Tool tips


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


Telling a good story is often about planning, and a great tool I recently heard about is something presented on Out on the Wire, a new story workshop podcast series about making stories, step by step. Cartoonist Jessica Abel & Co break down the principles of storytelling on the show really well, […]

Focus Statements & XY Formulae


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 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!


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?


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!


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