All posts by Scott Thornton

Thumbnails and Process

My new comic is coming along … slowly. Here are some thumbnails, more proof that I am actually working on this thing! lol. This will be jibberish to most, but an essential part of the process.  After the script is finished, my next step is create these thumbnails. This is the stage where you really refine the story telling and set the pacing and flow etc. I will do this for the entire book and probably rearrange and redraw many, many times. Even with a script I still let this phase further shape and mold the story. For me since I am writing and drawing, the script is actually more like a first draft for me. Instead of rewriting over and over, I’ll move to thumbnails. Then the thumbnail stage really becomes the second (and third and so on) draft. A lot of the time there may be some story aspects with the script to still work out and sketching and drawing really helps me figure these out.

I have a template I print out that has boxes for 4 comic pages and a place for the page number and notes, etc. Helps keep it all organized. You can’t see the template marks in the scan though.

Usually thumbnails start out like this. These are not much more than panels and stick figures. Sometimes you get it right the first time, sometimes you will do 20 of these. This stage is just about the timing and flow of the story.

The numbers match up to the dialogue and description for that panel in the actual written script.

After the thumbnails are finalized I will flesh out the page a little more on a full sized piece of regular 8.5×11 paper, like the image below. Still it’s just a loose sketch, but I this is where the page takes shape, all the props are included, backgrounds are added, final viewpoints and layout are decided on. Text placement is important here too. When this is the way I want it, I will scan it in photoshop. I blow it up to fit the proper, larger 10×15 window on a 11×17 sheet of bristol board. ThenI print it back out. This will get put on a light box, taped to the back of my bristol board to be used as a guideline for the final drawing. I’m not going to go any further with my process, I don’t want to show any final art yet … not until I’m read to start publishing.

There you have it. A little window into my process and what I have been secretly working late at night over the last few years. One day it will be finished … One day.

 

 

 

 

Script Update

You know, I don’t have a lot of time to work on my new comic, but I am making progress. With 2 kids, a business to run and other responsibilities of “grown up”, like spending half my Sunday every week for 2 months raking up leaves from the 30 trees in my yard, it is hard to find extra time. I spend a lot of nights where I fire up the computer at midnight to get an hour in here and there. Last night I had a big breakthrough with working out something complicated with the story. One day soon I will write a post about my writing process … until then, proof that I am actually working on the comic … Screenshots from my script in Evernote.

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New Comic Book Day! 01/11/017

I don’t have much time this week, so here are some quick takes.

If Moonshine, was just about prohibition and gangsters, I would possibly be my favorite book. I love the team, 100 bullets is an all time favorite and I love the time period … I’m just not into the whole Werewolf thing. But the team alone will keep me reading for now.

Southern Bastards has such a unreliable shipping schedule but it’s worth the wait. I’m really interested to see how “what’s his name” from the first chapters daughter will play into this. I hope we get back to that story soon.

Outcast is still great (I need to watch the tv show still). I feel like it is starting to drag it’s feet a little. I want to say that it could just be from reading monthly … I bet it reads better in trade, BUT, Walking Dead is satisfying almost each month, so IDK. I feel like Kirkman just needs to just tell us what is going on and move on or leave the mystery as is but focus on different aspect of the story besides what’s currently going on with the big bad (I’m horrible with names and too lazy to look it up).

I’m an issue behind on Invisible republic, so not much to say.

Jessica Jones is solid, I’m not sure I buy the reason for her going to jail and making things such a mess with Luke Cage, but we still don’t know the details. I’ll hold out that it comes together. It doesn’t matter either way, it’s Bendis and Gayos, Alias (Classic), part 2 … I’m in for the long haul.

Speaking of Alias  …

Until next week!

New Comic Book Day! 01/04/016

I skipped a couple weeks because of the holidays so I was anxious to get to my LCS. There were so many good books this week that I’m not sure where to start.

I’m so glad to see Smallwood back on Moon Knight full time, he is probably my favorite artist right now. I love what he is doing on this book. I’m also anxious to see if there is any big twist or death at the end of this Walking Dead arch. I think the art on WD is the best it’s ever been. I really liked Charlie Allreds past work on it, but it did get a little rough. But what do you expect, he was drawing/inking a monthly book (most years more than monthly) single handedly that came out like clockwork, so I give him a pass. But now that there is an inker and colorist(grey tones) to help, it is so much more refined. I didn’t like the way the new inker inked Charlies work at first, but he has really grown into it.

