Doffers’ Theatre of the Unconscious #3

Apologies for the delay but finally here’s the latest episode in Doff’s dream saga. Click the comic for a larger view.

Despite spending several hours wrestling with channel settings to get the colours to come out how they looked in Photoshop, this was a fun one to make. Plenty of swiping from Mike MIgnola’s drawing style and Dave Stewart’s colouring as I tried to mimic their tone for this little story. I’ve also been reading the DC Comics Guide to Colouring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein which I can’t recommend enough.

Layout thumbnails, notes, and inked page after the jump.

I started with a slight variation of the basic 6 panel layout I used in #1 and sketched a rough idea in pencil.

It tuned out fine but I thought the pacing could be improved with a more dynamic panel layout and the final image needed a close up on the figure so I could put more detail into the face to make the likeness more recognisable. With a bit more consideration, I settled on the layout below (though I divided the last panel in two for the final piece).

Happy with the layout, I moved onto final pencils and inks. I forgot to take a photograph of the finished pencils but I did get one once the inks were done.

After the image was scanned in, I started lettering in Illustrator. Here I realised I had a rookie error at the drawing stage. The panel with the horse’s head had been intended to contain lettering but I had not left the required space to do so without disturbing the image. Always leave about 1/3 dead space in a panel for the letterer to work with. Fortunately the previous panel had some space I could cram the words into, but this was less than ideal.

I completed the colours in Photoshop, now armed with an array of colouring tips from Chiarello’s book. I kept effects to a minimum, in keeping with the flat, graphic style of the drawing, but I did thow in a simple colour gradient at one point and used a colourhold to change the tone of some of the black inks.

Another tool I used was a selection of comic book colour swatches from Neil McAllister. From these I was able to use the original 124 colour palette available to comic colourists in the ’70s. Taking these colours as a starting point, you can create images that have a very comic-y look.

Thanks for reading, I’ll have another dream comic next week. Let me know what you think of this one.

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