trick


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


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


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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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



This is a short little clip, covering something that many young cartoonists are amazed to hear you can do – if you mess up or want to change a panel or even a detail of a panel on paper, it’s possible to simply cut it out and paste in a […]

Old school page patching