Here are the fruits of that labour of love, and fun, as I drew a brand new, rebooted, episode of my longest running series VILLEWOOD! For those of you who have seen the previous 6 strips I posted (created in 2007) you'll notice a big contrast with this new comic! After the comic, I'll share a little bit about the process.
A little about the process:
Step 2: inking - I inked using mostly o.8 mm thickness black pens. I used 2 mm thickness pens for most of the panel frames. For the two thicker panels on the front page, I'm not sure what the thickness of the marker I used was. It was similar to a sharpie, but with a softer tip, about halfway between a sharpie and a brush pen.
Step 3: Digital clean up – I used an ordinary Epsom scanner to scan the images into the computer, at a 300 dpi resolution, in full colour mode, saving to a TIFF file (for highest quality). I removed the blue line by opening the TIFF in Corel PhotoPaint, and splitting the image's RGB channels into new documents, and saving only the “blue” document. It's a little counter intuitive, but the “blue” document, is the only one which doesn't keep the blue lines ha ha! I clean up little dust particles the scanner picked up, using the paint brush and eraser tools in PhotoPaint. As a free alternative, I recommend using GIMP for this process. Make sure you convert the blue document to RGB mode, it will be grayscale otherwise, and you won't be able to colour it.
Step 4: Colour – I saved NEW versions of my cleaned up scans, under new names with the word “colour” attached to the end. This is important because you may make a mistake (like I did) and need to refer back to the line art versions you scanned in. It saves you from having to re-scan everything. I used Corel PhotoPaint again to do the colour (set in RGB 48 colour mode). Again, I suggest GIMP or Paint.net as a free alternative. My good buddy Tyler used to colour his comics in Paint.net, so that's a viable option as well, I don't know how well it handles the blue pencil process though. I of course had to cover “leaks” to avoid flooding the page with colour, or certain sections with colour. For example, Shane's eyes are not completely closed with black outlines, but they aren't filled with skin colour. I achieved this by outlining using the paint brush, set to his skin colour, around the eye area to block it off from leaks.
Step 5: Lettering – I lettered, and ballooned, in CorelDRAW (not to be confused with Corel PhotoPaint). For a free alternative I recommend Inkscape. The important thing about DRAW and Inkscape, is that they are vector graphic programs, and make the lettering and balloon creation process much easier. Explaining vector graphics is worthy of an entire post, so I'll skip it for now. I created the balloons by altering the nodes of vector oval shapes (in other word, I made an oval, and added tales by breaking the outlines). If you're curious about fonts, I got some free fonts from dafont.com. If you go there, be sure to check whether or not the fonts are “100%” or only “free for personal use”, unless they are 100% you'll have to BUY the fonts before you could sell the product you use them in (like my comic).
And there you have it! If you have any questions about my process, let me know in the comments below!
So what did you think of new comic? Let me know in the comments below! Want to see more? Well hold tight, because I've already started pencilling my second one! :D