Re: A question for the creators
Yes indeed, the Battle for Gobwin Knob has a definite ending.
We started long ago just throwing some ideas around, some initial character descriptions and designs, some plot points. Rob then took all that brainstorming and created an overall outline broken down per page of the whole first arc. He has some notes on where we'll take Erfworld once this first bit is done.
Then comes the actual scripting. Rob takes his outline and starts filling in the blanks. The scripts are very detailed giving me dialog, page break downs, panel shots, action description, everything a comic artist needs. Every once in a while, Rob will ask if we can expand and add another page or two to give me some room to draw cool things and to give him some room to script. The Dwagon air battle is a perfect example of this.
As he continues scripting things out, I get started with small thumbnail sketches of the page I'm working on. I get scripts a few pages at a time which allows me to work on a few pages at once. Once I'm happy with my thumbnails, I break out my boards and start lining the borders.
I'm using Strathmore 300 series smooth bristol at 9X12. Not quite the standard 11x17 boards that the comic industry uses, but it serves my purposes. I use a variety of microns and other felt time pigment pens. They're permanent and don't smudge often. I use HB leads out of a Sumo Grip mechanical pencil. And of course, my gummy and Mars erasers.
After I line my borders, I sketch in my forms very lightly with my mechanical pencil. I concentrate mostly on the characters since a lot of the backgrounds will get painted in Photoshop, but every once in a while I throw in some detailed background work (Stanley's office for example). I use a thicker line to outline the characters. It's an old animation trick to pop the characters up a bit and push the backgrounds back. Then I scan.
I scan in at 600dpi and reduce to 300dpi. Reducing by half makes the lines look cleaner. Then I go ahead and paint the backgrounds first. This helps make some lighting decisions which become important when I go to color the characters. The characters all get the cell shaded look which actually takes the least amount of time in the whole process.
Once I'm done, I send the full resolution file off to Rob for lettering. Rob uses an archaic program to letter that is incompatible with my Mac which will offer us new challenges when we go to get this thing in print. Lettering each page himself gives Rob a chance to change some bits of dialog and add some sound effects or other touches that he thinks will work. "Boop" was originally supposed to be "meep."
Once he's done, he sends it off to Rich who uploads the page for all to see.
And that's it in a nut shell!