Tuesday, July 25, 2006

anatomy of a comic book page


recently, several friends/acquaintances/exes/relatives/former gambling buddies/and the like have revealed to me that they actually read this blog.
this is both surprising and intimidating to me. for so long now i've been fairly convinced that it's just been me, brian, jason, kojee, and sometimes scott, and that was that. now suddenly i discover that there are those of you out there that read it but who then will never ever comment. or join in. or send me something to post!

hey, send me something to post!

since this is the perhapanauts blog, i do try to keep stories and such to the weird, the unexplained, and the just-plain-scary, but, hey! feel free--make your voice heard! start thinking about the scariest stories you ever heard and send 'em in--it would be great to have some fun/creepy horror stories to post around halloween time.

anyway, that said, i'd thought i'd start bringing things back around toward the perhapanauts again since the trade will be out in september and the new series, perhapanauts:second chances will be hitting the stands in november. (order yours today!)

craig, rico, and i are hard at work on the second issue already and so i thought now might be a good time to give you a sneak peek at issue #1, as well as show you how we do it, break it down so's you can see the steps that go into it.

SPOILER ALERT!! i'm going to show you a page of plot from perhapanauts:second chances, as well as both the rough and finished art for the page, that, while fun, will not reveal any vital plot points of the story as a whole. if ya don't wanna see it and just wanna be surprised, good for you!, but get out now while you can...!

first, of course, we start with a story, and that's my job. i really like to work "marvel style', which means giving craig a plot detailing the story we're gonna tell and a panel-to-panel description of what I'M seeing in my head so that he can bring it to life, turning it into an actual story. i also give some indications of what the dialogue will be and usually the mood/attitude/emotions of the characterss so that he can put the proper expression on their faces, in their body language. (i do see a LOT in my head and i give big credit to craig for being able to sift out the important stuff from the extra stuff...!)
here's the plot for page 13...

Cut to; the CHIEF’S Office, where the CHIEF, JOANN, and DR. TRISH SHEEHAN are holed up along with our two new Drs, DR. BALDEV DAS (an older Indian man responsible for many of BEDLAMs bio-related breakthroughs) and DR. O’NEILL (BEDLAM’S medical doctor and CHOOPIE’S vet-- white hair--looks like a somewhat stocky version of John Mahoney/Frasier’s Dad). They are not scared, more slightly anxious--they’ve all been in situations such as this before. They are intently watching the monitors (where, as with BIG’S realization in the COMSEC office, nothing is happening) as DR. O’NEILL regards the door. The CHIEF is commenting that there seems to be no sign of them anywhere, they’ve disappeared, as O’NEILL points out that he can’t hear them outside the door anymore either.
On JOANN and maybe DAS behind her as she looks up, listening, her telepathy maybe kicking in, as she ominously whispers, “something’s coming…”
On the room, draped in shadows of course for TRISH and The CHIEF, as the 5 of them look around, now nervousness setting in. DAS: "Do you…do you hear that…?"
On O’NEILL as he looks up, listening, as he adds, : "Like something… screaming… " (we can hear a small sound effect of “aaaeeiiii”)
On TRISH, as she says, “No. It’s…singing.”
From over their heads as they look up toward the air vent which they now know is where the noise is coming from and now we can distinctly hear the “dum da dum da dum dum dum”
And, different angle as CHOOPIE kicks through the vent making his dramatic entrance, finishing up his song as he bursts through. The others don’t move, all having grown used to this kinda behavior from their combined years at BEDLAM.

cool, huh?

okay, here's craig's rough layouts/breakdowns for the page, setting both the pace and the mood with cinematic angles and shadows. because craig is going to be inking this himself, he does this in very broad strokes, going back to tighten things up when he inks. (were he doing this for someone else to ink, his pencils would be much tighter/clearer.)

and, as promised, here is the final inked page ready to go to rico to get some masterful colors applied.

even though i'm involved in this process--bringing the characters to life from word to drawing--i still find it amazing each and every time! craig puts so much energy and drama into his every line--it's just great!

i'll post the colors when i got 'em so you can see what rico does with it.

that's it for now!

smell ya later!


Brian said...


Thanks for the behind the scenes peek at the creative process.

As for Craig's story telling skills, I'd have to agree with you 100%. I don't know if you've gotten a chance to read it yet, but if you haven't, I'd highly recommend the Cobbler's Monster. Craig did a great job with the with the pacing and the "horror" scenes in the story have a real visceral impact.

todd said...

craig gave me one of the very first copies of cobbler's monster that he got--an early shipment that he was sent especially for heroescon in charlotte--and then quickly took it away from me to give it to somebody else...
so i haven't seen it all yet.
but i did see a lot of it along the way and know that what you say is true; craig did an outstanding job on that book and the style he developed for it and the unique pacing just go to further prove my claim that craig is one of the most verstile--and sadly, unrecognized--artist's in comics today.
but i have faith that folks are gonna catch on--real soon!

Scott Weinstein said...


That was a great post. We've talked about the back-and-forth creative process between writer and artist plenty. But, it's always a blast to see a living breathing example. And it's even more informative when it's a kick-ass Perhapanauts page that we are all anxiously awaiting to see.

And once again Craig is doing an amazing job. I read Cobble's Monster and he did a great job on that too. (My copy may have been the one he took from you. If so, sorry.)


todd said...



happy birthday!

(see e-mail...)

Jason Copland said...

Great post, Tood! I love seeing the creative processes of people. Craig is turning in some great stuff! I can't wait to read this second arc.

I've got my copy of Cobbler's Monster coming to me in my next comic shipment. It'll be the first thing I read from the pile.

Jason Copland said...

I mean.... Great post, Todd!

damn those typos.....

todd said...


yeah. if i told ya how many times I typo my name that way...

but don't knock typos. i used typos to name a lot of the characters in tellos. you can do that in a fantasy world.

thanks for the post.


AnJaka said...

yeah todd, I like your blog and I want to exchange your blog link with my link,
my blog is Arts Collections .
pls feedback to me.
Good Google Link About Arts

Kojee said...

Great update Todd!!!!

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