Creating Comics Panel by Panel
Freaks & Gods Page 14 by Chris Dreier

Welcome back to Panel by Panel. It’s like a diary of me creating my comic. 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.


I just love how the barbarian on the left looks with his arm up and out. It makes me chuckle. Anyway, here we are page 14. The background pencils had a nice thick forest but at this time of the story they are at a giant high-tech citadel. So I just dropped in a background that mimics the look of a “future” city. Also, for some reason Magno is there on the right in the foreground when it should be Atoman. I just changed him to Atoman while inking.

As you can see I’m continuing my resolution of starting on contour lines of figures. For me it makes the inking seem to go faster. Onto the feathering and other details of the figure keeping in mind the form, light source, and materials, i.e. hair, skin, clothing.




I can’t help but look at Atoman (the guy on left) and think the top of his head’s been sliced off and placed back on. Weird.

I fixed a few things in this panel. I defined the nose a bit more, fixed his hair and mouth. I’m sure you notice when looking at these pages that many forms are indicated by simple shapes…like that on Atoman’s neck. See how I fleshed it out with feathering and line weights? Oh yeah, I added a background too.



Magno is flexing his magnetic powers. Here again, Giuseppe (the penciler) indicates Magno’s form with simple black areas. In the inks you can see how I feather them out with the direction of the shapes, same with Flame Girl. Also, check out how that beam on the door runs right into her hand. Not a fan of that sort of stuff because it will obscure the hand and her gesture. So I moved it way down. There…that’s better.



The “entering the citadel” scene was lackluster. It was really only these three walking into a…well, just look.

It gave no sense of location or even a feeling of “closure” about the huge door Magno was ripping open. I added another of my own backgrounds. I think this one is much better. So I inked the whole background on its own layer and the trio on their own layers.  A little bit of tone adds to the “moment”.



The door peels back and it’s open! I really changed this panel a lot, from the bent metal doors to the hallway inside, to Magno himself. This page was the most challenging I’ve had in a long, long time. But we’re almost finished! I saved the best for last.



ACTION! YES!!! These poor barbarians never stood a chance. Good thing our heroes went easy on them. This scene has even lighting. So, I decided to use Flame Girl and Atoman’s powers as mini light sources on their figures. Not spotlights, just a little light. I really don’t have much to add about this panel. I made some decisions along the way with each character so look back and forth. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.


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 with the progression diary 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.