I’m currently working my way through the last pages of digital colouring for ‘Band of Butchers’ a story which will be part of an anthology ‘Tales of the Fallen’ a graphic Novel spin off from Barry Nugents ‘Fallen Heroes’ Novel and rapidly expanding ‘Unseen Shadows’ universe.
Behold the gorgeous cover by Rob Carey;
Oo look there is my name there ( I love that ! )
I can’t show you what I’m doing as it would contain spoilers obviously. I’ve got 5 pages to go, Rob finished inking his last page at 2am while I was colouring away 6 pages behind. How do I know this ? through social networking of course, facebook is great company for the long long hours chained to photoshop. Or at least it was before the recent changes to Facebook layout , privacy and functionality, some may think the outcry lacks perspective, but for those of us working alone for weeks on end it is like a virtual shared studio space which keeps us sane.
Anyhow, this comic story has taken me across the world and i’m on the spectacular final scenes at the moment. If you think its odd that someone with my oft voiced idealistic politics would be working on what appears and sounds like a lads soldier story- will have to read it and trust in Dan Thompson’s awesome script. Gory, violent and with an important message.
I wonder how many of you blog readers are comic fans, so aware of how it works? We’ve had a few surveyors and tradesmen in the house recently- One was fascinating in what i was doing, it reminded me how much of a mystery comics are to the non initiated, as is digital art. For those who don’t know this is what happens;
a writer will write a story outline, possibly discuss it with prospective editor.
then writes the story into a script, it looks a little like TV, or drama script, they may well write up character descriptions and other background information. They may start working back and forth with an artist at any stage.
the script describes what happens in each box, and what the reader can see, and what the caption boxes and speech bubbles will say.
This goes to the artist/s who will draw up designs, and characters.
Then to the layout artist who arranges the boxes and action on the page, in UK it tends to be the same artist that then does the pencil drawing of the comic page, and then inks over that.
all these stages may be done traditionally or digitally or often a combination of both.
When the inks are done, it comes to me the colourist, scanned in & sent over the internet- hopefully the right size with nice neat lines ( borders ) between the boxes and all tidied up and no smudges or pencil lines. If not I’ll do that bit too.
I then do my colouring in, again a mixture of traditional and digital, I approach it as a painting only in layers…there are many different methods.
Then I send it back to the team, the letterer then works from the same script and pops a layer on with all the words. This is a vital part of the process and a lot harder than you’d think!
off it all goes to the editor & designers who add introductions and covers etc , then to the publishers. teamwork and a little bit of internet magic! So I can sit in the mountains of Scotland and work with folks all over the world, pretty good ! I best go get on with it.