Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maddi Update

If you follow my blog, you might remember Maddi. Maddi is sort of my student, as I am helping her make a comic book for a school project. Right now, she is doing the layouts and breakdowns for her book. I've only seen a few thus far- but she's doing a great job and I'm really liking her anime twist on the Turtles.
This letter was sent to her this morning, with answers to some questions that she had--

Hey Maddi-
I guess as far as what you want to use for paper and inking tools are totally up to you- I probably would reccomend whatever you feel most comfortable with. For me, I use Strathmore 300 series paper, with a smooth surface. The ink flows nice on this paper, and the line does not run, or give a furry look. As for ink, I've been using disposable Japanese brush pens, however these have proven very hard to find. The closest thing that I have found that seems to be more widely available is a pen made by Faber-Castell. It's called a PITT artist's pen. It has a flexible tip that mimics a brush. It gives a nice variable line but takes some practice to get the hang of. Line weight and variation gives a more interesting look to your art. For example, if you use a certain pen to do the art in the comic, try using a thicker pen for your panel borders. Use a different weight pen for your lettering. Sometimes when I see amateur comics, like when someone shows me their portfolio at a show, they have inked the entire thing with the same pen. This, in my opinion, gives the art a kind of flatness.

My question to you about printing, means at the end of this project when your comic is done, I'm assuming that you will hand in an actual comic book. Running them off on a photocopier is probably the best way to accomplish this. In my experience, these comics are known as ashcans. If this is what you want to do, take a 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of copier paper, and fold it in half. This will be the finished size of your comic. You can do the actual art bigger, and reduce it to fit on this page ( which I reccomend) but you will need to keep it proportional to this size. What I do is draw a line from the lower left corner up through the upper right corner and beyond... make a new vertical OR horizontal measurement, take that measurement to the new upper right hand corner and then simply add then the missing line. I don't know how clear I'm being- write back if you're confused. Anyway, once the pages are done, we can reduce them to fit, then depending how many pages there are, there is a certain way to arrange them on copy paper (in order that we get printed pages on both sides of the paper) and we can run them off on any old photocopier. I'll explain this better when we get there.

Lastly, yes, I am going to San Diego. Yeah, sorry- I've heard the tickets are pretty pricey but from what I've heard it's extravagant and enormous and hopefully, worth it.

Write back if you have any questions, BTW- when is the deadline for this book? This is me, but I always get nervous about when things are due.

Later- Jim


  1. Too cool! :D Please let us know, Jim, if she's going to have a place (either at a convention or online) where we can pick up her comic! :D

  2. This is really nice of you to help her, I wish I had a mentor of sorts to help me along.

  3. Jim, you are one helluva nice guy. I think it's great that you're giving her so much advice and helping her grow as an artist.

    I hope to meet you in San Diego!

  4. Thanks for your masterclass, Jim!
    That's really incredible.

  5. Maddi is very fortunate to have you as a mentor. She's clearly in good hands.

    I would also be interested in seeing the finished comic book once she is done. Please keep us posted.

  6. -->> Good Luck, Maddi .. ..please share with us finished product.

  7. It's great to hear you helping her out further Jim, and as others have said, would like to see her finished comic when it's done. Do you know where you'll be at San Diego so we can come over and say hi finally? :)