PS: I know today's comic is a little traumatic. Please hang in there, for me. We will get through this together!
Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Team Edition
Got a question you want answered? Just drop me an email with "Q & A" in the subject line!
"I love how you keep using things like 'Friends!' and 'Team!'
Are you secretly the manager of an high street/mall/insert appropriate retail adjective electronics store?" -Paul
It's just how I talk! I feel much more comfortable addressing you all as "friends" or "team" than as, I don't know, "fans". Or "peons."
"I recall you're penciling/inking the comic on Real Paper, then scanning and digitally adding bubbles + non-sfx text. The grey shading is way too uniform to be marker - Is that
completely digital, or do you draw blue boundaries on paper, then fill in photoshop and remove the blue? Also, for the mostly-black panels - do you ever draw "negatives" and invert in photoshop, or always draw with steely discipline until just the slim white line you need is left?
Secret Bonus Question: In old comments, you mention working 1-2 months in advance -
is the legendary backlog still that long, or what is it now?" -Karsten
The shading is completely digital! Even the outlines for the blocks of grey are drawn on the computer. (With a mouse, actually -- I do have am actually drawing tablet that I use for digital art, but I still use the mouse for the grey shading just out of habit.) I certainly plan for where the grey is going to go when I'm pencilling and inking the comic, but it doesn't get added in until after I've inked and scanned.
I absolutely use the "draw negatives and invert them" trick, pretty much any time I want to have white lines on a black background. The white lines above the "SPLOOM" in today's comic are a good example. The "X" on Mr. X's face is also usually done that way, too.
Back in the day, I would have done them the hard way, painstakingly filling in the black area around the lines by hand! But I'm not one to overlook an easier solution when it works.
Secret Bonus Answer: My infamous two-month buffer was utterly destroyed when I was writing my honours thesis in 2005. These days, I have a much smaller and more erratically sized buffer, depending on how close I am to my next convention trip, vacation, or other absence. (Right now, I'm two strips ahead, because I'm prepping for being away for a week during San Diego Comic-con.) Pretty much any time I'm not away I try to get a little bit ahead, because I know I'll need that lead sooner or later enough.
"Sooooooooooooo.....in your sketch off is one of them a Dune reference?" -Brian
It is, but I can't take credit for it! All the Sketch-Off ideas were based on reader suggestions, Sand Buddy included.
That's a wrap for this week! See you on Monday... TEAM.