Here’s a quick look at my comic creation process. For this example, I’m using a panel from my recent Marc Maron The Social Media Generation comic. The panel calls for one man to walk into a toilet cubicle only to find it’s occupied with a drug addict who’s getting high.


Once I have the idea for a comic I will usually lay out all the panels as ‘thumbnails’ in a notepad. As you can see, it’s extremely rough and barely legible.


From there, I use the computer to layout all the panels and print it out on A4 paper. I quickly sketch in what’s going on in the panels. Still very rough.


Ok, I know what’s going on in the panel. If needed, I find reference photos before I start a more polished drawing. I usually use Google Images or a stock photo website such as Getty Images. But since this was a very specific shot, I needed to take the photos myself so I got my wife to take some pics of yours truly in the required poses.


Using the photos as reference, I do a very loose drawing.


I scan in that loose drawing into Photoshop, add the perspective lines, enlarge it and then print it out in very light blue ink onto A3 board that I use for the final artwork.


Now that I have that light blue rough drawing as a guide, I do a much tighter drawing over the top.


Inks – I use mainly Pigma Micron pens and various brush pens. All the hard work (idea, story, pacing, pencils) is done and I consider inking to be the fun and relaxing part. You’ll notice I changed the addict’s right arm to have it injecting the needle instead of hanging down by his side.


Colouring – The inks are scanned and I use Photoshop to do the colouring. Flat colour is added – since this is mainly a black and white comic it makes things a bit easier to figure out.


Special effects and finishing touches are added such as the halftone dots, phone glow and texture. It’s done!

For all you budding cartoonists out there, I plan to write a much more detailed account of exactly HOW I add colours, special effects, what resolution my document is and all the other nitty gritty details in the future. I’ve been saying that for over a year … I’ll get around to it one day!

– Gav

PS: I’m hard at work on the new comic, look for it next week.