The Making of GWTP
You all asked for it, and here it finally is.. well, no, actually no-one asked for it. But we can read your mind and we just know you're wondering how we make this strip.
Step One: Write or Die
I use a little program called Notespad to write the strips (you are writing this down, aren't you?). The finished script looks something like this (note the clever use of three dashes to separate panels):
Step Two: Um, it involves pencils, I think...
Well, no, there aren't really any scary details involved, save for the phantoms, goblins, dragons, and other foul creatures surrounding my evil lair of art, where I do all my drawing (also known as my room).
One page takes me about 3 to 4 hours to complete and this time is divided into three phases which roughly take about the same ammount of time. In Phase one I begin with drawing the frames of the strip, this is very light, because in the end we'll add them with the computer for a crisp resultTM. It always takes me a lot of time to get started on a comic for some reason, so at this point we are about 10 minutes down the line. The frames are done, so it's time for the real work, drawing the characters. In phase one I only do the outline of the faces, position of the body and hands.
Right, that was phase 1, time for a break. When I drag myself back to my desk an hour (or more) later I start work on phase 2. In this phase I'll basically finish the drawing. I'll finish the faces (add eyes mouths, etc), draw the clothing and finish the hands. Also, this is the time when I do backgrounds. Now, most of the times there is very little in the way of backgrounds, so that usually doesn't take too much time.
End of phase 2. This is also the end of the first day, so the next day I start work on phase 3. This is the phase where normal cartoonist would pick up a black marker, pen and indian ink, or brush and indian ink. I don't. I don't ink, I hate inking, I suck at inking. My solution to this is, to trace the whole comic again with pencil. To get this as black as possible, I push very hard on the pencil (I frequently brake the tip) consequently it also ruins the paper. Erasing the pencil lines would still leave you with the outlines visible in the paper. On a sidenote, I use a 0.5 mm filler pencil and 180 grams paper.
And there you have it, when phase 3 is done, the "art" of the comic is done. Oh, and the picture below gives you an intermediate view of the comic, Cheng is still in phase 2, Cindy is in phase 3. Back to you Jan.
Step Three: Mailing the obvious
Step Four: Scanning, cleanup and mumbling
Then we add the frames, either using standard 4-panel frames or drawing new ones in Illustrator.
And I mumble while doing all this. It seems to be an essential part of the, strip-making process, so I know better than to change it.
Step Five: Balloons...
This is also when Gijs jokes about my overuse of ellipses (ellipsisses?)... Which is crazy... A well-placed ellipsis says more than a thousand pictures, after all... Don't you agree...?
Step Six: Wrappin' it up and takin' it home
After we upload the strip, we check the statistics and the messageboard, and then it's time for some Atomic Bomberman! And guess who's da man? Yep. * -->