PROCESS JUNKIE: Evolution of a Comic Book Page
(Guest post by Mattia!)
Special treat today as Mattia has prepared an awesome Process Junkie guest post on THE CULL! I did very minor editing to correct a few typos and to add some links and images, but otherwise it’s as written by Mattia.
It is exciting to be able to talk to fans and I hope it is the first of a long series! I would like to thank you for all the support, comments, and messages you write to me, I am so happy that you are enjoying what we are creating. We can't wait to show you much more, about the release of the first issue and much more but today I will tell you about how I made page 18 of the first issue of THE CULL!
Every single page Kelly has written is absolutely fantastic and makes things easier for me than expected. In general, her ability to write realistic and well-realized characters helps me in the acting of them, in the micro-expressions to convey the feelings to the reader as well (which is something I particularly care about).
Before I begin showing you the process for this page, I wanted to share something interesting — in the very early period when I was first getting the initial information for the characters and setting, while I was doing the first studies I accidentally listened to a piece on Spotify that I thought would be perfect for the mood of THE CULL.
Why don't you try playing the track so you can tell me in the comments if it evoked the same feelings for you as well?
So, SOUND ON!
What you see above is an excerpt from the script and in my first stage of reading, I try to get into the scene and understand how the characters feel. The second stage, on the other hand, technically speaking, I think about how big the balloons will be to give the right space between text and drawing. Here Kaite and Lux are finishing a very intense and emotional conversation, they love each other and want to take care of each other (which is something I'm also doing haha, by now it's like they're my friends too! <3)
Pencil (digital haha) in hand, this is the layout to define panels size, scene, directorial setting.
In general in these scenes I had so much fun making the contrast between the light of the flashlights and the darkness of the scene, rocks etc. and it's important in this phase because already here I’m thinking about when I will color the page.
Now let's move on to the inks. As I said in the opening, I love working on the expressions of the characters. Also, perspective and camera movement (as in panel 2), help emphasize the emotions.
Coloring page! I really like this phase because this is where all the work done earlier with lighting, shadows, and effects are really defined.
Panel 1 - 2 - 3: Kaite and Lux talk openly, trying to help each other. The camera angle on panel 2 is very important because it highlights Lux's expression before returning on panel 3 to show both looks.
Panel 4: Kaite and Lux approach the rest of the group because they are warned about a mysterious cave. Kaite and Lux are slightly blurred now to put the focus on the cave, the protagonist of the scene.
Panel 5: Opposite camera angle to show the emotions of our characters who are entering the unknown. This, like many others, are moments to show the character of each of them. Fear, determination, skepticism, are all details I can show with these panels.
And now to enjoy the final work by Hassan who did a fantastic job with the lettering! I think I challenged him in some situations (sorry Hassan, don't hate me haha!) but he always did a perfect job even when I thought it would be difficult! I am in a top team and we are all working hard to give you the most beautiful book!
Let me know what you think and keep following us, more news will be coming soon!
See you soon!
It’s honestly so much fun to get to see my collaborators talk about this stuff instead of me — don’t get me wrong, I like my voice, I’d be sunk if I didn’t — but boy oh boy do I get sick of hearing myself talk sometimes. Much more fun for me (and also less work, that too!) to listen to others talk about their process — especially on a book we’re working on together. Like Mattia, I continue to feel incredibly lucky and grateful for this team and this book, and all of you too. <3