design


“What is “Emanta”? And were you cursing?!” No, those are Grawlixes, and think emoticons. Emanata and Grawlixes are symbolic icons. They are just two names for a few examples, of a wide array of symbolic little cartoon elements and various other parts of comics, described thoroughly in the satirical but also utterly […]

Emanata & !#@?$%!


So you want to publish your comics in physical books! I do so myself and I can attest it’s super satisfying to be able to hold your work, and bring it to market! These days it’s very scalable proposition too. To start you’ll need a publishing tool like InDesign, Scribus, […]

Print & POD Publishing


A lot of students come to me with a whole epic in mind. Those who want to tell sprawling tales that will end up slip cased novels in the hundred of pages! Understandable. I mean, it’s Comics! Of course there’s a lot of people looking for that. I’m pretty guilty of doing it […]

The short and silent story



I’ve posted about the writing side of inventing characters, with comics of course the visuals are just as important, and by extension, often the world you set around them. If your comics take place in the now, then you don’t have to think as hard about it, just pick locations around you. […]

Character and Design


For the first few weeks as we study the structure and formalism of Sequential art, we’re also going to start keeping diary comics. And to keep focused on short narratives, while also forcing students to think about how to express their ideas in a limited format. There’s a strong tradition […]

Haiku, Senryū & Tanka


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!


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!



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?


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Collaboration has been a central part of sequential art, comics & cartoons, since their reinvention as a mass Pop media during the heyday of the American Newspaper. As soon as Comics became a central feature of any self-respecting newspaper artists were hired in bulk to work together in some way or another […]

Comix Jams!


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Planing a comics page out the first thing you need to do is decide what format will you publish it in, what aspect ratio or page size? Webcomic? Graphic Novel [long form], Ero album, American pamphlet? Will your book be digital first or pint? Standard American comics typically are printed 6.63″ […]

Page aspect ratios & templates