Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

How long do you usually spend on making a comic?
Pixie at 5:04AM, Nov. 13, 2007
posts: 391
joined: 12-16-2006
I try not to spend longer than an evening on a page (though sometimes it ends up being an evening and a bit, or two)… so that's around… ohh. Four/five hours a page. From the blank page to the finished product. I could spend much much longer, but I'm trying not to be too perfectionist and precious about it; I want to turn out a lot, quickly, and make a good story, rather than worry too much that everything is aesthetically pretty.

I don't sketch anything before I begin - no pencils, or even digital sketching, I go straight to throwing colour and paint around. I work in shapes and layout and negative space rather than in outlines and edges. I never plan panel layout either, I skip that step too - though I often have a rough idea in my head, I like to see how it works itself out before I make any final decisions. My pages tend to take on a life of their own, and I have to let them. :P

The painting is the most time-consuming bit, but mainly because I'm still unused to using multiple layers in Painter IX… it does weird things to the edges of my palette knives. (Yeah, I paint almost everything with the dirty palette knife in Painter - almost never use any other brush except the sharp triple knife for rain (and dreadlock edges!), and occasionally the artists oils soft blender for a bit of blending - but hardly at all).

The only other step is putting text on, which usually takes around ten minutes in Photoshop. I sometimes scribble out some script and stuff, but it almost always changes (sometimes dramatically, sometimes only in minor, grammatical ways) when I come to place it on the finished image, so my physical notes are almost useless to me and, in fact, everyone else in the world. :)
Alaka-bwee-oop! Old school.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Kamoourian King at 8:43PM, Nov. 14, 2007
posts: 14
joined: 11-12-2007
Well with me I do things differently. I sketch about 5 or so pages first, then ink them all, then ( maybe) tone or some how shade or color it. So Sketching the 5 pages takes me about a day, then same or less for inking and same for coloring/ shading/toneing.

So about 3 days for 5 pages.. But it's good to spend a day on each page, but eh, it's easyer and faster to group it together.

Oh how I love you
The pain won't go away
Oh when I need you
You're always so far away
I cry for you
Leaving myself to blame
I died for you
I gave up everything
-Iced Earth
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:13PM
acadia at 8:44PM, Nov. 14, 2007
posts: 374
joined: 12-18-2006
Several hours, usually. I can finish one in a good morning, though – so I guess around 4 hours.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
horseboy at 4:08PM, Nov. 17, 2007
posts: 139
joined: 8-27-2006
Well, I usually takes me a week to get all three pages done, but that's because I'm easily distracted by shinny and not so shinny things.
There is no such word as “alot”. “A lot” is two words.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
RentAThug at 12:34PM, Nov. 18, 2007
posts: 226
joined: 12-11-2006
My page times are generally based on whether or not I wrote a script before hand or am making it up as I go along. Scripted pages usually take two to three hours to pencil, ink, and letter, depending on how complicated they are. Unscripted pages usually take three to four hours because I have to write it as I go along, which slows things down a bit.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
lemon_king at 3:10PM, Dec. 9, 2007
posts: 76
joined: 6-20-2007
Ok. Mine take between 20-40 minutes. But mine don't have too much of a quality,and its on hiatus anyways.

I don't do a script. I just map out where I want the comic going in my head, store it there, and when I have an hour or two, I make a few comics.

When I'm not on
If it's not sane to spell words with your Cheerios, I don't want to be sane.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
twistedrabbit at 3:37PM, Dec. 10, 2007
posts: 28
joined: 2-21-2006
My last Bloodman Comic took six hours to do I believe.
Started at 10:00 at night, finished 3 AM about.
However, I did break for some unknown amount of time to get food…

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:35PM
Ziffy88 at 7:53PM, Dec. 10, 2007
posts: 595
joined: 8-27-2007
I plan them a week ahead. It takes me about 30 mins to sketch a page another 10 min inking it. 30 mins to set up a page and letter it. That's why my stuff look really cheap.
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:01PM
DemonSaintDante at 9:13AM, Dec. 12, 2007
posts: 108
joined: 6-25-2007
My current comic is taking about 1 hour per panel. So the time per page can vary a lot just by how many panels i put in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Salsicoruc at 5:53PM, Jan. 1, 2008
posts: 65
joined: 8-16-2007
Mine usually take about about 6 hours (or 6 days, depending on my willingness to sit still *cough*). I had to stop drawing the roughs in pencil because it takes me sooo much longer.

