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.