Once I have a Jasper story synopsis worked out I begin with the rough page layouts for the entire 48 page comic album. ( I prefer ‘comic album’ to ‘graphic novel’ by the way ). I prefer to do all my rough layouts the old fashioned way using pencil on 11″ X 17″ paper. My sketching is better on paper and I think it has something to do with the friction of pencil on paper as opposed to using a stylus on digital tablet screen. Also, as I rough out the story I have to plot out beforehand what happens on each page to ensure I fit the story into exactly 48 pages. Here is the first rough pencil page layout for Jasper 3. ( I know I’ve posted this page here already, sorry, just trying to not give too much of the story away..) Click on the images to enlarge.
When I’ve roughed out the entire book ( which took about a year and a half working in my spare time on Jasper 3 ) completed many changes and corrections, then I begin with the inking process which means re-drawing the entire book with a clean black line ready for colouring. I use Adobe Photoshop program on my Wacom Cintiq digital drawing tablet for this process. It takes me about 2 or 3 full days to do 1 page of inking ( or clean line ) which can get a bit tedious, so I colour the pages as I go to make the job more interesting. When I’m inking I enlarge the image 100%, which is about 1 square inch of pencil rough enlarged to 10″ X 10″. That’s how I’m able to get into pretty fine detail ….and why it takes so long!
Then comes the fun part, adding the colour! Again I use photoshop and the digital tablet for this. Colouring is usually quicker than doing the linework depending on the page and I can usually complete colouring a page in one day. I prefer the graphic look of flat colour for Jasper but like to add some limited gradient fx here and there, usually in the background scenes.
So that’s about a week per page ( working in my spare time ) and with 48 pages that’s about a year to complete linework and colour. By the way, I’ve passed the half way mark for finished pages on Jasper and the Solar Trial. Looks like it won’t be ready by the end of this Summer (sorry Jasper readers ) but hoping for sometime later in the year. Cheers! G