Some of you (namely, none of you) have been asking to see how a page of Falling Rock comic strips gets made. This weekend I was drawing up a fresh batch of 22 new strips, so I thought I’d take some pictures of the process.
The first step is to write them. I write in a spiral bound notebook, usually just dialog with a few sketches in case I don’t want to forget a particular facial expression. After that, I draw the panel borders. I do this on Strathmore Bristol board. I try to do as much drawing as I can on paper and not on the computer, because I’m on the computer enough anyway and it’s nice to get away once in a while.
The next step is to sketch in pencil on a separate sheet of scrap paper. This is where I get the layout straight. Then I trace the pencil sketches onto the Bristol board using a lightbox and a non-photo blue pencil. I forgot to take a picture of the blue pencil only, oops! This is pretty close, though. I ink the lettering first in pen, then ink the eyes of the characters with a tiny (#3/0) Raphael brush.
After the brushwork, I use various sized PITT pens to do the details and backgrounds. And, of course, the all-important signature. I usually sign my own signature, but sometimes I ask my army of assistants to do that part for me. I’m a busy man.
This is it! The finished page.
Once I scan in my comics, I send them through the ether to both McClatchy Tribune for publication and to my own website for “publication.”
Finally, I pour myself a well-earned Scotch.