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weekend process pictures

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.

Next up is the characters themselves.  I ink them all up real good, using a #2 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.

The last step is to publish my work in a handsome hardbound volume.

Just kidding!  This is Craig Thompson’s Blankets.  Hey, if you haven’t read Blankets yet you really should.

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.

Enjoy this week’s Falling Rock!

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