Making Comics – Enter the Ideas Room

June 15, 2021
Detail of comic Pity Party page 3, Death and the crows review some relevant Ideas Room shelves.

Pity Party page 3 is under way. Our motley crew has relocated themselves into the cartoonist’s Ideas Room, with, spoiler warning, predictable results. Read the completed pages of Pity Party in the Survival Anxiety comic archive.

One of my favourite things about making comics is the tools I get to use. I moved drawing comics off the computer a couple years ago, because I wanted to experience that tactile feeling of the paper, and ink, and pens again. I love the tools, and I wanted to learn how to be good with them.

I use a Rapidograph .8 for panel borders. Thankfully it’s the one in the set that gives me the least amount of grief. The .5 gums up endlessly. I recently cleaned them all out with 70% rubbing alcohol. It did a great job, but I may not refill some of the pens. I have a small set of Copic Multiliners that I recently outfitted with new cartridges that I keep around for when the Rapidographs need a night off. They don’t make the same lines – the plastic tips on the Comics have a little bit of give to them that the metal Rapidographs don’t have. They have different uses. Rapidographs for ruled lines, Multiliners for circle templates. Rapidographs for throwing across the room in disgust, Multiliners for asking the kids what did you do with my pen and why is it not at my desk GO GET MY PEN.

I don’t have lots of time every day to work on my comics. I get maybe a half hour on a week night, a few hours over the weekend. That’s why it takes me a month from script writing to posting a comic page online. And while I love the pens and brushes and ink, when any of them don’t work, it’s infuriating.

I’m still learning. At times it’s very frustrating. But the feeling of finishing a comic strip is still the best thing.