Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2nd, 2006: Anatomy of A Comic - Part Four

When last we left our story, we had written a comic strip, sketched it out in pencil, layed down our inks, erased the stray pencil marks, scanned the strip into the computer, and added colors. So what's left? Three steps, really:

1. Shade
2. Text
3. Convert

Shading is something I discovered around Episode Fifteen. Even the slightest gradiant in the background really makes the characters pop out. Sometimes I'll add a texture or blur during this stage as well.

The text on your average strip consists of two or three fonts in 4 or 5 different sizes. Dialogue, unless meant to be screamed, is usually a 64-point One Stroke Script font while the header and footer is Cooper Black. More often than not, I'll alter dialogue from the script about now, second-guessing my joke or wondering if this particular character would really say what was originally scribed. Sound effects or creature sounds get a different font, sometimes highlighted in a different color. Highlighting dialogue is another thing I learned halfway through the course of Pirate Cove. Makes it MUCH easier to read words that intersect artwork lines!

Last but not least comes the conversion stage. If I uploaded the final Bitmap to the Pirate Cove website, you'd be sitting there for 10 minutes, waiting for it to load. No, instead I convert the strips to a JPEG format, upload, and then update the comic strip with the finished product sometime between 11PM and 1AM Pacific time.

And there ya have it! This is what I do for fun. Sounds like a blast, huh? Makes ya want to jump right in and create your own comic strip, doesn't it?

All right, I admit - it's a LOT of work. And perhaps my choice of a DAILY schedule wasn't the smartest thing in the World. But in the end, I'm very happy with the overall product and hope y'all are, too! Even with my occasional slipup or late comic ;)

Have a good weekend, everybody!

- J!


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Rory said...

Wow - i can't believe it is so much work... for almost 5 years...

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you type the header and footer new every time or do you use a template?


At 12:29 AM, Blogger Captain Joe! said...

Yessir - I know I should just create a template and lay the art down onto it, but I get some kind of macabre satisfaction from typing "copyright joe d'angelo" over and over and over and over. Plus I like to randomly change the color of the title... and what's more, I'm stubborn and stuck in my primative ways. :)

- J!


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