Creating Comics Panel by Panel
Freaks & Gods Page 13 by Chris Dreier

Welcome back to Panel by Panel. Here you’ll see the progress of my comic Tales of the Dark Tunnel (which is world-building for my series Freaks & Gods). Also, you may see some tips, shortcuts, ideas for story flow, how-tos, problem-solving, or maybe you’re just here to see some cool art.

Let’s jump right into this week’s page.


This is the first shot of the three of them looking heroic. It’s pretty cool, right? These pencils were really good and all it needed was a solid ink job. You’ll notice little difference in the inks from the pencils. There are many hard edge lines defining shapes and shadows. I used feathering to soften the shape in areas. Overall this was a regular inking job.



This is the main villain’s citadel. I just love it. Giuseppe (the penciler) nailed this. I sure didn’t want to screw it up. First, I did the faces, keeping it close to the penciling but adding a few shadows here and there. The citadel was fun to work on. I used the polygon tool, curve tool, and felt tip pen. After having the linework pretty finished I picked a light source and added shadows. Once I did that this panel came to life. Also, I added a tone as well for more shading.




I really love Magno’s expression. It’s perfect for the dialogue. I fixed up Atoman’s (guy in foreground) eyes and hair while inking.


Flame Girl also has an amazing expression and I didn’t want to lose it while inking. If you aren’t careful the perfect expression can be minimized when inking. The barbarian in the background was inked on a different layer. I will change the linework color to a dark gray when I colored it. I hoped this would help with separation from those in the foreground.


Almost forgot. Barbarians are hairy.



Barbarians at the gate. I have a little trick I use for inking hairy arms, legs, and beards. I use a lot of thin, tiny brush strokes letting some go past the contour lines. Using white or transparent I go over the contour lines to give the appearance of hair. I think it’s effective.



Well, something set him off!  I changed the attacking barbarian’s expression and added a long sweeping shadow across his chest on the right side. I think that adds to the appearance he’s really swinging out that sword.


Please visit the ShoutFyre forums and leave a question or comment. Let’s have a conversation about making comics!

That should do it for this week. Thanks so much for checking out my how-to/follow along progression of my comic book series. I really hope you are enjoying it!

Don’t forget to check out my other posts.

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!


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.