Pixels and Panels…

Hi, Folks—Scott Story here.  You may know my work from “Johnny Saturn,” and if not I invite you to visit and check it out. Before I got into webcomics, I worked for a bunch of different print publishers, such as Amp Comics, Arrow Comics, Blue Line Productions, Digital Webbing Presents, Image Comics, Nifty Comics, Powerful Press, Rogue Wolf Entertainment, and Rorschach Entertainment. "Johnny Saturn" has been used as prop on a Nickelodian show, been reviewed in the "Comics Buyers Guide," and won two awards (1st and 3rd, respectfully) in the Webcomic Readers Choice Awards.

The other day, I was thinking about the changes computers and software have made to my cartooning.  When I got into the indie comic scene around1993, it was still an analog world.  The only exception to that was lettering; the text was often printed on label paper and then stuck to the original art.  The internet hadn’t gone big yet, and few people had online presences, let alone email.  Comic coloring was still done by cutting colored films to make crude separations.  It was a different time.
When I started working with Photoshop around 1995, it came to have a profound effect on my work.  (Most of you won’t remember what this changeover felt like, because you don’t remember a time without Photoshop.) While inking, I learned to close my lines, making it easier to select flats from the line art.  I learned the benefit of drawing characters on one layer, and then the background on a layer below. I grew to love color holds, action lines generated in by Manga Studio, and using custom brushes and color (rather than black ink) to do all my energy effects and special effects.  Recently, I even made a stubble brush for characters who haven’t shaved.
When I first began using 3D programs, they boggled my mind.  They still do.  Luckily, Google Sketchup works well for me, and I’ve designed dozens of backgrounds and settings in it, as well as numerous science fiction machines, weapons, and robots.  The Oppression Wave from “Johnny Saturn” is a good example of incorporating 3D art into my 2D comics.
Oppression Wave
See you tomorrow, when I cover the challenge of long-form comics on the internet—Scott Story.