Comic Quandaries



So I’ve finished story-boarding the Tale of the Crippled Imp, the forthcoming graphic novel; it’s now in the hands of the editors, who will help Conrad and I fashion it into something worth reading. Here are some of the rough pages…


While all that is being examined, I’ve turned my attention to the technical details of how I’m actually going to present the finished thing. Traditionally, comics are pencilled then inked and coloured, but I’ve been experimenting with cutting out the inking process by computer trickery courtesy of Photoshop. Using a filter called ‘threshold’, it’s possible to turn a pencil drawing into a black and white outline.

Here is one of the characters to help demonstrate:



1 is the original pencil drawing, 2 is the ‘threshold’ application, 3 has been coloured mostly using Painter, which provides nice watercoloury textures. My current quandary involves whether to go for the stark black and white line drawing look of 4, or to leave the pencil as it is (5). I quite like the natural feel that this gives, but I might lose the crispness of the line drawing approach. I’ll probably have to do a whole page to see how it looks with either option – hopefully that will make the decision easier (bet it doesn’t). I have used a similar technique before, when I made Sunsound, but I wasn’t completely convinced of the effectiveness (admittedly I didn’t use the ‘threshold option, just upped the contrast of the pencil drawing). I was inspired to give it another go while reading about the creation of the excellent Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon, who used a similar technique: read about it here. Like me, he fears the tyranny of the inked line…


6 Replies to “Comic Quandaries”

  1. Looks great; can see I will need to get this when it makes it into the shops. I hope you will let us know when it does. Investigated ‘Sunsound’, which I enjoyed very much, although I was sorry that you hadn’t had time to take it any further. Keep up the good work!

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