Monthly Archives: June 2015


Trope – noun -(ˈtrōp) plural: tropes : A word, phrase, or image used in a new and different way in order to create an artistic effect. – a : A word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech – b : A common or overused theme or […]

girl#2 – a comic about tropes


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The core mechanism of sequential art, is Juxtaposition. Even when it’s a single gag cartoon, there is typically a juxtaposition of words, and picture. And the transitions between panels is entirely a mechanism for creating a moment of Closure, through Juxtaposition! It’s a very powerful tool, important to learn about and […]

Juxtaposition!


You could get the impression Scott likes making lists? Thanks to that we have a handy and fairly comprehensive model for the different kinds of panel to panel transitions, in terms of their content and subject matter! These are descriptions of the narrative nature of the Juxtaposition we create, panel […]

Transitions!



This episode of my podcast where I take a question from Andrew J. Hawthorn, who asked about “Narrative techniques or figurative tricks you can only do in comics” This episode of my podcast where I take a question from Andrew J. Hawthorn, who asked about “Narrative techniques or figurative tricks […]

Like moving pictures, but not


In my post “Like moving pictures, but not” I specifically talk about some of the ways Sequential Art and Cinema are different; How there are things comics can do that are completely unique to it. That said there are many ways in which they are similar and certainly a lot […]

Visual Storytelling in Cinema


This is a short talk about the role of Detail, nurse texture, look and simplicity in my comics, medicine as both style and tool.

Details, texture & simplicity!



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I don’t recommend it exclusively, but for sure grids are handy to think about when it comes to laying out your comics page. In lieu of a better idea they are reliable, and save a lot of time over all in getting comics done. Seth in his recent documentary reiterated […]

The Grids


FLOW sums up a key concept in comics page or strip design: Underlying structures that make the work legible, flow and should not need to be explained to readers. Flow is a big subject, though to nail down simply. It covers everything from the rudimentary like having the first person […]

Flow, & the Eyelines!


The first time you pick up a pencil, pen or brush to try to draw, just as we do with writing, if we want to learn quickly we start by systematically cultivating the skills we need. The ABCs of drawing. How to make the kind of mark, when we want […]

Basic Drawing Exercises



What defines Cartooning as a medium is ironically often not really well-defined, we just associate it with something emblematic of idea in our head and take it for granted. It’s drawing of course, but a particular kind! How in particular? What makes one drawing a cartoon while another is called illustrative […]

What is Cartooning


Cartooning and caricature is the use of simplified forms and lines to represent people, animals and things. Modern cartooning is diverse, I see it as having three major families or styles, falling along a spectrum from most abstracted to most representational, and on to idealized. All popular styles will fall somewhere along this […]

Noodle Arms to Bigfoot: A Cartoon family


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The first stage of page building in comics is doing layouts. Under deadlines it’s often rushed, when you have a bit more time it’s an ideal way to plan out a comic. You’ll find printable templates for thumbnail sheets, to aid in the process here! You can watch me doing […]

Thumbnailing layouts!



Laying down the master lines! I will have a more formal content to post here including notes and tips on Penciling later, but for now I wanted to post at least this, a playlist of YouTube posts of my penciling, in both pencil and with pens as well. The main […]

Penciling!


The Pocket Brush is one of my favorite tools, I highly recommend it to any student. It’s a true brush, made with synthetic hairs that keep a good point for a long time. I’ve embedded a playlist of clips, including an intro and some basic instructions. More to come, and […]

Inking with a Brush


A short tool tip for prossesing scanned art! It’s actually a good thing I think, to not try to get too much contrast with the presets when you scan, I tweak mine a bit but I use colour, and scan the art for the widest range of information. That leaves […]

Balancing with histograms



Blue lines are reproductions of our pencils or even thumbnails, printed, usually with a bubble jet printer, onto fresh sheets of Bristol. Using them can replace using a light table or vellum to transfer the art as was done in back in the day, and it also allows a few […]

Making your own ‘Blue Lines’


For some of my own work, most of it really, I don’t use digital lettering. Not the way demonstrated in my last post on this topic. I DO often shape my balloons the same way, using the expand selection trick after scanning hand-lettered text. But despite a fondness for the LOOK of […]

Analog lettering & Photoshop?