Well, I hope you all got the chance to purchase the Kerrang! Komic while it was still available in shops. If not, I can now actually upload the comic that I contributed so you can see it here. I thought I would also show you the process I went through from sketch work to final product for anyone interested.
Step One – Roughs
After I was sent the finalized script for the comic, I got to work straight away on the thumbnails and an eventual rough. I think I had about 5 thumbnails altogether trying to figure out the spacing and sizing of the panels. I hadn’t worked with such a tight frame work before as I am used to larger full page spreads, so this was a really good exercise for me. I actually looked through a load of old strips of Ray Zell’s Pandora to get a feel for the sizing and possible panel structure. Above is the finalized rough that I sent off to the editor for approval.
Step Two – Pencils & Inks
It took a little time for my approval to come through as the editor was obviously very busy putting the actual issue of Kerrang! together, so when it came through I had to move quite quickly. I wanted to get the finl piece through to him in plenty of time in case their were any big changes that needed to be made. He only made a few notes on the rough. One was that he decided to change the script to be a little more implicative of swearing rather than actually swearing, so we changed the dialogue in the final panel. He also wanted to zoom in on Dave Grohl in panels 4 and 5. I made these changes and went straight to inks. The rest of the process was all done without any more editorial notes as he seemed very happy with the way things were going.
Step 3 – Lettering
I moved the cleaned up inks from Photoshop to Illustrator and digitally lettered the script. The good thing about doing this before colouring is you can add some nice colours/effects to the bubbles later on in the process. As this was quite a simple comic and had a lot lettering, I decided to add some colour to the bubbles/boxes just to make it a little more interesting.
Step 4 – Basic Colours
I then went in to basic colours. With a more intricate piece I would probably flat out all of the colours, but as this was the same figure in each panel with little detail (due to the size of the comic at reproduction size), not many colours were actually needed. Once I had the basic foreground tones sorted out I went in and added the background, detailing, light and shadow.
The final piece was then saved in a variety of ways (TIFFs, JPGs, CMYK & RGB) etc… and sent off to the editorial staff. This is simply to ensure that they have different file types in case they wanted it for internet use, or wanted to edit it in some way. I’m happy to say they were very happy with the final product and no changes were made to it.
Cover photo is © Kerrang! Magazine 2014