Updating this post to show the finished page.
1. I don’t write full scripts for “Nico Bravo”. My script is the first image, a loose thumbnail drawing done freehand in Adobe Illustrator with titles, text, sound effects and word balloons. This allows me to rework and resize the drawings and will tell me exactly how much space I’ll need for the lettering.
2. When everything is as it should be, I print out the thumbnail drawing at 100% art size and use it as a starting point for the pencils by tracing it through on a lightbox. I like the size relationships and the overall energy of the thumbnails, and this allows me to keep a little bit of that as I move forward.
3. For years and years, I inked everything with a brush, usually a Windsor Newton Series 7 #5. By “everything”, I mean “Everything”, sometimes including the panel borders, although I’m more likely to use a ruling pen for that, as I did on this page. A year or two ago I switched to the Tachikawa G Nib. I’m less concerned with having a flowing inkline than I used to be (although you can certainly get this with the G nib if you want), opting for something a little more spindly and loose. The nib allows me to go faster because it doesn’t require the control needed for a brush (again, depending on the style of line you’re going for.) Anyway, ruling pen for the borders, G nib for the linework, a bit of brush for the few solid black areas.
4. With an assist by cartoonist Victoria Lau, next come the color flats, done in Adobe Photoshop. The mission here is to just block in the basic areas of color. Victoria creates the separate areas of color, then I go in and start to adjust things, first by changing these to what I think the final color choice for each object or area is going to be.
5. Once the flat fill has been organized into some basic color schemes, I go through and add lighting, texture and rendering to come up with the final color version.
6. Last stage — I go back and get that lettering I did during the thumbnail stage and throw it on top. Now that I know what the background colors are, I can add color to the titles and sound effects, etc.
Final Lettered Page:
And that’s it!