Creating Comics Panel by Panel
Freaks & Gods Page 11 by Chris Dreier
The bottom panel was important to selling the location of this story. Everything on this page was great except that. So I had to move things around. Here you can see the two versions.
First, the original pencils, then edited. I kept the two close-up panels on the right aside in case I need one of them later. I ended up using one on a later page, so wait for that in an upcoming post.
Now that I have the page ready, I started on the woodsy panel first because I love doing these types of scenes. First, there is a layer underneath the main inking layer with the distance trees. Also, I have two-tone layers, one with halftone (dots) for shadows under the leaves onto the trunks and another for sand or dirt. I have them separated so you can see.
The leaves and foliage are made with a brush I created that will be featured in May’s free download. So look for that!
That bottom panel is important to establishing location. It’s the first time our three lost heroes get a sense of just how far away from home they really are. I used the Foliage 02 brush from last week’s free download to create the overhanging clumps of grass. Simply added a shadow and it looks pretty good. Watch that first step….good thing all three of them can fly.
Wow, his hair is tall. Yep, and his neck is a bit too long as well. So I fixed that. I selected the head and moved it down a bit until it looked right. I created an image material of his logo as well as Magno’s. This way I can drag and drop it onto the page, adjust it, and ink it like it was part of the pencils.
Here’s a nice progression from each character. As per usual I ink to embellish the pencils and make them look the best they can. I softened some black areas with feathering and helped create form. Once I had the panel finished I didn’t like how high up Flame Girl’s head was and how huge Magno’s chest was. So I used “mesh transformation” to fix the chest…looks better now. I selected Flame Girl’s head including her cloak, putting the pivot point (that little “+” at the center of your transformation selection) on the right shoulder and lowered it down over the left shoulder until it was correct.
Thanks so much for checking out my how-to, which is more like a follow-along progression of my comic book series. I really hope you are enjoying it!
I truly hope you and your family stay safe and healthy during these strange times.
Keep making comics and we’ll see you next week!
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.