I have been talking about this super secret collaboration I am working on with Becky and Dan. Becky is an illustrator herself and Dan is a writer. I have never managed to give a passion project out of my hands before - it's really hard to trust others in a collaboration when you're not used to it. So how did we get this page done in a collaboration:
I want to tell you a bit more about it. But since it's super secret you have to forget everything really quickly after you read it, ok? Ok!
Anyway, the rough outline of our work together looks like this: We had a rough idea of the story a while ago. When we asked Dan to help us with the sript, we started meeting up. At those meetings, Dan is always great help in breaking down our ideas into actual story structure. We do that step by step, but we have a good idea of the full story. The details though are filled in with the time. What is the rough story. Well, let me put it this way: It's a horror-murder-mystery set in a fantasy setting with a female main character and parody elements. Anyway, I don't want to tell much more.
Based on the first script we send each other suggestions in case something might not work visually. I create a storyboard based on the script, as demonstrated here - in this page our main character catches a vandal scribbling a penis on a tavern sign and arrests him. The rough storyboard helps a lot to break everything down visually and is absolutely necessary for the work flow.
We check out the storyboard in a group meeting and try to figure out if it works and if anything is missing. If it's ok, I make the pencils which can look like this - as you can see I add some notes in color for Becky, who is the inker, to ask her to improve certain areas or completely redraw them, to add details or to suggest where to bubble is placed.
Becky then inks it, and I love how she does it. She usually improves the anatomy and the folds in the clothes and all the details. It's a great feeling to know that she will take good care of the pencil. She adds her own stylistic elements without undermining my own. I asked her to work with very clean, closed outlines in order to color it the way I'm used to - so no shadows in the ink phase, they are all added in the color phase which comes next.
The color is added by me. I love working with Becky's outlines, she knows that I like all my outlines closed so I can work with the magic wand as I'm used to. I usually work with at least five layers: Outline, base color, shadow, shine, light effects and sometimes special effects such as fire, fog, smoke are added too.
We haven't added the bubbles and text yet - we will do that once the first batch of drawings is done. But hey, only about 120 pages to go. So you can expect this comic in about 1 1/2 years. But we will keep you updated. This will be BAD ASS.