Page 23 Steps:

This is how each page goes from pencils to published:

1 - Penciling. I can't really tell you much about the penciling process. That's all done by my associate, Nicolas Colacitti. I give him the basic story, maybe some ideas on how I'd like the page set up, and he goes crazy with it. After each page, he emails me a scan asking if there's anything he should add or change. Usually I say something like, "Stop being so good! I can't ink that well! By the way, could you make Jed's eyes a little smaller?" After 10 pages, he mails them to me and I get to inking.

2 - Inking. After I receive the pages, I can usually ink them all in about two weeks. Being the consummate professional that he is, Nic usually over-pencils everything. This is terrific for an inker like myself. This allows me to choose what to keep, what to skip over, and what to add. For instance, you may notice that Jed's hat had much more shadow on it in the pencil stage than I eventually gave it when I inked. Nic says that shadows add drama, I say - at least when inked (in pencils it looked beautiful) - shadows can look sloppy. Especially if I'm inking.
3 - Toning. Once the inking is completed on 20 pages, it's time for the computer. I'll take it to a large scanner (which, if you want to know, is capable of scanning 11" x 17." When it's done, it turns the drawing into a 2:1 scale pdf file. All the whites are transparent, which makes adding, erasing, and clarifying much easier) and then email all the pages to myself. Then, one page at a time, I'll add crosshatching, add zip-a-tone, and make the whites whiter and the blacks blacker. I'm also able to change any panels, should the story call for it. For instance, you might notice Jed's face has changed in the third panel (I also added some background).
4 - Lettering. I learned a long time ago that I can't letter to save my life. I got made fun of it when I was attending school and I got made fun of it when I taught school. I tried to letter my comic a couple of times (see my mini-comics or Jed Jr. #0 for examples of how awful I am), but no one could ever read it. So I made my own font, made a few word balloons (which I should work more on; they don't always look right), and now I type everything on the computer. I think the biggest drawback is that I'm not able to experiment. Like if someone throws up, I can't use an artistic I have to use the same old "PUKE!"

5 - Cut to Size. Most printers now-a-days accept digital files of pages (in fact, many that I've spoken to in my few years of research only accept digital files); this is one of the main reasons I began scanning the art. Because of this, and because I don't want to pay pre-press costs, everything has to be perfect. The art has to be exactly the right size (6" x 9"), the pages have to be exactly the right size (6.625" x 10.25"), and the files have to be exactly the right type and resolution (depending on the company, .tif or .pdf, and no less than 300 dpi).

It takes a while, but that's how I make every page of every issue.

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