So script is ongoing: I never time this, because I don't want it to feel rushed, and I'm ahead of the art anyway

Thumbnails: 15 minutes to an hour (several thumbnails per page in the case of an hour)
Sketch: (on comp.) usually 1/2 an hour, if I had a clear plan in my thumbnail
Lines: 45 mins-an hour
Colors: eternity/ 3-4 hours because a) I'm lazy/ can't focus b)I'm picky about light sources c) picky about color theory (or lack there-of)
Text: half an hour
Bubbles: 15 minutes

I can't add, that's like 7-8 hours <<<<—-short answer
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:19PM
sliverdragon20xx at 3:34PM, Jan. 14, 2008
posts: 4
joined: 1-8-2008
Well it counts on my comic style at the time. If I am inking it or color 5 days tops. but really that with getting the panels right and everything ( ohh i have those little words), Text really 1 hour because i am a reall good typer due to my bad hand wirting. Then comes the which is like 7-10 hours due to me looking at my sotry and maybe revamping some pages.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
johnkeating at 5:34PM, Jan. 14, 2008
posts: 46
joined: 1-10-2008
I usually do a four panel color comic strip and from pencils to uploading the thing, it usually takes me about 4 hours on average. I find the coloring and photoshop work takes the longest. For a time I was trying to use the Wacom tablet to draw the entire thing, but for me, there's just something about pencils and ink on Bristol board that looks so cool. I prefer doing it that way.

I spend my Wednesday mornings doing the strip, it's become a nice little ritual and I'm usually done by 1:30-2 in the afternoon.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
mundy at 3:58AM, Jan. 15, 2008
posts: 29
joined: 8-25-2007
It takes me fully about 7-10 hours to create a comic page usually spacing it over a week. Partly because when it comes to sitting down and drawing my time seems to get eaten up by other things and also my hand and elbow on occassion start to spasm/strain so I have to watch what I'm doing. I draw and ink traditionally with colour and lettering being added via computer. Obviously the computer stuff is easier and quicker for me than the actual traditional art but I prefer doing things the hard way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
swizzle at 7:06PM, Jan. 28, 2008
posts: 13
joined: 1-27-2008
Jeeze, I take ages sketching things, but then I get colouring and inking down very quickly.

Writing: five minutes w/out much plot, and up to half an hour for a lot of dialog and plot.
Sketching: Anywhere from half an hour to three hours!
Inking; Five, ten minutes.
Colouring/Shading; ten minutes.

All of this is computer work ^^
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Skullbie at 7:27PM, Jan. 28, 2008
posts: 4,805
joined: 12-9-2007
I Have 2.5 days to upload a page to stay on schedule.

I never finish a comic page in one sitting- always small steps taking breaks very often.
Here how it goes:
Sketching:The longest process, This includes my layout, quick pose sketch, detailing, then backgrounds.
Inking: Very quick step, shortest of all, just smoothly follow my slightly erased pencil.
Cleaning on computer: average length, best to put effort into this as it makes the page 10x better.
Toning on computer: used to be my hardest step, now it's a cakewalk. I try to use good lighting effects and get confused with all my layers.

I can't really estimate how long a page takes me because I take breaks CONSTANTLY. But i do put my best effort into each page so I get to improve. :B
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:44PM
Coveinant at 8:23PM, Jan. 30, 2008
posts: 1,768
joined: 9-17-2007
To be honest (even though I sprite) I usually have my story plotted out months ahead and keep it all in my head (I do this with all stories) but I alternate when the story seems worth moving up. Now to do the actual page is a different story. with the current event set, I have to do the background as well as position the sprites and then do the speech; so these take me about 3 hours to do. On normal pages I take about 45 min-1hr 30min but that's if I don't have to customized the sprites on the spot (it's more complecated than it looks to make a good sprite page on ms paint)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:47AM
PottymouthPress at 11:19AM, Feb. 4, 2008
posts: 13
joined: 2-17-2007
I'm fairly new to this. The comics I have put on here where sketch and inked and colored at different times. The sketching and inking (by hand) usually 2-3 hours depending on the level of detail. The coloring went rather fast since I'm only adept at using the paint bucket tool and some minor brush shading, howvever taking line fixing into account, about 1-2 hours per page for basic coloring.

If anyone has some really good shading tutorials, please send me a link.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Piscareous at 2:00PM, Feb. 7, 2008
posts: 104
joined: 2-22-2006
Not including writing because I useally do that like the day before. It takes about 2 maybe 3 hours to go from skecths to finished ink. Then I switch over to the computer and fill in all the shadows and colors(greys and such). And add the word bubbles and text. That takes about another hour maybe 2 depends on how fast it goes for me at the time. so all in all to a complete finished comic 4 to 5 hours.
“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance”
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
seventy2 at 9:54PM, Feb. 7, 2008
posts: 3,953
joined: 11-15-2007
i thought i posted in here already…but i see not mine….

anyways….i now take about an hour to two hours….i used to take 45 minutes. but i only did one panel then. now i try as many panels as i can fit, or that seem to fit in it. i also use a pen and a sharpie. and normally, when i sit down for one, i start the next one after i'm finished. so i do about 1-1/2 comics in about 3 hours…..
Running Anew an exercise blog.
I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:28PM
Walrus at 2:55PM, Feb. 9, 2008
posts: 1,159
joined: 2-18-2007
Personally, I've found that 3 hours seems to be my average, including scripting, putting together and finalizing. I'm curious to find out how long it takes for others to do theirs, so lets hear it!

