My workspace, sadly, is nothing to write home about, let alone blog over. Due to “unforeseen circumstances” I’ve had to move back home recently, but lets not get into into that for the moment, lets instead concentrate on post-it notes and pens!
Ahh, my main tools. We’ll get to the pens in a second, but here’s what I keep in my utility belt…
a) a big ol’ green sheet of circle holes. These have been a godsend, I use them all the time for my word balloons. I suck at drawing circles, it starts off okay but just after half way, gah it falls apart. I picked this tool up in Toronto, but you can get them in any perfectly good enough art store.
b) a rag! not the most glamorous of tools, but this helps keep tricksy pens in line.
c) regular ol’ Daler Rowney bristol board. I actually prefer the Winsor Newton stuff but it’s just too expensive *shakes fist*
d) a metal ruler! I stayed with Cadwell last weekend and he was using some plastic rubbish so I marched him out on Friday to go ruler shopping. I couldn’t believe it, what is this, junior school?!
Pen loving time…
1) bog-standard Staedtler eraser. Watch these, you should try and keep them clean or they’ll smudge your artwork.
2) a mechanical pencil with HB lead.
3 + 4) aha, now here come my inking trick. I have two Pentel brush pens, one with an ink cartridge in and another that has had one recently removed. Why do I do this? Getting ink consistency with Pentels, can be tricky, they love to chug ink out, mainly because they’re using cartridges. So taking out the cartridge gives you more control over how much ink is flowing through the pen. The thing with the brush pens is that they retain their ink for so long, I can go a few days without having to put a new cartridge in. I use the drier pen, with less ink, for finer details and the inkier pen for stronger lines and filling in. If the dry pen is running out completely, just swap the cartridge over from the other pen.
5) microns! Swoon, I love these, they’re impossible to get in England, so I import them via Ebay. They’re cheap, disposable and good for minor details, and facial lines. I use a 1 and a 2 nib. Pro-tip: get a bulk load of them because they don’t last long.
6) faber pitt pens. Which are a zillion times more easier to get hold of over here and handy for lettering. I mainly use the S and F sizes, the F to strengthen parts of dialogue.
I start my writing process by pretty much just writing dialogue down, often without instruction as to who is saying what. This probably sounds crazy, but with shorter stories like this I have a very clear idea as to who the few characters are and the setting. It’s quite an organic scripting process, with parts of the script leading one way, just to experiment with the flow of the piece and generate alternative ideas.
Not many people know this but my Paper Science entry was actually based on when I saw Slint perform at the first ATP vs The Fans and they were disappointingly terrible. Here’s a shocking video montage of the massive gaps between songs.
After scripting, I’ll thumbnail the comic a few times, often changing scenes, or cutting bits for space. They’re incompressible to anyone but me, I’m afraid.
Next up is the actual drawing. Hooray!
I drew this comic on A3 bristol board, like the majority of my comics. However I usually like to draw at about 150% the printed size, although for Paper Science that would mean drawing A2 and that just sounds intimidating and mental.
Along the way I’ll often do little sketches in the margin if a panel isn’t working out right, or just to figure out where people are standing.
It probably took me all day to draw it and another 2-3 days to colour. I’m kind of a slow-ass when it comes to colouring.
I hope that was insightful, I am now going to gorge myself on Oreos. ILOVEYOUBYE.