Busy Work for Comic Books- Penciling and Inking Panels

I decided to do some prep work today since I had some free time. This is work that is necessary though not very creative. I’m using comic book Bristol paper that already has guidelines on it specifically for comic book work. It makes the process a bit easier than a blank sheet, though it is possible to add your own borders etc. It is 11×17”, the standard size as far as I can tell for comic books. I’m adding lines to create panels for the drawings I will do later.

I always draw in blue when doing penciling for comic work as I can filter out the blue when I scan it. I will ink over the blue drawings before scanning of course. Using the blue will save a few steps. I won’t have to erase all the pencil work because it won’t scan in, the computer can just block out the blue and only see the black ink work.

I am using a small t-square ruler that allows me to easily make 90 degree angled lines. It’s not so important to get it exactly right as I will draw over them with ink later and the designs may extend past the outline of the panels, but it’s good to get it as close as possible. They are more like a guideline than a precise dictate.

Above are some pages with panel outlines ready for the penciling stage that will come later. I do these in batches because it’s simple work but annoying and boring and takes some time to do. I like to have a lot to work with when I sit down to draw. I think it is good to set aside time for blocks of the same type of work. Getting all the paneling done at once is a good way for me to work.

I use the sides of the paper and the tops of the paper to line up the t-square and lock in the 90 degree right angle. I do this for most panels, though some pages I decide to get a little creative with, adding odd angles to make it a little more interesting. I put the ruler upside down so that the flat part of it is against the paper. It makes the process a little more interesting, though not as wild as some other comic creators.

The ruler has a cork back on it which makes it so when using ink pens, the ink will not be smudged over. There is a gap between the drawing and the ruler so that the ink has space to dry.

As I have my t-square ruler out and ready, I decided to get some other monotonous work done as well. The penciling stage was already finished for some pages and I figured I might as well prepare for the inking stage. I guess I did ten pages of panels in the penciling stage and ten in inking stage. To get ready for inking, I go over previous panel outlines and run an ink pen over the penciled lines, taking care to avoid areas where the image extended past the original blue paneling.

Please check out book one and two of this comic book trilogy.