Sunday, July 5, 2009


Above, are thumbnails for upcoming pages for Border Crossings, which you can find right here. If you can make out my little scratchings, some of the pages up there (most notably 9, 10, and 13) have an alternate or two, in the event I didn't think a panel was working as well as it could have been.

This is actually a pretty recent trend for me in thumbnailing for my comic pages. Before, I would often scribble directly on the script, often right beside the panel description or near it. It was great because I could immediately map out what I had in mind, or I could try a few different variations and then notate which one I wanted to use later. Eventually, I'd reference them for them I start laying in my pencils, or I would scan them in, and stitch them together into a frankenstein Photoshop file, then pencil above that.

Unfortunately (at least for me, as all artists have different quirks to them,) it wasn't ideal. I often ran into the problem of having panels that didn't mesh together well enough, or were a lot more out of proportion with the comic page than I actually thought. What was once a great composition for the panel would have to be readjusted, or completely rethought if it turned out not to work as well.

So I made up a little thumbnail contact sheet in Illustrator, something even the simplest of graphic program users can do. From there, I still will occasionally scribble an idea directly on the script, but now I thumbnail directly into the little boxes (which, if you notice, are proportionate to a 10 x 15 live area of comic board, which is what I most frequently use.) Everything's in proportion, it's a small enough space to prevent too much noodling (though you might notice I couldn't help myself here and there,) and it lets you see a set of pages all at once to see if they work together or not (an incredibly important notion regarding any sort of sequential pages.)

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