Comic Book Weeks 8 & 9 – Page Layout



Page 4 layout and blocking

These last two weeks have been pretty great so far concerning production. I did the page layouts and blocked out the characters/environments for the full first issue. I decided to use Manga Studio to do the layouts, and will be switching between that program and Photoshop for the lineart, coloring, and lettering.

Manga Studio doesn’t have western comic dimensions in it, so I had to put in the dimensions manually. You can buy extensions/plug-ins that will give you the western dimensions as an option, and they aren’t too bad for price, but I wanted to learn how to do things myself.

There’s only 4 weeks left here, which isn’t that much at all. I’m at the roughs stage, and I’m trying to them as clear as possible to clean up is easier. Hopefully I can get through the roughs this week and move into clean inks and then coloring. I’m not sure which I’m going to do first, the shading or laying the flats down. I think I’m only going to have time to do one and get the lettering done by May 1st.

So…to work!



Comic Book Week 6&7 – Environment and Vehicle Design

Well, falling harris cropbehind again. Wee! A bit of frustration but still within the timeline. Sickly family members(and self!) destroyed my work week last week. I got time in where I could, but can’t deny I’m falling behind.

However, very rough thumbnails of the majority of my environments and vehicles are done, and sequential thumbnails start on Monday. Finally! I’m excited to start on them, and will be breaking out my shot references. I really like Directing the Story by Francis Glebas and Prepare to Board! by Nancy Beiman. Both are geared more toward animation and live action, but are great to learn about storytelling through visuals.

I also love this tumblr… Amazing Cinematography

Seriously. Check it out. Srsly.

So here I go, now that the skeleton has been built…onto the meat.


Comic Book Week 5 – Environment Design


More character designs

After a solid chunk of time working on character design, it’s time to move on to environments. Falling behind a bit, but because these are going to be roughs, I won’t lose days messing around with clean-up.


Doing my environments now will help me understand where to block in my characters, how they’ll interact with each other and the environment, and how to create a mood with the environment itself.

This is not my strength so the more preliminary work I do on this, the better. Once the thumbnails are done I’ll be moving on to sequential thumbnails. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.


Comic Book Week 4 – Character Designs


Concepts of two of the protagonists.

Let me open with saying I haven`t drawn this much in ages. I forgot how relaxing a cup of coffee, a sketchbook, and a pencil can be. This past week I solidified my main crew of characters, and a good friend is designing some military gear and a supporting character. Some things I`ve learned…don`t pose your characters symmetrically when doing concepts, it`s hard to see how anything can look good when the character has no personality. I also learned how unsteady my hand is when it comes to my graphics tablet compared to inking by hand.

I think I may just rough everything out in Manga Studio then print it very lightly and then do the finished pencils/inks. I know other people have their own way to do things, but this works for me. So this will be what I do.

I have one week left to finish my designs, then it’s off to the races with roughing out each page. Overall I have 8 weeks left which seems like a lot of time, but with how quickly the last 4 went I’m going to be hard-pressed to get everything done that I have planned.

So tonight is Sunday: it’s time to plan for the coming work week. Breaking it down by day seems to really help. Wish me luck!


Comic book week 3 – Character Design

After driving back from our trip out of province and working two shifts to cover for a manager who had the audacity to want to enjoy his family vacation 🙂 , I’m back at the grant full-time. This week is finishing up some final script edits and then I’m in to character bowie_designsdesign. I am super excited about that! A friend of mine already helped design my protagonist,  and he will be doing some of the other designs as well. I also need to design vehicles, tech and buildings…not my strongest suit but a good challenge, for sure.

There are three different factions in this universe, the established government, the rebels, and everyone else who are just trying to survive. So each faction should have it’s own look, and then there’s the military, government, and social classes that all need their own style within each faction. When writing, a few words written in a few seconds go a long way when describing a character, but the actual visual representation can take multiple attempts to get right. And each of those attempts could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour each.

So, armed with my folders of reference images I’m going to hunker down with my sketch book and get to work.(I can’t post any reference work here since I don’t own copyright of the images, but I have to admit googling good-looking Cree men for research purposes is pretty sweet.)


Comic Book Week Two – The Script

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Sketch of main character.

So a fun thing I did…

We went to see family in another province this week, and my plan was to take two scripts with me to work on. One for this grant, and one for a different comic book that I am pitching to a company in the states. I was hoping to have the pitch ready to go Tuesday night, but I put the wrong version of the script on my laptop,  in my email (I mail files to myself as back-up), on a thumbdrive, and on my online documents. One original file and three back-ups, and I still managed to mess things up.  Gold.

Luckily I had a pdf copy of the newest work in my email. It still added a half-day of work because the formatting went nuts when I cut and pasted it into the script program I use, but it did save my arms from some unneeded stress.

So last night (this morning, technically, I suppose) the pitch was completed and sent off, and I can get back to my regularly scheduled program.

I am behind 4 days right now, but I’m pretty positive I can get that back. Right now I’m cutting down the opening scene by quite a few pages, and making sure I get more character introductions into this first issue.

Learning comic book pacing is a pretty new thing for me, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. Just goes to show, no matter how much you love a medium, working in it is an entirely different matter. Makes a person appreciate it that much more.


Comic book – Week 1 – The Script


Rough sketch of one of the main characters.

The genre for this book is futuristic sci-fi. I’m not going into details (because I was people to buy the ruddy thing some day!) but it’s my take on where we’re going in the future, a look at the moral implications of evolving technology and belief structures, and just really cool tech. 🙂

I actually pitched this story to well-known indie company and got pretty far with it, but in the end they felt it was too big of a story and the first issue concentrated too much on world-building and not enough on character. So, that is my first job. I have scheduled two weeks to rework/rewrite the script so it gets more character in and more story, but doesn’t take away from the opening scene, which I love.

Luckily for me, this entire story was already written as a screenplay, so it won’t be an insane amount of work to rewrite. It’s more about re-imagining the pacing of the sequentials than it is writing. So, here we got.