Comics

Zodiac: Gemini is Finished! by J. Logan Carey

Well it took quite a bit longer than I had planned on (big surprise there), but I'm proud to announce that the first chapter of Zodiac is complete and available to download for free below!

The entire work was completed with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil using the following apps:

I hope you enjoy it and I hope you stay tuned for the next installment: Cancer! Like the constellation, not like, you know, cancer cancer. I'll be testing out some different apps for putting together the next chapter and reviewing how they turn out here on the blog. See you then!

Making a Webcomic - Part 4 by J. Logan Carey

Thought I would drop an update on how Zodiac is coming along.

I was spit-balling a bit when it came to adapting the prose version I had originally written into a comic script. Basically I was re-reading the prose and plotting out the panels and narration in my head.

DON'T DO THAT.

I realized rather quickly that only a few pages in and I got totally confused as to what the panels were supposed to be depicting and what the narration would be. This is pretty important as it gives you an idea of how large to do the panels, not to mention what actually goes in them.

Continuing my goal of doing this project primarily on my iPad Pro, I loaded the original prose version of Zodiac and Apple Notes in a split screen and proceed to write out the script, panel for panel. 

 
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Writing script is not natural for me, so it'll take getting used to, but I was able to finish the script and figure out that the Gemini chapter I am working on needed to be seven pages when originally I had envisioned it as four. Another reason to write out the script, it tells you exactly how long your comic will be or a very close approximation.

After the first couple of pages I also discovered I wasn't too sure about the dimensions template I drew and then scanned to use in Procreate. After seeing some other comics people using official blue line templates in their comics, I decided to find one for myself.

There's a lot of templates out there. There's a lot of people saying they know the correction dimensions for doing comics when other people are wrong. It is incredibly confusing. A lot of professional looking templates are behind expensive paywalls as well. So I turned to Gumroad for options. 

I found a nice looking template from Robert A. Marzullo of Ram Studio Comics.

 
 

It's a pay what you want product, part of why I'm really starting to appreciate Gumroad, so potentially you could try it out for almost nothing. However, if you are enjoying the product, I highly recommend going back to the seller and giving them some coin for their time. Robert is also selling a brush set of his own creation for Procreate, so you might consider checking those out as well.

Now that I've got my script and template, I can lay down the rough pencils (did I mention ROUGH?) for Gemini.

 
 

Next step: Inking

 

 

Making a Webcomic - Part 3 by J. Logan Carey

Welcome back to my little series on creating a webcomic. For this next installment I'd like to announce that page 1 of Gemini is done! I feel accomplished. Check it out...

Here's the video of the process in Procreate from the import of the pencils photo all the way to completion:

I decided to do the complete page one with multiple panels as one Procreate illustration. Will this is definitely more satisfying for seeing the full page come together, I'm not sure if I should continue using this method, or go panel by panel. I suppose when it comes to a webcomic, it doesn't really matter. My thought for Zodiac is that when it is completely finished to put it together as one complete work and upload it to one of the online comic book storefronts. So I'm not sure if that needs to be in a page with multiple panel format or panel by panel. What do you guys think?

Now that I finished the artwork for page 1 of Gemini, how the heck can I add lettering? For other sections I may hire an actual professional letterer to add their magic, but for at least this one story, I wanted to try my hand at doing the entire process on my iPad Pro. Unfortunately, lettering is not exactly something built-in to Procreate.

Now, there are some other apps where the full comic-making process including lettering can be done. MediBang Paint is probably the best one I've seen out there. It's about the closest thing you can get to Clip Studio Paint/Manga Studio for the iPad. But to be honest, I haven't played with it much because the art tools in Procreate are just so damned impressive. So I need to find another option. 

There are probably a handful of apps that could achieve this, but the one I decided to go with was Pixelmator. I've long been a fan of the desktop version of Pixelmator. It's was pretty much the reason I switched from a PC to a Mac. It's kind of a simplified version of Photoshop, yet still very robust in its capabilities and all that for $30! It's almost criminally underpriced and certainly underutilized by those in creative fields. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.

