Comic- Comfort Love and Adam Withers


 2014 COMFORT LOVE and ADAM WITHERS  
 Professional Comic Artists - INTERVIEW  




 2011 COMFORT LOVE and ADAM WITHERS     
 Professional Comic Artists                              

By Susan Bonner 12.13.11

Comfort Love and Adam Withers, (Kendall '04), are creators of the comics the Uniques and Rainbow in the Dark.  The Uniques has been nominated for "Best Self-Published Comic" at the Shel Dorf awards! Comfort and Adam were also nominated for two Harvey Awards: Most Promising New Talent for Rainbow and the Dark and Best Anthology for Uniques Tales. Find their amazing work on the blog: http://comfort-adam.livejournal.com/ These people can draw!



 MARKET REPORT:                                                 


 DESIGN TIPS 

1. Concept about story, Benchmark all the time. 

2. There are 3 different styles of Comics: American, Web and Manga.

3. Know your target Audience.

4. Quality Matters- Make Iterations

5. Share your idea (Don't worry about copyright and someone stealing it. While you share it and the more you share it you build proof that the idea is yours.) Get Critique and feedback. Especially on story.

6. Scripting- Make many drafts, make them before drawing. Get feedback from a full range of your demographic (6-10 people minimum.) Don't be afraid to scrap what doesn't work. Story, Plot and Character: Every scene should move one or more of these elements forward.

7. Character Design: You have to do it. This was to large a topic to get into on that day.

8. Thumbnails and Roughs: Work small as a way to see layout and better judge proportions.

• The layout should include and establishing shot (1 on every page) (every scene should change).
• Vary the Camera Angles.
• Change up the sizes (scale) of the figures and elements.
• Design the eye path to flow smoothly for the images and the word balloons.

9. Integrate Human emotion - Use body language and facial expressions

10. Pencils: If tight enough inking is not required. (Comfort and Adam's process includes scanning and using a combination of levels and dodge and burn to create the high contrast "inked" page.)

11. Ink: Needed for Black Heavy Art (Manga Studio is a good software for digital inking).

12. Color: Done in Photoshop. Use the layering method flats, tones, effects.

13. Lettering: Done in Illustrator. Pay attention to eye path, flow from top to bottom and left to right just like you read. Leave margins in your speech bubbles.

14. Sound Effects (Illustrated): Blend them with the art and make it express the sound in the shapes. Text of sound should be legible and should be express loudness contrast.


 PUBLISHING TIPS 

15. Self Publishing: Digital Publishing and Print Publishing

        Digital Publishing- PDF and CBZ(sometimes CBR)

        How to create a .CBZ:

            a. line up jpgs

            b. zip it (Create Archive)

            c. rename .zip to .cbz

        Print on Demand - There is a Consistent price $2.50 -$3.00 per comic (16-32 pages)

        Print on Demand Sources: Kablam.com and IndyPlanet.com - both have stores and print.

       DCBS (Discount Comic Book Service) and Amazon have a large distribution.

16. Distribution: Print and Digital

        Print Pricing- look at the standard pricing then markup accordingly, never lose money

        Diamond- A distributer not recommended because they take 60% and are very hit and miss.

        Print is a dying market.

        Tablet views of comics are done in the browser and apps.

        Digital Pricing- 99 cents (period.) (There are tiny margins at this price)

       Digital distributors include Comixology, Wowio, Payloadz, Drive Thru Comics, Graphicly. For getting your comics distributed this way community and referral is everything. Niche Audiences are everything and a long tail is key. Find several demographic niches to buy your comic and merge them into your circle. You need to become a micro-celebrity. Utilize Tumblr, Deviant Art, Facebook, Twitter, Your website and conventions. Lots of conventions!


 TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL:                                    

Regular comic Releases create subscription based on digital habits: IE every wednesday your fan goes to the tablet to get your comic.

All you need is 1,000 true fans to create a revenue stream. True fans buy everything. Build community. Let them in on the process. Let them be a part of the creation of the work.

Piracy online with comics is a way people try before they buy (or donate). This helps to create a fan base.

What to do at Conventions:

Sell: books, fan art prints, prints of your work and commissions.

It is critical to have your own comic book it launches you into the industry.

Fan Art:

It is critical to have fan art as that is the way new audience comes to your table. Fans see how you drew their favorite character and then they want your original work.

Fan Art connects you to new fans and make you money. These new fans (of the fan art) often convert to become your fans.

