Next week, we start a new storyline.  It’s been a while and I got some great ones swimming around in my head. In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to pull back the curtain, so to speak, and give you a glimpse of my creative process.

Today is the initial pencil stage.  I type out the dialog first editing as I write.  Sometimes I know exactly what the dialog will be before I start, other times I’ll only know the punchline and edit as I to.  I’ll then arrange the dialog as I start blocking out the scene.  I finalize who in the strip and where they will be in the shot.  I then do a rough sketch to further visualize where all the characters are and what they are doing.  Finally, I’ll go over the rough sketch and clean it up giving more detail.

The blue line pencil hearkens back to the old board-art days.  The blue pencil color is called non-photo blue and it was a special pigment that wouldn’t show up when they would photograph the artwork and prep it for printing.  There isn’t much need for that now a days with digital printing, but cartoonists, like myself, still like to work in the blue color because it shows up better on the white paper.

Wednesday, we’ll see the inking stage.