About 2 hours at the most.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:45PM
Xhi at 1:35PM, Feb. 13, 2008
posts: 9
joined: 1-29-2008
I do it by packs, for example, when I scrip the storyline (which I usually do at school during classes) I script around 3-5 strips. When making the strip on the computer i usually do 2 strips because for some reason I work faster right after finishing the previous strip, probably because I have all the tools already up. This usually takes me from 1-3 hours. But this changes drastically when making the backgrounds, which take around 7-8 hours :O (of course, it depends on the background)
This way I can work on other stuff like backgrounds during 2 days while still posting a comic strip every day because I work ahead, if you know what i mean.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:52PM
SpoonsREvil at 7:15PM, Feb. 13, 2008
posts: 22
joined: 6-12-2007
As for me umm last time i spent really 2 hours just doing the lay out and final sketch but do to some unknown reasons I usually take days to even finsih cause i get distracted by other things like bright colours and random doodles and ytmnd >.<
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:54PM
Doplegager at 5:51AM, Feb. 15, 2008
posts: 62
joined: 7-12-2007
For my current main project, Third Side, I'm publishing 6 pages a week, and I have a secondary project, A Chance In Hell, that publishes 3 pages a week. For Third Side, it breaks down something like this:
1 hour to script 3 pages
3 hours to pencil and ink 3 pages
1 hour to scan, do digital touch-up, and letter/revise the script

So, on average, each page takes just under two hours. Third Side is also published in a local newspaper, so being behind deadline isn't much of an option. Coloring can add between 1 and 3 hours, depending, and more complex pages can take between 1 and 3 pages. Most of my freelance work takes a little more time; right now, I'm working on full color 6“x4.5” panels that, from sketch to color takes about 2 hours a piece.

I spent the ages between 18 and 23 focusing on learning how to work as efficiently as I could. A Chance In Hell is a little lower quality, but takes about 45 minutes total per page.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
alibaba at 10:59AM, Feb. 15, 2008
posts: 55
joined: 2-6-2008
a need about 4-6 hours per page, but the other time intensive things is the story.
but the good thing about the story though is that you can think about it anywhere: while taking a dump, while in bed, while travelling, etc. XD

as for the pages, i try to work on two at a time, which makes about
1 hour for the rough idea sketches
1 hour for the proper pencil drafts
2 hours for the inkings
2 hours for the scanning, digital retouch, lettering and screentone-shading
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
HybridLemonade at 4:52PM, Feb. 16, 2008
posts: 72
joined: 2-5-2007
well,If I sat down and did just ONE page at a time, It would take about 4-5 hours.
though, I tend to do mine chapters/sections, or in a production line style.

first sketch out the whole chapter/section ( about 3-4 hours depending on how long the story is)
then inking all the pages. ( about 4 hours)
then coloring them all. ( about 5 hours or more)

It may seem longer to do it that way, but when you think about all the comic pages you have done and ready to go, we have about 3-5 months worth of comics at the end of it. (if you update on a once a week type deal) but, thats just me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Jimeth at 5:32PM, Feb. 16, 2008
posts: 128
joined: 3-13-2006
I swear this exact same topic was around not too long ago…

Erm, depends. Usually about 2 hours, once I know what I'm going to put down… Often longer than that depending on what I'm doing.

The balloon and fish ones take like twenty minutes to think up draw and colour though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
kiandranishan at 8:27AM, Feb. 19, 2008
posts: 234
joined: 3-9-2007
6-10hrs from start to finish. That does not count script and thumbnails. I write the script long before I draw anything. and I thumbnail 5-20 pages at a time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 12:13PM, Feb. 19, 2008
posts: 1,340
joined: 9-2-2007
Well, the scripting I usually do beforehand, so I don't really know how long that takes. It varies really.

Then the sketching everything out takes about 1-2 hours.
The inking takes about 2 hours, depending on how big the page is, and what there is in it.
The coloring (One layer) takes about an hour and a half.
The finishing touches and everything else take about 1-2 hours. Depending on what there is to do.

So roughly

4 and a half-7 hours.

Anywhere around there I'd say.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:15PM
spunkbrat at 7:59PM, Feb. 25, 2008
posts: 14
joined: 12-27-2007
Hmm I take like 3 full days to get one page out, not including the writing, and since I can't afford to do this full time, my page updates are slow to a crawl.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:54PM
Ailorn at 2:29PM, Feb. 27, 2008
posts: 90
joined: 2-21-2008
It's taken me about 12 hrs per page. Only because im still new with my program. I'm finiky about getting the inking perfect(using tablet) and finding the tones i want. Hopefully it'll speed up. *please please!*I do my rough drawings ahead of time, in free time, and at work.. heh bad me. I dont always get enough drawings, so sometimes i have to draw an extra one or two after i scan them and do the lay out. But I have to say its begining to feel more natural, even if it still takes me forever. im running out of predone sketches.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:47AM

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