My son Wyatt has no shortage of comic ideas. If he had an “idea processor” that could print out new ideas as he thought of them, he could have a comic in all the New England weekly papers. But like his dad before him, he gets things done at the last minute – which means that the day before his monthly comic is due it’s time to act fast to get the installation done.
Wyatt draws out his first rough draft for “Farmer Father, City Son” as quickly as he can. He says he starts with a spark of an idea, then with this idea, it grows and forms until he has a picture in his head. He lays out a series of panels on a large sheet of graph paper. His first sketches are “really sloppy”. He then “tightens them up” in his second draft.
On his third draft, Wyatt switches to an ink pen and his light-box table. He tapes his second draft to the glass of the table top, and turns on the light beneath the glass. This helps illuminate the drawing, so when a new sheet of paper is placed over it he can see the rough drawn sketches underneath. He then copies over those lines in pen for a clearer and more defined picture.
I work with Wyatt to add fine tuning ideas like perspective and shadowing. Again using the light-box, we ink in those details, and draw the words and thought bubbles in pencil.
This final draft is sent to Todd Jones, editor at the Cabot Chronicle. He puts it in his computer, cleans it up and resizes the pictures to fit the available space in the paper. He adds panels, speech and thought bubbles, and types in Wyatt’s text. We have not yet had a chance to observe this end of the process, but hope to in the future.
See the final product of all this work in the next Cabot Chronicle and posted here below!