finishing up the pencils, tightening up the dialogue and any difficult-to-manage
shapes (fine details) with the pencil, I use a 03 Staedtler Pigment
Liner pen to letter the comic. Microns are also a good choice, although
they tend to rub off a bit when erasing over the lines.
prefer to hand letter my pages because I like to have control over each
image's composition in the drawing stage. Since dialogue takes up so
much room in a panel, I treat the letters like images. I also like it
for the more organic control over the volume and flow of the characters'
dialogue. Aside from their expressions, it's a major indicator of their
"acting", so I try to liven up any scene with fun text whenever
I can. I only use a digital font (made from my handwriting) when I have
to write out very long descriptions, like the Texas Hold 'Em explanation
sequence in Daisy Kutter.
the lettering is finished, I move on to the panel borders. For this,
I use the Alvin Penstix .7 mm marker pen. When I first saw these, I
was surprised to find a cheap marker that claimed to dispense India
ink. Nowadays, it just says that the marker is of "India Ink quality",
whatever that means. In any case, I still use it for panel borders,
despite the slightly reddish tint of the ink. It's just the right thickness
and I don't mind burning through a bunch of these, as the ends get frayed
on the ruler edge. I just freehand the rounded corners.
trusty old Hunt no. 102 Crow Quill nib pen. If there is a pen out there
with better natural line variation, I have yet to see it. The ink is
Higgins Black Magic India Ink by Sanford. New bottles tend to have ink
that's a little too watery for my taste, so I usually either let the
bottle sit open overnight to dry the ink a bit, or I dump the contents
of my previous bottle into the new one and shake it. The paper towels
and Windex are standing by, ready to clean the pen. In the process of
inking, I generally wipe the nib clean with a dry towel, but I clean
the nib with Windex after finishing the piece.
began using the crow quill in middle school, when a guy at the local
art store told me he was Rob Liefeld's friend, and that Liefeld used
these babies to ink his pages. I was sold, and I began practicing with
these things every day. It took me a long while to realize that you're
supposed to ink with the spoon facing the paper, the ink suspended beneath
it. Anyway, thanks to Liefeld and his buddy at the art store, Copper
has nice line variation on his hoodie. Here, I was beginning to notice
that this sheet of paper tended to bleed a little bit, so I wasn't able
to get super clean lines this time around.
make my way down the page from left to right, not necessarily in order,
but in a way I can avoid running my drawing hand over the ink. Using
the dip pen also means that the ink dries very slowly. Only a few years
ago, this page would have been covered in process white to patch up
all the smears left by my hand.
finished inked page. Make sure to clean the nib using water or Windex
before placing it on the page like this in order to take a really cool
Onward to part 3: COMPUTER MADNESS!
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