layout


“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 & !#@?$%!


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


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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!



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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!


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’



Pixelled words to go with your pictures! Lettering can be a deceptively big topic. I’ll cover it in a few posts, rather than try to do it all in one. This post is going to focus on the way I use computers to letter, and the industry standard more or […]

Digital aided Lettering!


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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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The Ames guide is a classic comic’s tool. Also used for other forms  of calligraphy, from drafting to decorative, it’s a simple variable ruling guide to render lines for lettering. I’ve made a simple short video to watch here, and you can read the printed instructions most of them come with at the bottom […]

How to use an Ames Guide



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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? That’s not totally standardized but something around 3 : 2 is about typical for I pad screens. Old newspaper strips were around 5 […]

Page aspect ratios & templates