Below are the steps it takes to make a comic.
Since I am an artist who happens to write, I write my comic using thumbnails. All the dialog is written as I design the page. Each Striped Bandits episode is two traditional comic book pages in length. As a writer I try to end a thought or idea within those two pages as well as leave the story in a “cliffhanger” to leave the reader waiting to find out what happens. I like to write in a 3 subject note book. these are easy to take anywhere, are cheap, and is how I started making comics when I was a kid, so I guess it feel comfortable to do my work in this style. Below is what my writing for this episode looks like. It might not make much sense and can be hard to read, but it’s all I need to move onto the next step in making comics.
This is were all the tough decisions are made. Most of my layouts from writing are not very good to follow with the exception of how many panels I will break each page into (as I’m more focused on telling the story). I also edit the dialog in the word balloons in this step. I try to use as little words as possible to explain an idea. The amount of dialog affects what I can and can’t do with the art. I like to design my layouts in two page spreads. Striped Bandits is a dialog driven comic and in such has a lot of talking, so I try to make sure not to just have a series of heads talking. The way I try to add interest visually is the use of different camera angles and shots, and also through over exaggerated character expressions.
As you can see from my pencils, I do most of the drawing when I ink. The pencils are there to just be a guide to instruct my inking not finished art. I ink the comic traditionally with an ink brush and use prismacolor markers to color them in. The backgrounds are done with a 4B pencil. As you can see there are no word balloons in the final art. I do the word balloons on separate paper and add them digitally. This is because of all the reformatting that is needed from making a print comic and turning it digital. This keeps all the text the same size, no matter how the comic is viewed.