These days many pencillers are opting for “digital inks”, where their pencil pages are scanned directly and darkened in a program like Photoshop to replicate the look of traditional inks.  For Boom Studios “Starborn” artist Khary Randolph uses this process to speed up his process as well as maintain control over his image.  Here he draws a panel from the book and talks about how he approaches the process.

Artist Khary Randolph lets us in on his hybrid digital process, which combines the best of both worlds using both a wacom cintiq and regular old fashioned pencil and paper.

One of the things I love about the new 52 relaunch at DC is the inclusion and updating of many of my favorite Wildstorm characters. Voodoo is one of them. Over at Comic Book Resources artist Sami Basri has shared a breakdown of some of his pages for the upcoming book. The results area amazing along with insightful narration from series writer Ron Marz.

The first step of Sami’s working method is the creation of the extremely tight layouts you saw yesterday. Because the layouts are so tight, Sami actually blows up the approved layouts and inks — traditionally, not digitally — directly from them, refining as he goes. There’s no true “pencil” stage for the art, saving both time and energy (a huge boon in the deadline-intensive grind of monthly comics).

Click HERE for the full article and wonder at the glory.

As you go through The Comic Archives you’ll hear many a penciller say that the hardest part of their job is laying out a page. They put all their energy into figuring out the most effective way to tell a story in individual pictures that work together to communicate an action.

The fine folks over at the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization have published an article by David Balan about those very issues that all great comic book artists obsess over.

Here’s an excerpt:

Reading conventions differ for every region of the world, but they all involve a direction of reading. Reading is a process of going from point A to point B. This direction, whether left-to-right (English), right-to-left (Japanese), bottom-to-top (Chinese & Others), or otherwise, defines how we understand language – how one word comes after another to form a sentence, or in comics, how one image comes after another to form a page.
Now, this is a very basic truth of how we comprehend pages as readers. But comics throw us the curveball of images. While words are understood purely through the direction of their reading, images are not. Images are directional experiences unto themselves! When we look an image, our eye is directed by its visual elements to different parts of the picture. This direction is not necessarily confined to a “Point A to Point B” scheme either – images can have our eyes rise, drop, coast, fall, and spiral any which way they so desire! This makes the reading of images in sequence actually more difficult if they do not flow very well from one to the next. But using image direction in tandem with reading direction produces incredible results.

Read the full article HERE.

While the focus of this site is mainly on what is already being used to create comic books, I couldn’t help myself from posting this news about a gadget from Wacom, makers of wonderful pen tablets like the Intuos and the Cintiq, which is all the rage with digital artists.

Their new product works with regular paper. There is a sensor and a specialized pen that some how (and this is where the technological magic comes in) converts the movement of your pen to digital. So in effect your real physical drawing becomes a digital vector drawing for photoshop or illustrator instantaneously.

The product, called the “Inkling” comes out later in September and will set you back $200.

From Gizmodo:

• Take the stylus and receiver out of the neat portable box. 
• Clip the receiver on top of any paper notebook and start drawing. Don’t worry about space: the receiver can store thousands of pages, according to Wacom. 
• When you are done after a day, connect the receiver connects to the computer via USB and browse all your drawings, exporting the ones you like to files. 
That’s one of the beauties of this. From their Inkling Sketch Manager you can rasterize your drawings at print resolution and export them to Photoshop. Or even better: you can export as a vector illustration to Adobe Illustrator, which will allow you to re-work your lines in any way you want.

via Gizmodo