how to comics #1


made for a friend. thought I’d share.

Here’s your first lesson. This should take an hour.
1) comics are hard

2) comics are love

3) comics are life

Make four square boxes. However big you want. I typically make mine 2” by 2”
Put your audio player on shuffle.
Write a lyric in pencil that catches your interest in the first box. One sentence long max. Single words are OK.
Press next.
Repeat in 2nd box.
Press next.
repeat in 3rd box.
Press next.
repeat in last box.

Now make a 10 by 10 grid of 1/2” by 1/2” boxes and doodle out 100 things.  One drawing in each box. 30 seconds on each box max. If you think telephone, draw how you represent the idea of “telephone”. Fill up all those boxes. Don’t stop drawing! If you’re lucky you can get to a point where you no longer think in words.(props to Ivan Brunetti)

Now go back to your 4 boxes with lyrics. What could you draw in each box to connect these seemingly unconnected lyrics? How will you write these words? Will they be captions? Will some character say them? It’s up to you, buckaroo.

This is the puzzle. This is where your wits come in. This is the AGGROCRAG.
It is my belief that if you make the goal of your comics the communication of clever, interesting ideas, you can make comics with any level of drawing ability. If you do them for long enough and think about them long and hard enough each time, they’ll get good.


Helene was written using bibliomancy.

As per my instructor,  Jason Lutes’, request.I cracked open a  French dictionary three times. Every time, I chose the first word on the page and used that word as turning point for the story 2 pages in, 4 pages in and 6 pages in. This assignment at the Center for Cartoon Studies marks the moment that I actively began to pursue the use of oblique strategies in my comics making process.

The words I got were the following:
-to discover the world
-to take flight
– journal

While working on this comic I was studying Dupuy and Berberian‘s pacing. They use predominantly tall, narrow panels on a 3 tier grid. Because of this, their comics end up focusing on particular, seemingly unimportant moments. Though they’re often times depicting mundane events and arguably frivolous social dramas between their bourgeois characters, a reader can’t help but be hooked by their masterful pacing.  The have an incredible handle on depicting city life.

Helene documents my first attempt at watercoloring a comic. This was done before I began daily watercolor practice. As such, there’s a coloring by numbers feel to much of it. I watercolored this using a light box, which presented an extremely unintuitive situation. The resulting colors were extremely light and often times to subtle. Because of that, I went in and worked like a dog in Photoshop to get the flow of colors to be more bold and dramatic.
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