Because this Monday was my birthday and I was going out of town on the weekend, I asked Rades if we could take a week off the “regular” comic! We agreed to do it and just have something for filler. I thought that especially since I now do most of the comic on paper that it might be interesting for you to see where I do it and what it looks like from my end.

I hope that the hand-drawn quality comes through on the comics. As mentioned briefly above, I wanted really variable line width and a lot of control over the “feel” of the drawings and the best way I have found to do that is a really fine brush and acrylic artist’s ink. It has its own quirks and peculiarities, too, like that it unfortunately starts drying out usually halfway through inking a page. It gets pretty thick and sludgy, at which point I have to get some fresh ink and clean my brush. I could use a thinner ink but the blacks don’t scan very black. Same thing with most pens. So we moved from being very high tech (100% digital for the first few years of the comic) to somewhat archaic as I measure out the boxes and draw with a pencil. The end result is something I’m proud of, though, and I’m happy we made this change.

As you can probably tell from the different pictures, my studio wasn’t exactly pristine lately. If you want to see more before and afters, I posted some on my Tumblr back when I was doing The Great Clean. It turns out I can work much better in a clean environment anyhow. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have that the pictures don’t make clear!