Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Start to Finish

so i have gotten a lot of people ask me in the past to show how i start a comic page.  they want to know how i come up with the different panels and the look of the final image.  so i decided that i would finally get around to showing off how i do a page.  i will use the first page for the upcoming Transformers: Drift mini series (as that is the only page that has been shown off already and is safe for me to use)

first off after i have read the script i will do a layout.  these are basically thumbnails, just drawn a bit larger then a typical thumbnail.  usually about 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.  the actual proportions don't match my final page size, but since i'm just using these to get my ideas on paper, it really doesn't matter.   so i will do my page layouts in these thumbnails, placing the panels where i think they should go.  then i send those off to my editor to look over and get the green light to go ahead with the final pages.    this helps too just in case the editor wants something changed, you don't waste all your time on the good page, then have to go change it.  this is where you want all the changes to happen.  most of the time it works out that way, but not always :p

then come the pencils.  now usually i go a lot rougher then this since i ink the pages myself, so i put all the details in when inking.  but with this one i was getting back into the feel for drawing G1 style bots again, and i wanted to take my time and make sure the page looked the way i wanted.

then come the inks.  not much to really say, other then i add all the final details to the image, and have all the black areas now filled in.  it can be fun to ink sometimes, and others it makes me want to pull my hair out and throw my desk across the room

finally we get to the colours.  this is when i have the file saved as a digital copy and send it to my colourist.  this is where the real magic happens.  What can i say, Josh is a mad man who always delivers something awesome to my work.  i've worked with the man for 6 years now, and he just keeps getting better.  i know that there are times when stuff has to get done, and he can't work on everything i do, but for the most part, i really don't want to work with anyone else.  i'm happy with the work he does, and thats all that matters to me :) here is a link to his deviantart gallery.  some really nice stuff in there.

so i hope that gives you a little insight into how i work and how things are done.  i gotta get Josh to post how he does the colours sometime.  maybe then i'll be able to steal some of his secrets :p

well back to work

laters ;p


  1. Wow...
    Yeah, a cheesy comment but what do you say to all of that?? It's intense. Daunting. You must love what you do!

    There's something about the faces of your Transformers that is really nifty. I'm trying to put my finger on it but I can't. As a matter of fact your entire Transformer style is fantastic. Usually I like some but not all of a certain style but with yours the whole thing is great.

    When I saw the faces I was struck by how familiar they appear. I said, "Self, methink we've seen this style before. Somewhere." I'll have to guess here but... "Megatron Origin"?? Was it you that drew that? It is one of my absolute favorites because of the art. And to finally get a good look at the mysterious Sentinel Prime!!

    I'm juuust starting to get back into drawing and I haven't managed to get very far. I tried my hand at a "Cybertronian Slag" but now I'm studying other TF art to learn how to mechanize him.

    Poor Slag. He's still hanging out at my DA page looking merely like an odd mix of organic bull and dragon. I need to give him some armor for clothes! :-)

    Cheers! Have a lovely day.

  2. thanks for stopping by. yes i was the one who drew Megatron Origins. that was a fun book to work on under some really demanding situations. i if could i would go back a tweak a few pages so it could read better, but it was a lot of fun to work on.

  3. I have very few gripes about any of the Transformers comics but "Megatron Origins" is one that I keep going back to re-read and oggle the art. "Stormbringer" is the other. Love 'em!

  4. Alex,

    We've met a few times before but I doubt you remember. I have an interesting idea to run by you for TFCON...can you drop me a line at jchillcott AT hotmail DOT com?


  5. To Coffee Catholic : yeah, stormbringer is a book i keep looking at all the time. makes me wonder how Don would draw it if he did it now???

  6. There's a thought! I wouldn't complain if DonFig re-drew it. Wow, just the thought makes me grin. I've read it so many times my "Stormbringer" is starting to fall apart. Won't take long before "Megatron Origin" follows in its footsteps hah! Thankfully you keep slapping stuff out at your DA page so I get my new addiction satiated lol. I hope you continue to post Deviations even after the BotCon has passed! Pointy feral noses and all hehe (that almost sounds Monty Python...)
    Good luck at BotCon with selling lots of your art!

  7. @Coffee Catholic: thanks. i'll keep posting stuff up on DA whenever i'm able. right now i've been able to post things since they have really nothing to do with any of the comic work i've been working on. that art i have to wait until i'm allowed to show it off.
    but regular stuff i do for fun i can throw up whenever i want, so there will be more.
    just need the time to work on it.

    @James Chillcott: ok. just chat with me about it at TFcon. cool.