This week’s comic used a new layout method: graph paper. Very high-tech, I know, especially for 2016.

But, I gotta say, I really like this new method.

behind the scenes comic

All lined up.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I paneled the comic on a piece of graph paper.
  2. I lettered by hand (different from my usual digital method).
  3. I sketched the comic using pen (my Pilot G-Tec C4s).
  4. Then, I scanned the comic, as is, to my MacBook Pro.
  5. I emailed the scanned comic to myself.
  6. I imported the scanned comic in Manga Studio on my Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
  7. Using the scanned comic as a guide in Manga Studio, I inked the panels, traced the lettering, and redrew some of the sketches with a different colored pencil tool.

The list above reads like a lot of extra work, and steps, but I feel it really sped things up. Most importantly, it got me drawing on paper more, and off the computer (why I started making comics in the first place).

I plan to stick with this method for the time being. I’m sure it will change a bit over the coming months, but I think it was a good idea to shake up my comic making process.

I sketch pretty fast, so my Surface can’t always keep up with me—sketching the comic out on paper helps with this (my Surface keeps up with my inking fine though, because I’m going slow).

It’s also easier for me to lay out a comic on the graph paper than on a computer screen too. I don’t know why. It’s probably something about being able to easily see the entire page at once.

Compare the sketched version of the comic to the finished version!

clattertron patreon page

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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