Retro Comic As It Happens!

  • The final frame, all the colours have been added and I have sharpened up some of the elements, including highlights on the character's hair, which as they are against black, really do register very quickly with viewers. So the extra effort is well worth it.
    I have also resolved her left hand which had drifted out of her elbow and wrapped itself rather awkwardly around her waist. It wasn't working and needed to be tweaked.
    Also worth noting that I have reduced the size of the dot screen in relation to the drawing. I wanted it to register as dots but not break up the details of the girl's expression, which is a key element to the story I am putting across.
    I have also re-jigged the image within it's frame to better accomodate the word balloon.
  • At this stage I have exported the file from Manga Studio and I then commence sharpening it up in Illustrator, including adding all the colours and pre-saved dot screen to really creat the look of a comics frame from the 1950s.
  • Here you can see I have used Manga Studio's brilliant framing capabilities to trim out a lot of the excess elements I won't require in the final artwork. The inking is also completed and I have "switched off" my tracing layer, so I can really see how the interplay of solid blacks and areas of tone are working.
  • Manga Studio has many strengths—one of which is it's incredibly receptive brushes. These brushes and the additional brushes devised by Ray Frenden (Google him to find a link to his excellent blog and customized brushes), make the inking process in Manga a real joy.
    To think I used to use ink laden Sable brushes on tracing paper to do this sort of work!
  • Here is the rough drawing on it's layer in Manga Studio, prior to doing the final digital inking. You can see that I have knocked back the opacity of this layer to around 30%, a bit like laying a sheet of tracing paper on top pf the artwork.
  • Here is the rough trace ready for working up with Manga Studio's incredible brushes.
  • Here we can see the panel from the love comic, with my rough trace on top. The characters, as they appear, are a little bit non-iconographic in terms of clothes and hair style—very late '60s/ early '70s. I want them to look a little more immediate, so I am thinking in terms of Betty Page hair for the girl and rockabilly quiff plus black t-shirt for the boy.
  • A sequence of drawings showing how I go about creating some of my Lichtenstein'esque artworks. These drawings are always very tongue in cheek and I invariably have an illustrative source to fuel the creative process. In this case the springboard was provided by Jacque Nodell's brilliant blog, 'Sequential Crush'.