Making comics in the Zen Den
I thought I would show you what my current ‘studio’ set-up looks like. It’s not really a studio, just a room with a desk in it.
I’ve mentally compartmentalised creating comics into two distinct stages. There’s stage 1 which is DRAWING and stage 2 which is COMPUTER STUFF.
Stage 1 is everything done at the drawing table. This involves sketching the initial idea, penciling the comic and then ‘inking’ the comic (I’m inking in the above pic). Inking is just when I ‘trace’ over my pencil drawings with a black pen or brush. As you can see, I don’t have a big, hardcore drafting table – it’s a smaller A2 size table that you can place on any desk which is a lot easier to move around. I draw on A3 paper so I don’t really need a huge table.
Stage 2 includes scanning the inked drawings, colouring and then lettering the comic on the computer. I scan using a Brother MFC-6490CW multi-function centre which is probably the best piece of hardware I’ve ever bought. It’s great because it allows large-format A3 scanning and printing. A3 scanners used to be super expensive but this MFC was only $350 and probably even cheaper these days. Sure, it’s massive and hideous but I love it even more than my Mac. Speaking of which, I’ve got a iMac which is about 3 years old. It’s got 8GB RAM and I use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign CS5. I also use a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which is the cheapest model and works fine for me.
So this is where I spend most of my time these days. I occasionally venture downstairs to stuff food in my face and sometimes even go outside to check whether it’s day or night.