July 10, 2010

Inking Comics

So if you've been following my tweets, periodically I post my current status on "Pirates of Mars", a graphic novel I'm working on with JJ Kahrs.  It was/is 96 pages of thumbnails, blue pencils, finished pencils, inks, lettering and tones.  

Right now, I've finished up to page 66! Alright!

One of my favorite parts of the comic process is inking.  I love inking.  It's the painterly aspect of comic books - at least for me since I use brushes.

Here is how I typically approach a panel ...

Let's take a look at page 18 (just the top half! no spoilers!)

I need to define the planes in the top panel - meaning the dude in the very front has to be inked a bit heavier so he is separated from our two main characters (Captain Lovelace + KC130)  I give him some areas of heavy black.

Next, to the characters who are talking - they are the focus of the page.  KC130 is all black, which is perfect because usually your eye will go to the dark spots on a page.  By inking the robot heavy, and inking the background with lighter strokes, KC130 will be a focal point.

That would be a cameo of Dan Dare in the background incognito ....

I ink Dan's jacket to be in direct contrast with the highlight on Victoria's bomber jacket, which I make fade into light pants as if everybody walking is kicking up dust.

Lastly, I switch to a thin pen to do the straight edges and fine details in the background.  I don't want the lines to compete with the subjects in the front.

   thanks for reading!


  1. wowww
    the inked version is amazing
    i always thought this was done on the computer
    guess i was wrong! lol

  2. omg OMGGGGG you are amazing *on the floor bowing*


    i quite like the big buff guy's tattoo :B

  3. So gorgeous. I can barely wait for this to come out!

  4. wow, that inked/toned version looks great! Is that a refillable brush pen?

  5. Just WOW ! Can't wait to read the book !

  6. Amazing. Truly amazing.

  7. Ah, you're so talented! I can't wait to see moar!

  8. Thanks so much for the kind words - I think this is my strongest comic book work yet! On the last leg of the book right now... *woo!

  9. This is so amazing! Amazing! Who is? You is! hahahahaha I can't wait for the whole novel to be out!

  10. You make it look so easy... I am starting to wonder if you possess magical powers.
    I am.

  11. Wow! I love watching you work and put it together. That was a nice walk-through process. And you made it look so easy. But that's a lot of pages to draw...

  12. great post! your really skilled at inking. It's really a really delicate process, but you have very good control of the media. Awesome!

  13. Thanks for the kind words!

    Hey Sam! Nice to hear that from you!

  14. I feel so knowledgeable now! So much went into something so deceptive you'd never you know all the hard work going into drawing your eye through!!

  15. You are amazing!

  16. That is so freaking awesome! :o

    The big guy's tattoo reminds me of the Death Eaters symbol. *nerd*

  17. Wow. I didn't realize how talented you are!! Interesting little lesson. Makes sense to pull focus to the main characters that way. Anyway, awesome work!

  18. stuff look very cool!