First, I think of funny or interesting things that have happened to me.  I write them all down in a big long list, using Notepad.  Once I have a list of ideas, I let them sit for a while, coming back later to see if they really were what I wanted.  Then, I arrange them in a good time flow.

The most important thing I do is Storyboard.  I love that!  Thanks to a childhood of MTV, comic books, and video games, I see everything as a 3 minute video.  So, I break the idea down into discrete 4 panel chunks.  I take a blank template and print off a few, then I VERY quickly sketch out the images that will eventually be the panels.  It’s stick figure time.  This is where I script out the comic.  It’s not always easy to take a story and force it into 4 panels.  Fortunately ADD kicks in and saves the day.  Let’s go ride bikes!

Now for the art part.  I draw in pencil.  Nothing fancy, just a mechanical pencil so I don’t have to keep sharpening the thing.  I use regular printer paper, folded into quarters.  Once I have the drawing the way I want it, I ink over with a pen.  So far, my favorite is a Pentel r100.  Again, nothing fancy.

I don’t know that I follow a “style” per se.  I like to keep it simple.  I will say that I use MicroExpression training to come up with the facial expressions in the characters.  I was also greatly inspired by the “How Are You Feeling” posters.  I really don’t consider myself a great artist.  For me, it’s all about the Story.

After I have a drawing inked, I scan it as a jpeg.  Sometimes I edit it in Paint to clear up any smudges or extra lines.  At this point, I have a digital copy of my art.  Time to get a little fancy.

I like to work with Fireworks.  I am not smart enough to use it.  It has so many buttons and widgets, that I get dizzy every time I open it.  It probably mocks me to my other programs.  But, that’s how I manipulate the scanned images and put them into my 4-panel format.

Once the comic is done, I use WordPress/ComicPress to upload and comment.  I could write the code myself, but why?!  Simple Competitive Advantage says to let those guys do all the heavy lifting.

Why do I use normal, everyday tools?  Because that’s what I have handy.  I can’t always depend on having access to proper art supplies or the latest and greatest technology.  Sometimes I can’t even find a pencil.

I own a Wacom.  I hate it.  How the hell am I supposed to draw without being able to see the ink?!  Until they make a drawing tablet that behaves EXACTLY like pencil and paper, I have no interest.  Let me amend that.  Until someone buys me such a doodad, I’m not interested in drawing digitally.  Plus, my way, I have souvenirs.

Similarly, I don’t have time to figure out how to use some fancy art program, like Photoshop.  Paint works great for me half the time.  And the tip of the iceberg in Fireworks does the rest.  Maybe someday I’ll invest the time.  Unlikely.