The more I think about it the more I realize Deadly Class is my favorite book overall right now … if I had to pick one. I’ve raved about it before, the writing, wit, art, characters, it’s all great. Remender and Craig are knocking it out of the park. The new Class has really grown on me and in many ways these characters are more intriguing than the original group. Plus when a book can make you actually laugh out loud with what is essentially a 4-5 page fart joke, you know you’re on to something. Now, having praised these other books, I can’t believe the book that I am anxious to read first is … The Flinstones. Yes, the Flintstones, lol.

The Flintstones really is good, don’t roll your eyes. I still don’t believe it and never would have given it a chance if it wasn’t for the iFanboy podcast constantly talking about it. They wore me down so I decided to try it last month. I wrote about it here. I like that it’s basically a one and done story and is a quick easy read. A lot of these other books, I feel like I have to re-read the previous issue or go back and at least flip through to remember everything that is going on. That’s not a knock on any of the writers, just the fact that I have a poor memory and read/watch too many different books/series. The Flintstones were also a childhood favorite of mine. I remember during summer breaks, back in the day when we only had four channels (3 networks and some Canadian channel), this would come on in the middle of the day. Since there was nothing else on but soaps and news and there wasn’t always something fun and exciting to do outside, it became something I looked forward to each day. When you think Flintstones you probably think kids. But keep in mind this is not a kids book, they are definitely writing for adults. Most people don’t realize that the Flinstones were the Simpsons of their time. They aired in Prime Time and it written for adults to enjoy. It was a cartoon version of the Honey Mooners. I can’t believe I keep going on about this book. I’m done. Until next time.

This weeks inspiration

Here is some weekly inspiration. I clipped some of these because of the color schemes. I love the color used in Deadly class. I also love the texture used by Greg Smallwood in Moon Knight. As a graphic designer by trade there are lot of interesting layouts integrating type that I like and have pulled some inspiration from. I think I may make this a regular feature. I do this anyways for myself. I keep a folder of inspiration and reference. Why not share!

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New Comic Book Day! 12/14/16

Another week another trip to the comic store. I can’t wait to dive into Reborn, Jessica Jones and Moonshine this week. I can’t decide which to read first. I grabbed Rockstars simply because I’m a sucker for Image number one’s. I’m just hoping to get in on the ground running with the next Walking Dead or Saga. Unfortunatly there hasn’t been anything great lately. Mayday, Motor Crush and Violent Love were some recents image number one’s that all fell short. Violent Love sounded promising, a Bonie and Clyde type of story that had some cool art but was it was a let down. I am always on the lookout for a good Christmas comic too. People watch the same Christmas specials and movies each year, but there aren’t many great Christmas comics that you want to revisit each year. DC Rebirths Holiday Speicial, isn’t one of them, although the flash story was ok.  I had to try it out thought. I also grabbed Optimus Prime for my son, it looks good, I’ll be checking it out but it will be hard to top “More Than Meets the Eye” for me. That was just just a fun story. I picked up handful of dollar bin X-men books to fills some gaps and a stack of older IDW Transformers to give Logan for Christmas! Until next week!

Comic Book Day! 12/07/2016

Here is my haul this week. Walking Dead is still my go to book. I don’t usually talk about it because it is so popular and over saturated in pop culture because of the show. But, I have been reading it since the beginning and it still is as good as it’s ever been. For the rest … I am still really digging Invisible Republic. It so underrated I hope it sticks around. Moon Knight is good, but it loses something without Greg Smallwood doing the art. When he is on the book it goes from good to great … maybe even borderline classic. I love his style for this, I plan to search out all of his older books. Check Smallwoods work out here.

It seems crazy, but people are raving about this Flintstones book so I thought I would check it out. It isn’t a kids book. In the story, Bedrock is the first society ever. The first generation to leave the wild and begin a civilization. This allows the creators a great vehicle to comment on our current civilization, examing serious issues like gender norms, depression in veterans, capitalism, genocide, the shallow nature of materialism. I’m not doing it justice, but it is really interesting and after reading the first six issues I decided to add it to my pull list.

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