Copyright: Fan Art is not legal outside of Cons and no Merchandise (t-shirts, etc) EVER.

Forums and Job Postings for Comics: DigitalWebbing.com


 PITCHING:                                                                                                  

Do you want to work for Marvel?

    Specialize - Become an inker, penciler, colorist or writer.

    They like to hire established self-published artists.

    Marvel Portfolio reviews rarely turn into jobs.

    If you pitch your own book they want you to have a built in audience first.

Marvel and DC will only look at their characters - they don't want to deal with any copyright issues.

Consider Self Publishing your own work instead. (Start by making 5 page books with short stories) This would be a good first project.


 THE DIGITAL COLORING PROCESS:                                              

There are other methods but this technique works well for most digital painting even beyond comics.

The main key to this success is to LAYER your photoshop files like this:

Effects

(lighting)

(sound effects)

(special effects - ie: weather)

Line Drawing (on multiply mode)

Tone 

(highlights)

(shadows)

Flats (one layer)

Do thumbnails small with sharp pencils

Scan black and white images in gray scale

Comfort and Adam upscale the thumbnails to 10"x15" which is the final comic image size and convert the greyscale to blue - then print out the blue image and redraw the final pencil (which because it is sharp enough becomes their ink.)

Convert the image to blue:

change mode to rgb

Make it blue

hue sat: colorize, blue up and lightness up.

210/80/90 (these are their numbers - yours will vary)

Refine the image to make a tight pencil that can be used as an ink when scanned and tone corrected.
Redraw over the blue- tight clean line 
Scan (greyscale)

Correct your tones in the black and white scanned drawing:

Do levels on the grey channel 

Darks -dodge- highlights exposure 30% (these are their numbers - yours will vary)

Lights- burn

Change Color Mode to RGB

Name drawing layer and turn to Multiply Mode

Flats on one layer

magic wand tool the drawing layer

no anti alias (when selecting flats)

(right click gives you similar select)

Making flats:

lasso tool

feather at 0

antialias off

pick color to place in flats - (use different colors for each flat)

start with small objects work up to big objects

the fills will not go over the other fills

paint bucket at tolerance 2

Digital Painting:

TONE - on another layer

opacity 100%

flow 8%

(so that you don't have to swipe over and over you can just draw over it.)

selection based color with lasso

Textures and Effects on different layers

(Search for tutorials on google look for filter combinations)

make a layer mask

Get a picture of a sky or other textures from CGTextures.com

Select by picking from flats layer

magic wand select the sky

add layer mask (below layers)

set layer to overlay mode

it will effect the image under it

Lighting Effect Techniques:

there is base color 

overlay color (duplicated layer)

what is the color of the light? Consider warms and cools




Below is an example of the Digital Coloring process by Comfort Love and Adam Withers. We will show you step by step how the process works. 



If using pencil for your image:

Refine the image to make a tight pencil that can be used as an ink when scanned and tone corrected.

Scan (greyscale)

Correct your tones in the black and white scanned drawing:

Do levels on the grey channel

Darks -dodge- highlights exposure 30% (these are their numbers - yours will vary)

Lights- burn
Change Color Mode to RGB
Uniques Comic Issue 4 page 21 - line art - done in pencil and tightened using levels.

Change Color Mode to RGB

Name drawing layer and turn to Multiply Mode

OR


If using a tablet to draw with:
make sure the drawing is above the background layer and on a transparent background

Name the drawing layer





Create a new layer called flats

Flats all on one layer (underneath the drawing layer)

magic wand tool the drawing layer

no anti alias (when selecting flats)

(right click gives you similar select)


Making flats:

use the lasso tool

feather at 0

antialias off

pick color to place in flats - (use different colors for each flat)

start with small objects work up to big objects

the fills will not go over the other fills

paint bucket at tolerance 2





Digital Painting:

Tones are added using the flats to select with the magin wand tool 
Hide the dancing ants (command h) and paint shadows on one layer and highlights on another layer.

TONE (shadows) - on another layer

opacity 100%

flow 8%

(so that you don't have to swipe over and over you can just draw over it.)

selection based color with lasso

HIGHLIGHTS- on another layer (Although Comfort and Adam did not do this for this image- many of you will want another layer for highlights - They are getting the highlights from the flats.)

opacity 100%

flow 8%

(so that you don't have to swipe over and over you can just draw over it.)

selection based color with lasso




The Final contains texture fills and special effects.












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