For the next week and a half, I have three projects overlapping each other: penciling/inking Fantastic Four, penciling/inking issues from a TBA Wildstorm mini-series, and penciling/inking a 17 page Fables story for Vertigo. All just in time for the holidays, but I am not complaining, given the economy. And, here in Portland, OR, we are still snowed in, so I have the time to do nothing but draw.
Today's post are some panel roughs for The Fantastic Four, which I will later blow up and trace and tighten. Just for fun, I re-sketched the figure of Sue, larger. I am happier with the smaller figure, which has a spontaneity and energy in the pose that the larger drawing lacks. I also gave her a knife. And different hair. I guess she's not really Sue anymore.
One of the panels in my current Fantastic Four issues calls for a panel of Sue Storm, just hanging out in the Baxter Building reading while her phone rings. I thought it was a nice image, so I posted it here. Again, this is a penciled drawing that has been adjusted to be dark for photo readiness.
I ink using ballpoint, gel, and rollerball tipped pens. The best pens, I have learned, are gel pens from Japan that I get at Kunikuniya, a Japanese bookstore in my area. Importing pens from Japan isn't always timely, so I am always experimenting using different brands that I can find easily at Office Depot or other similar store. The biggest hurdle in finding the right pen is finding one in which the ink doesn't bead up or 'skip' when drawing directly on the graphite on the paper. When I get a new pack of pens, I will open up my sketchbook and start inking various drawings I previously rendered in pencil. If I bought a pack of pens that don't work out for me, I relegate them to be used for crazy things like writing checks or grocery lists.
This image is one of my "let's test out this pen" inks.
(BTW, the pen used here was a Japanese Uni-ball Signo .35, for those of you dying to know)
Usually, for my comics, I pencil and ink traditionally, like most artists (of course, my version of traditional inking is using ball point gel pens almost exclusively). However, for my current issue of Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, there is a tight deadline and no real time for standard inking. In these situations, editors can opt for 'enhanced pencils', which means tight pencils with the contrast computer adjusted so it's high enough to darken the grays for print.
Here are before and after examples. Though I am pleased with the end result, I still prefer traditional inking. In the case of this issue, I decided to only spot blacks on the characters themselves throughout the book, and not on background or foreground elements.
Having once, years ago, been fairly good at keeping a sketch blog, I've decided to give it another go. Since the birth of my daughter in 2005, there just hasn't been the time, but now that she is older, I think I can manage to squeeze in a sketch and rambling every couple of days. Here goes...
Welcome to my sketch blog. I am a comic book creator, artist, and illustrator, and this site is used for regular updates of sketches and advance peeks at projects I am working on. To see more visit
My comic book credits include:
FABLES (DC/Vertigo) BITE CLUB (DC/Vertigo) LUCIFER (DC/Vertigo) RED HERRING (DC/WildStorm) MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR (Marvel) SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE (Marvel) THE ESCAPIST (Dark Horse Comics) PRIVATE BEACH (SLG)*
*nominated for an Eisner Award for Best New Series 2002