Creating Comics Panel by Panel
Freaks & Gods Page 4 by Chris Dreier

Part 01

So at the end of last week’s post I finished up with the Octopus and his messed up “skin” after being burned. Here’s a quick reminder:

 

Gruesome, I know. It looks like it might have been a lot of work inking each one of those boils. Well, not really. I created another custom brush. It’s a ribbon style which means it repeats the pattern as long as you draw. I added pressure sensitivity so it will look like the boils get smaller or bigger as if they are going around a shape.

 

Of course if you overlap the area with the same stroke the pattern begins to line up and then it’s obvious that it’s a repeating pattern. It’s best to make opposite or different length strokes to avoid this.

 

But no matter how much you try the “sameness” will still be there. So after the strokes I selected it and added a slight “ripple” to the pattern. This breaks it up enough to create a look of different size and shaped circles.

Then I went through and added shadows underneath some of the “boils” and altered a few here and there. It sounds like a lot but trust me, it saved me a lot of time.

 

In this panel I used the pressure sensitivity to my advantage to create large or small boils that seem to flow over his shoulder and back.

What’s really interesting is this character only appears in these two pages and never again. I have no plans to bring him back. So….I made a custom brush for 3 panels. Ha!

 

Part 02

Flame Girl blasting the Octopus with everything she has! Her hands and flames were inked on a separate layer so I can change its color during the flatting stage.

You can see that Giuseppe (penciler) drew the lines in her hands going down to the center of her palms. I placed a”radial line” ruler off to the right so every feathered line would point in that direction. Ya know… a blast. Also, keeping in mind the single light source. Which Giuseppe did a great job in the pencils.

 

Part 03

Getting their good sides. The last two panels of page four are profiles facing away from each other. But since I’m left-handed I’ve got into the habit of starting every page on the right side and working left. This way (back in the day) I wouldn’t drag my hand over the inks, smudging them or smearing spots that are not quite dry. Of course that isn’t a concern for me anymore but…old habits are hard to break.

 

Atoman is pensive and Flame Girl is concerned. I wanted a slightly different style for this Exclusive Comic than what we had been doing for the regular Freaks & Gods series. Giuseppe turned in this “lighter” style and I love it. It’s easy to interrupt and faster to ink. These two panels are great examples. My brush strokes are light and easy and I try not to add more than I have to.

Chris Dreier

Writer, Artist, Inker, Colorist
His career as an inker over the past twenty years had him working with Antarctic Press, Chaos Comics, AC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Avatar Press, IDW,  SkyStorm Studios, and Joe Books. Chris is currently working on his creator-own project Freaks & Gods.