Prepare thyself for another view behind the curtain. No, not the wizard kind of curtain, but the how I draw comics curtain. There’s no wizard, but it is probably just as a scary, and there might be a flying monkey or two.

Here is a look at the blue lines for last week’s Rules of Engagement comic.

comic blue lines

Sloppy! Photo by me.

As I mentioned before, my pencil lines are pretty sloppy. Give the Tasmanian Devil a pencil and that’s pretty much my drawing style. I am working on drawing slower, smoother lines though. If you missed the last Behind the Scenes, I draw with a Prismacolor Col-Erase 20060 Indigo Blue pencil.

Here’s a closer shot of the second panel.

comic blue lines clattertron

WHAT. Photo by me.

Again, pretty sloppy, but that’s just how I do things. You can see the lines from my Ames Lettering Guide too (which was well worth the couple of dollars it cost).

After the panels are drawn, or at least close to the final image in my head, I start to ink.

comic inking blue lines clattertron

Ink, inker. Photo by me.

For inking, I use a combination of Micron pens and Faber-Castell Pitt pens. You can just barely see some of the notes I left myself on the page under the third panel: “BLK BG” and “YELL.” I ended up giving the second panel the black background, but the YELL note was to remind me to make sure No Filter Fox was on the chair, uh, yelling.

If you compare these photos to the final comic you might notice some of the words have moved. There are times (OK, most times) when I have to rearrange the text a bit in Photoshop. I am working on getting better at planning ahead though, but it isn’t a big deal if I have to go back and fix stuff.

Here’s a small version of the final comic. Compare! You should notice the guy’s beard, which I added with ink only.

clattertron final comic

Final comic!

One of these days, I’ll take photos of (or scan) of the notebook I use to figure out scripts and panel layouts.

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geek living in Michigan.
Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan. Follow Clattertron on Facebook too.