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A Method to my Madness

I have had several questions asked of me about how I produce my pages. I am more than happy to share with anyone for the asking, and right here, right now seems a good a place as any.

With any good story, you have to have an idea. Once that is done, writing out a basic plot is the next logical progression. From here, I stray a bit from the normal, most others write up story plots and scripts (who is me) from beginning to end. these pages go to the Pencil artist (who is also me), who then draws what he interprets from script to page, adding effects and backgrounds and the visual feel of the panel. Most traditional pages start out at 11x17 inches, mostly. these are pages I made custom for Orbital 47. Book and Page numbers are VERY important to keep track of.

Me? I lay out the panels and write out the text first.

Yes. I am bizarre. This is just the way that my mind works. I pace the dialogue and then assemble the images around it. This is also the reason I do not write out every word of dialogue at once before anything else. There is a possibility that a panel will influence the next set of dialogue exchanges. And I can not stress enough that EVERYTHING changes, even test spacing.

You can see the faint traces of blue pencils and my HORRIFIC spelling. Once I am satisfied with the text boxes, I send them to the inker (once again, me), and the text boxes and panels are inked. Then the characters, background and basic shading is laid out.

At this point i finally enter the 21st century: I scan the page into a Photoshop document for editing. Am I interested in digital tablets? yes. Do I have one yet? Eh...kinda? I am slowly and surely moving in that direction, Put I feel more comfortable with pen and paper...for now. Anyways, at this point I whiten the page, darken the inks to solid black, and remove all the blue from the page. I then the colorist (Me. again.) colors the page. I personally want to try and assign color pallets to each world I create. for example, Lexitavia's planet would have an earth tone color pallet, suggesting to the reader how dry her planet is.

So there you have it. the basic process of how I create my comic. I hope it helps you with whatever direction you want to expand your personal art. but in all honesty, you're probably looking at your screen with raised eyebrows thinking "What. the. Hell?" I get that a lot. My way is in NO way a traditional way to comics, but in today's environment, I personally think that's a good thing.

Thanks for reading! Party on GARTH!

John


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