Creating Comics Panel by Panel
Freaks & Gods Page 3 by Chris Dreier

Part 01

Welcome back! Today I’m working on page 3 of Tales of the Dark Tunnel Exclusive comic.

In this panel Atoman has his back to us during a conversation. I like this but I want more form and shape. I did it with feathering.

What’s the purpose for feathering? Primarily it’s there to soften black areas or show shape or form all from a light source. I feathered the back and neck area which helps to create the form.


In this case I used a brush called “turnip”. Each stroke starts as a wide line but as soon as you release the other end tapers off creating very nice feathering. In this clip you can see that the width of the taper depends on how long a line is drawn. This helps create variety while still using the same brush and settings.




I also feather with my normal inking brush remembering thick to thin with each stroke. There is one final way I use to create feathering. I’m sure I’m not the first inker to do this but I developed this while working with Avatar Press back in 2009. I place the pen down, pull gently back then flick forward. Hopefully this clip will make more sense.



Part 02


Adjusting line width.

I used the “continuous curve” tool to make the line of Flame Girl’s mask. But after it was done I wanted the bottom line a bit thicker. So instead of redoing it with a thicker line and possibly not getting the same look I adjusted the line width. Make a selection of the line.


Go to Filter >> Correct line >> Adjust line width



The dialog box opens up and I adjusted it to what looks right. Which in this case I used 6. Also in the “Process” drop down you can choose to make the lines thinner.

Part 03

This messed up guy is called the “Octopus” In the pencils you’ll notice his huge fist in the lower right corner. Obviously it’s foreshortened to give the illusion it is really close. So to help it along I’m going to ink it with depth in mind.



And by depth I meant thick lines! Yep, thick lines come back after its post from PAGE 2 last week. Best way to help show distance and depth is line variation.


And in the finished panel the fist is right up front. This page has turned out great. Now you’re probably looking at this guy thinking, “Wow, Chris sure does have patience to ink in all those circles.” Well come back next week and I’ll show you what I did to save some time without sacrificing quality.


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.