, of course, there’s a lot of writing to do first, with all the usual writerly-process stuff to consider, but the steps are the same after I get it written.