Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The iPad appealed to me for making a graphic novel, not because it's a slick toy, but because the 10 hour battery life and small size meant it could replace a whole studio in one small portable package. I could spend a whole day in a coffee shop without ever needing to plug into anything. I could write and draw at anytime or any place. It hasn't been that easy though. I still think its benefits outweigh its drawbacks, so I'm chronicling what I've done so far in the hope it might help others.

The trouble with writing and illustrating a graphic novel is that it's a great deal of work. For me, I've full time job, wife, friends... And not much time for other projects. Not all that time is used effectively. I can take a commuter train to and from work, which gives me about an hour a weekday. And anytime I have a few minutes to kill I can grab my iPad and do a little work. If I was to work in traditional media, I'd have set out what I was going to use and clean up afterwards. If I used a laptop with a Wacom tablet, I'd have to get a bunch of stuff hooked up and, again, put away when I was done. If I had only ten minutes, the time to set up and clean up would not leave enough time to get anything done. And I'd need outlets--can I tell you how much I hate cords?

I've been creating this comic mostly with time I was otherwise throwing away. With a project this intensive, that makes the iPad worth all the headache. All the hurdles can be grouped into 3 categories: drawing on a touchscreen, getting assets in and out of the iPad or syncing, and last but not least, achieving the 300 dpi resolution needed for print.

In the remainder of these posts I'm going to go through my process from notes to writing, printing, editing the script; from laying out a print to sketching, "penciling", "inking", coloring and final compositing. In other words, I'm going to go in chronological order of production, stopping along the way to tell the story of how a reached at my final process for each step. I hope you'll enjoy and find it useful.

Brandon - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. I've just set your whole series for later reading this evening.
    Throw in a 3 kids under 5...and yes, I too need to fully leverage my spare time and the full productive potential of my iPad.

    I'm always on the hunt for others' insights for a portable, visually creative workflow. This looks like a thorough explanation, front to back.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Ben in Massachusetts