Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Adis says: Hi. Everything seems to be fine now, everything went well, and I'm less concerned now. Which means, I can spend time in front of the computer! So here it is, an update: I've been asked a few times about how I make the strips and where do I get my ideas, so here's a look at "The Process"!!! (cue to educational music.) I don't think it's all that different from what other cartoonists do, but here it is anyway.
First I write the joke down in a piece of paper like the one below. Since the cheese affair was meant to run for a few strips, I wrote the whole thing at once. (Don't worry though, conveniently, the remaining strips are in another page, so dont worry about reading the joke and spoiling the next strips.) I do all the "editing" at this stage, and once I feel the joke works, I move on to the art.

Then I sketch the whole thing, trying to find the right composition. This is to more or less capture what the scene will look like roughly; I try to get all the expressions and poses I feel best suit the story, which takes a few tries.

Then comes my favorite part: on a simple sheet of paper, I draw the panels, without any worries about messing up because it's not the final drawing anyway.

Thanks to the magic of the lightbox, scenes like this one require less work. I decided that the camera would simply pan a little to the right to reveal Ship. If I had wanted to, all I would have needed to draw was Ship and the change of expression in Laurie's face, but I wanted to have the composition of the two scenes exactly as they would appear in the strip. Sometimes when I'm lazy I skip this part, but the results are always better when you commit a little more time to get it right.

With all the panels in place, I just trace it on the Strathmore board using the lightbox. The pencils are tighter and cleaner this way, which makes inking a lot easier, and more fun. Then I just take out my Micron Pigma Pens, size 0.1, 0.4, and 0.8, use them like I know anything about how line width should vary in a drawing, basically improvising, and this is the result. Then it's time to scan it, clean it a bit more, and color it using photoshop. Finally, you read it, and laugh. (Hopefully.)
Well, now you know. I told you it didn't involve any kind of strange ritual, like sniffing wool or any voodoo like that. I hope you liked this quasi-behind the scenes look.
If you emailed me from saturday afternoon till today, you'll probably have noticed I haven't replied. Sorry about that, come tomorrow, I'll catch up. And that's it for today, oh great and lovely readers.
Now go to bed!

The first comic Today's comic

Count Your Sheep is Adrian Ramos.