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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Go big or go home!

For the next Part Time Stories short, I decided to draw the pages at a more standard "comic book art" size. I usually work on 9 x 12 paper with the comic page ruled out at about 7 x 10. It's a little bit bigger then then the printed page, but not much. I have a smaller scanner, and for a long time moved a lot and just need to adjust my art to my life.

Never again.

I took a 14 x 17 piece of Strathmore Bristol Vellum, and ruled it down to 10 x 15. These pages have no bleeds, so I don't have to worry about that. I'm using Brush Pens, along with Higging Eternal Ink (Black Magic next time), and the work is coming out so much easier.

It takes about twice as long at the moment to draw at the bigger size, but having finished the first page's first round of inks (I pencil, then ink, then erase pencils, then go back to detail and touch up inks) I don't think I've ever been so happy with a page. So now I just need to factor in more time when I draw, which is a bummer, but I figure I'll get quicker as I get more used to it. It only took me a day to ink, now that I think about it. I just takes me more time to do the layout.

I took the basic sizes and style for prepping pages from an interview I read about Paul Pope a few years ago.

POST UPDATE:

Here's the page:

Aural Fixation page

19 Comments:

At 6:54 PM, Blogger MK said...

Hey, You might want to rethink that Black Magic with brushes. I did my entire first book (150 p) with that, and now I wish I'd done it in something different. It's a very light ink, and your blacks end up pretty grey, even if you evaporate it to condense them. There are much better inks out there. you should try out some other ones. After asking around, Windsor & Newton seemed to be pretty popular, and it ends up being very dark. Various PH Martin's brands were cited. I think the Tech ink was one of the more popular. There's also their Black Star (matte) which I've been using, which makes a really nice black. Lynda Barry has a whole thing about her ink in 100 Demons that's worth checking out too.

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

Huh, thanks much. I'm reading the Eisner/Miller book (another post about that soon) and they mention Black Magic so I was going to hunt it down.

Thanks much.

 
At 1:58 AM, Anonymous aaron said...

NOTHING beats SPEEDBALL SUPERBLACK!

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PH Marten's Tech is the best! GO PH MARTEN'S!!!

Higgins is crap. I used to use it when I was first drawing comics but once I used PH Marten's I will NEVER go back!

-Liz

 
At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professor-

I agree, black magic isn't the future. I'm a believer in Speedball's Superblack.

Also, drawing big is waaaaay better than drawing little. I have to draw little a lot and it always sucks. But when I get some really big sheets and expand my drawings...so much more freedom!

I can't even draw at the standard comic book page size of 11"x17" anymore...I think I'm up to 20"x30" now (I've never actually done a page this way, I'm still learning). But I need that space--I find that even my smaller panels need to be fairly large or else my drawing suffers.

Looking into history, the old newspapermen of comics used to draw hella large. Sheets of paper that could sometimes (for Sunday pages) be larger than today's standard drawing tables. And look how impressive THEIR pages were, right?

Take as much elbow room as ya need!

-Ayo.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Mikhaela said...

I am also making the switch. I've been drawing my cartoons that run at 8" x 6" in print at 10" x 7" because my scanner is 8 1/2 by 11 and I didn't want to bother with piecing. But my work is almost always multipanel and it just gets messy and hard to do.

So I am going to try and move up to 11 x 14" bristol and see what happens and how much longer it takes. I think I will have a lot more control that way.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

My father gave me a newspaper editorial cartoon that was given to my great grandmother when she retired from the Post. The thing is enormous and looks fantastic (and framed on my wall).

I love the idea that there are just these giant editorial cartoons piled up in some warehouse...

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger CamChes said...

I have to chime in with a vote for Dr Ph Martins "Tech", ink. Its even better than the The Dr Ph Black Star... Its hard to track down but worth it. There was a day when the Higgins Black Magic was a great ink, but its changed SO much during the past decade or so .... much weaker than it used to be...

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger Alec said...

Here here on larger format. My current story BASEWOOD is drawn on 18" x 24" bristol. It does take longer, but it loosens up the drawing so much. It's a bitch to scan (I had to pay a large-format scanning company here in New York $200 to scan 36 pages) but it lets you draw so much easier (especially smaller stuff, which would be SO hard at a smaller size).

Make sure you think about reproduction though! If I make really small lines, they just evoporate when they go down. Also, increase the size of your lettering, etc. to accomodate the scaling.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I cannot wait to see the results of this!

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

I added the page to the post. Never again am I drawing small for comic work!

 
At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Kurt Ankeny-Beauchamp said...

Hey Mal:

Is that Paul Pope interview online somewhere? I'd love to read it...

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

You know what? I have no idea where I read it. I'll dig around and find out.

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Kurt Ankeny-Beauchamp said...

Thanks!

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Neal said...

Man Mal, that's a gorgeous page! Your stuff just keeps getting better and better!

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I used to draw big when I lived in Bosnia maybe 16 by 20 inches and now since I've switched to using mainly thin point tech pens and 0.3 mm pencil I love drawing comics at 9 x 12 for final 6 x9 or 7 x 10 [if being reduced or can be printed exactly same size as drawn] or sometimes I use 11 x 14... I think because I have learned how to simplify and get rid of small unnecessaary details -think of Alex Toth- I'm able to do it and its cheaper and faster..I do not like when comic eds demand that I draw their size, let them work a little and reduce at required % :)

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again...one of my buddies in Bosnia who ghosts for some big shots from italy also draws small on bristol size about 8 x 10 in? but he does two of these to create one page for print. So, he will mark them as lets say 1A and then 1B, scan them and create in computer page 1 from two parts. I believe Moebius works this way on his Blueberry western but on much larger size.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Crap. Mal, you were right.

I usually draw somewhere around 11x14 ruled down to 10x12 or so, and having just bought a new pad in that size, I laughed off the idea that size matters until I made up this last mini. I wanted it to be a quarter sized one, something I'd never done before, and I drew it all up on sheets of regular printer paper and reduced it.

And DAMN, does the art tighten up when there's that much reduction involved. I can't wait to get some of those huge Alec Longstreth sized boards to start playing with.

Anyway, this post had been floating around my head the whole time I've been making the quarter mini, and when I recognized the page from the latest part-time stories (Love those, by the way.) I thought I'd toss out a "thanks for the advice, dude," because it's really affected my stuff from here on out.

MAKE COMICS FOREVER!!!

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Bridget Brock said...

I’ll surely look out for your next story.
Bridget@ Digital Print Bristol

 

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