Richmond Monuments process

I haven't put in much work for "The South Rises Again." It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me with, finishing up an ART180 Program (teaching 5th & 6th graders comics), the school semester ending (I teach graphic design at a governor's school), pro-bono work and freelance design work. I feel kind of bad about the wait, so I decided to show some of the Richmond Monuments process.

First I come up with a general idea of the strip and sometimes make some sketches of the layout like the Arthur Ashe sketches below.

I then go to the physical site and take several photos of the monument.

I use the photo references by printing them on a black/white laser jet printer. I place the prints next to a blank sheet of standard 20lb computer paper -or whatever scrap paper samples I have lying around. I usually draw with a cheap disposable mechanical pencil. It isn't very environmentally conscious, but I have a big stack of them at home right now. Sometimes it is difficult to see the details on the black and white print, so I view the photo with my computer and zoom in on areas I have questions or concerns about.

Below is a better image of the final penciled panel. As you can see in the image, I do take some liberties with the monuments. The monument podium and Maury statue are a little thinner and taller to exaggerate the panel frame and the individual figures are very stylized (partially due to the drawing scale).

I ink the pencil drawing using a tracing light box, a separate sheet of paper (Again, whatever is around.) and a combination of .03 & .005 Micron flet tip pens. The below image's actual size is only a few inches square.

I scan the image and adjust line work. Finally, I digitally color the image using a combination of copyright free photographic textures, custom brushes and a whole lot of layers. I also add text and panel borders during this stage, but intentionally left them out since this comic doesn't come out until next month. I'm trying to get better about considering the actual dialogue before I draw and color the strips. I've experienced situations where I have to redraw a panel or multiple panels.

I hope to record a sped up version of the entire process in the future.


The South Rises Again

I'm working on a zombie sub-plot to Richmond Monuments. Six strips have already been written and character designs are being worked on. It is yet to be decided when the comic will be officially released.

This strip will be more "cartoony" and black/white. My plan is to have these strips appear on the off weeks of normal Monument comic strips. This way you'll get a strip every week!