Posts Tagged ‘drawing’


The History of Reading, Vol. 2

I am still alive, and still mak­ing comics!

I actu­ally drew most of this one a year ago, but for some rea­son I didn’t fin­ish it in time for the hol­i­days. I’ve been hang­ing onto it until now so I can send it to Mrs. Andrews with her Christ­mas card. Do any of you have any spe­cial teach­ers you still com­mu­ni­cate with as a grownup?


Posted: December 18th, 2012
Categories: comics
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mini-comic: we’re tired

Yes­ter­day John, Jenna, and I went on a field trip to Ft. Collins to have brunch at the Rain­bow Cafe and visit the Alley Cat. At the Alley Cat we all got so, so sleepy and I was wor­ried I would pass out in a food coma in the booth. I decided to make a lit­tle mini-comic about it in my mole­sk­ine (co-written with J & J).

Later we went to see Prometheus in Love­land (I give it a B-) and when the movie let out it was rain­ing intensely. It turned out the high­way was flooded and we ended up hav­ing to drive back to Erie on County Road 1.

All in all I real­ize this is not a super excit­ing story, but hey! We were tired! It was fun!

Posted: July 8th, 2012
Categories: comics, Daily
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A Personal History of Fire

here i came to the very edge where noth­ing at all needs say­ing… and every day on the bal­cony of the sea open fire is born and every­thing is blue again like morning”

— Pablo Neruda

Have you ever lost a piece of clothing you wish you could get back?

Big Wheel

J and my dad are schem­ing on how to build a big wheel for Burn­ing Man.


Posted: April 8th, 2012
Categories: burning man, comics, making
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Staedtler-Itoya-Micron-Rotovision (Comic Process)

I am work­ing on a new comic, but it’s tak­ing a while since I’ve been busy at work (for­tu­nately I’m play­ing with mark­ers there as well but in a much larger size).


My process is start­ing to get a lit­tle more delib­er­ate so I thought I might try to describe it here.

My kit of equip­ment is really really spe­cific. I use letter-sized paper specif­i­cally for draw­ing comics that I get at Meininger, because I have found that nor­mal printer paper (which is what I started with! so easy! so acces­si­ble!) has too much tooth and the ink is more bleedy. The kind I have is Can­son Fan­boy Manga & Comic sketch paper.

I have a deep love of mark­ers and my favoritest most awe­some won­der­ful kind are made by Staedtler: the Lumo­color per­ma­nent pens in black in B, M, F, and S sizes. I think they might actu­ally be for writ­ing on over­head pro­jec­tors so I am a lit­tle wor­ried they won’t make them for­ever. Dear Staedtler, if you are lis­ten­ing please make sure to keep man­u­fac­tur­ing your pens!

I have also found myself in need of smaller tips as I get bet­ter at draw­ing, so I have a set of the Itoya Fine­point Sys­tem pens in .5, .3. and .1 and I like them pretty well. I have never been a huge fan of Micron pens but I did need an even smaller size so I got one in 005 and I got a brush pen as well.

For my draw­ing sur­face I use a hard­cover book about brand­ing from when I was in school for design at RMCAD. :D It’s not even a good book but it’s the per­fect size to hold on my lap (I draw sit­ting on the floor with my back against the couch). I always put 5 or 6 sheets of copy paper under the sheet I’m draw­ing on, which gives the per­fect “squishi­ness” to the sur­face and helps man­age bleed-thru.

Other impor­tant parts of my kit are a big chisel sharpie (ter­ri­ble not-true blacks but some­times you need a really wide marker), a Sumo mechan­i­cal pen­cil, and a 16 inch metal ruler. Oh and my lap­top and or phone for image ref­er­ence. Fin­ished or in process stuff lives in a folder (upon exam­i­na­tion it appears to be a Mead Five Star folder labeled Psych from when J was undergrad).


I think one of the things I like best about draw­ing comics is that they aren’t hard to write since they are usu­ally based on some­thing real: a dream, a mem­ory, or an event.  Though I orig­i­nally just drew them in real time, mak­ing them up as I went, I have started actu­ally sto­ry­board­ing them out in pen­cil first on a sheet of copy paper. This way I can fig­ure out what the words are, how many cells I need to say what I am try­ing to say, and what images would go along to tell the story.

When I actu­ally start mak­ing the final comic I start by draw­ing the black­ened edges and mast­head area with my ruler and the B marker or the chisel Sharpie. I started doing this because my scan­ner can’t scan all the way to the edge, but I like the look of the heavy bor­der. I then let­ter the mast­head (is it called a mast­head in comics? I think that word might be a holdover from my news­pa­per class days).

Finally, I draw each row of cells (with the B Staedtler marker denot­ing the bor­ders), mov­ing from the top of the page to the bot­tom, let­ter­ing in the story as I go in the Itoya .5. For more com­plex visu­als I sketch lightly in pen­cil first and then erase the lines once I ink. Oh yeah! Part of my kit is a big white eraser. I would say about half of the pic­tures are drawn in pen­cil first, but I would pre­fer not to have to do this because it’s slower and I hate pencils. :)

I always have my com­puter nearby to look up pho­to­graphic ref­er­ences for what­ever I am draw­ing. Okay and now the secret part. For images with per­spec­tive I will some­times put my paper over the bright com­puter screen and trace some guid­ing out­lines in pen­cil! I cheat! It’s true! But I am get­ting bet­ter at per­spec­tive in gen­eral and who cares any­way, it’s how the whole thing comes together than really matters.

Well, that’s about it, tried and true at this point. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my process and look for a new comic soon.

Posted: March 29th, 2012
Categories: comics, making
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Human-Centered Design Comics

I really can’t believe I:

  • did these in 2006
  • for­got
  • ever let myself get so dis­con­nected from the basic tools of being a designer (my brain, a pen, and paper. even tho these were actu­ally my brain, my wacom tablet, and illustrator.)


Posted: December 1st, 2011
Categories: comics, making
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The Many-Coated Man

The History of Reading, Volume One

super. ∞

I haven’t been dream­ing a lot, so instead I made a pic­ture of a camera:

Posted: November 15th, 2011
Categories: comics, dreams, making
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3 things I spilled this week

Well, really it was last week that I had 3 spills…

This is my most per­sonal comic yet. It was this time last year when we lost Mr. Kitty to lym­phoma & kid­ney dis­ease. Octo­ber 17, I think. I don’t even care if half of this is drawn one way and half the other — we really miss him and it was super hard to draw about it but also very mean­ing­ful to try.


Posted: October 25th, 2011
Categories: comics, making, words to rest in
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Muriel, Keeper of the Feather Toy

Muriel has a pink toy with a bell that she car­ries around the house. Once it was long like a feather boa but now it is a fluffy stub.

Posted: October 17th, 2011
Categories: comics, Daily
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Monchichi, Defender of the Shower

Monchichi likes to sit out­side the shower on the bath mat. She is the Defender of the Shower.

Posted: October 16th, 2011
Categories: comics, Daily
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Comments: 1 Comment.

john’s grandparents’ house drawings, by john

A draw­ing of J’s grand­par­ents’ house in Wil­low­brook (4 houses up from where I lived as a kid and on the ridge):

The pool room:

The neigh­bors’ house (they had a monkey):

Posted: October 14th, 2011
Categories: comics, making, My Life 1979-2001
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