I admit I have an ulterior motive here.
Usually, I would post this kind of behind-the-scenes thing on the Glyphs & Glitches blog. But if you aren't following that blog, or the Comic Blog, I want you to know what you are missing! ;-D
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Here's a behind-the-scenes for a recent comic page, "Nesting Instinct"...
I start with a rough sketch of the panels (boxes) and what I want to happen in each box, then I begin adding more details (in pencil)...
I used to make the lines with a ruler and also rule out all the lettering guides... but now I just freehand them. Either I am lazy or I LIKE the slightly wonky look.
My favorite part is the inking. For these journal-type comics, I use a PaperMate ballpoint pen (sometimes a BIC Crystal pen). I Trace over the pencil lines, but also add more details and refine (look at the lines on the squirrel's purse). I put in some "shading" and crosshatching with the pen now - I will add more later, after the pencil is erased.
When I erase the pencil lines, some of the ink gets rubbed off too...
... so I go back in with the pen and add the dark areas and shading. Compare the acorns in the panel above, with those in the panel below...
I work in a Moleskine journal that has very thin paper and it is creme colored. The book is lightweight and convenient to carry with me everywhere. But it's a pain for scanning. If I were working on bright white paper with dark black ink and no grays... I would scan it, threshold it, and call it a day!
But I insist on doing things the hard way - and I really like the "sketchy" look of the ballpoint pen and the many grays it creates. That means that I have to eyeball it when I'm adjusting the lights and darks. I want to get rid of any stray pencil marks, but not lose the grays from the pen. Then I have to zoom in and do a lot of careful erasing and adjusting. Lastly, I'll straighten any seriously wonky panel boxes or off kilter text.
Here's the final comic page:
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