Useful books and Other Resources

Various writing, story design, comics, art, and animation books. The beginnings of a list…

The Understanding Comics series by Scott McCloud:
Understanding Comics
Making Comics
Reinventing Comics
A pioneering exploration of what makes comics tick.

Drawing People by Joumana Medlej
A book remarkable for its examination of different skin colours and body forms of people from around the world. Look in Joumana’s shop for the ebook.

Digital Prepress for Comic Books by Kevin Tinsley.
Goes into the details of preparing comics for print.

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How I Colour a Comic in Photoshop

This is how I build a colour comic in Photoshop.

Scan the original drawing.

I start by scanning a black-and-white drawing.

The drawing should be drawn with colouring in mind. Large dark areas are generally added during the colouring, so they should not be done as part of the black-and-white drawing.

The colouring style I describe here relies on using the ‘bucket’ tool to fill large areas; they can also be filled using brushes.

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Drawing Test

This is a test of a slightly-different drawing technique.

Usually, I sketch in pencil, draw over it in black marker or ink, then scan that and clean it up in Photoshop. Afterwards, I add colour in Photoshop. This is how I did the rabbit background picture, and the four-page intro to Scaffoldworld.

It’s also a good way to make even quite a rough sketch presentable (this Toasterman sketch, for example).

Drawing of Toasterman trying to escape an underwater menace.

However, for Little Lost Part, I want to do something different.

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First attempt at a cover for The Lonely Little Fridge!

Pen-and-ink artwork before colouring with watercolours. Complete with ink blotches!

This is my first attempt at laying out the cover for The Lonely Little Fridge. The artwork is india ink over pencil sketches on paper.

Because the artwork was largeish (2 panels 8.5 inches square, plus a 0.25-inch spine between), I scanned it in five pieces using VueScan. Then I opened all the pieces in Photoshop and assembled them into one image there. Because the linework is so sparse, Photoshop’s auto-align function didn’t have enough to work with, so I aligned by hand and used the auto-blend function to smooth things out. Then I used Levels to expand the dynamic range, smashing light greys toward white and dark greys toward black.

IngramSpark provides templates for each size and type of cover they offer. This cover will be case-bound, with a page trim size of 8.5 inches square. One of the templates is an InDesign file, so I built the cover on it, inserting the artwork and text on layers between the ISBN layer and the layer with guides and printed info.

Once I get the artwork coloured (via Viviva watercolours), I will scan it again and do this all over again!

Backing the Etherington Brothers

I just backed this art book printing and reprinting project!

I kept seeing bits of the artwork copied into places like Instagram, and I didn’t know where it came from. But then I stumbled across the book reprint project on Kickstarter. And that led me to the source, the Etherington Brothers out of England:

The website has hundreds of little segments giving tips and tricks on drawing and writing topics.

Another cover!

A first test of the cover for “Little Lost Lamp”.

What happens when a lamp id shipped to the customer and then forgotten?

This is the short eight-pager I hope to have ready for TCAF in the first week of May (whether or not I take part in TCAF).