The real question is, can it be used to add lettering to comics on the iPad Pro? Answer: yeah...pretty much.

I was able to create curved-edged objects with borders that could serve as text bubbles. There are also simple comic dialogue bubbles that you can add as well. Gemini, however is all narration though, so no dialogue to worry about just yet. How were the final results? Check it out...

What do you guys think? All in all, I'm pretty damn happy with the outcome. I'm just starting out, but I can see a lot of promise and potential in using my iPad Pro as my main comic creation tool. I'll be adding the pages as I finishi

Making a Webcomic - Part 2 by J. Logan Carey

Thanks for coming back for the second part in my as-yet-to-be numbered series in making a webcomic. Back in the first installment, I talked about I decided to redraw the first few panels on paper and see how it turned out. Well below you can see the fruits of that effort...

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So obviously this is rough stuff, but honestly, I'm VERY pleased with how it is coming together. This is my first completed comic page of pencils. <does happy dance>

After finishing the page, I took the picture you see above and imported it into Procreate to start the inking process. I outlined the panels which aren't perfect but I'm happy with the straight lines.

Procreate tip: As you draw a line, if you stop and still hold the stylus to the screen the line will "snap" straight from the point you started the line to the point you stopped.

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I couldn't help myself and decided to start a new layer and try my hand at some coloring the first couple of panels. Again, I am VERY happy with the tools available in Procreate as it is very approachable even for an amateur like myself. Now to just keep working on the ink for page one. I think I might even get a little crazy and color the rest of it. I still have many more pages to do, but it will be a big symbolic victory to finish a page to completion. I have also decided to try doing as much of the process on my iPad Pro as possible. As such, I'll be looking into options for lettering on the iPad, so we'll see what kind of results I can get with different apps.

Next Step: Coloring and Adding Text Bubbles

Making a Webcomic - Part 1 by J. Logan Carey

Welcome to the first post detailing the nitty gritty of making a webcomic, or at least, my bumbling my way through making my first webcomic, from pencils all the way to pixels.

Since this is all going to be a learning process, I didn't want to get too bogged down worrying about using only the highest quality supplies and industry standard widths and margins used by all the biggest publishers. I'm just a person on the interwebs trying to make a funny book. So I settled on using a Strathmore Drawing pad, Medium Surface, 9 x 12, 80 lb. This paper is high quality enough that I think it looks good and lends well to finished art while being pretty cheap to get your hands on. While I did purchase a pad of SUPER EXTREMO FANCY 11 x 17 paper made expressly for the purpose of drawing comics on, I'm not using it. It looks awesome, but it's way too overwhelming to think about drawing something that size at this point in my life. 

Now that I've got my drawing medium for my pencils, I've got to decide what dimensions to use. If you're trying to answer this question for your own comic, buckle your seatbelt before you hit SEARCH because there's about 4,000 different answers. While you may be tempted to look at what the big kids are using in their studios...who cares? Just find a size you're comfortable with and can lend well to scanning. I am drawing my comic at 8 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches tall. It's probably a little wider than modern comics, but if you ask me, modern comics are too damned skinny anyway. Plus, this comic is going online, and in the magic of the internet <insert rainbow>, you can make your comic whatever the hell dimension you want. As long as it's no wider than a standard screen ratio or as long as you use a responsive site which will auto-size your images.

I've also decided to redraw the first panel of Gemini on my page seen below:

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Gemini will take place in the desert so that'll require a lot of desert type landscape sketch practice.

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While I have Clip Studio Paint, I think I'm going to give it a shot inking and coloring on my iPad. I've been super impressed with the art apps available for it like Procreate which just seems to keep getting better.

Hopefully I'll have the all the panels on the first page filled out for my next post.

Next Step: Start Drawing in Procreate