PROCESS! Here’s a look at how I put together a BOLDLY GONE strip:
Step 1: Pencils! The top left is my pencils after I’ve scanned them, and messed with them a bit in Photoshop. When I’m happy (as I get, anyway), I print pencils out onto Strathmore #500 series bristol board.
Step 2: Inks! I ink pretty traditionally - brush, quills, and india ink. I then scan inked art, and do more tweaks in Photoshop. I also add in the balloons and dialog provided by writer Kevin Church.
Step 3: Colors! I’m going for a retro 60s-70s vibe on BOLDLY GONE, so I use the 64 color pallet that comics publishers were limited to in that era.
Step 4: Color dots! In order to further push the “retro” look, I give the art a pseudo-halftoned look like this: while in CMYK mode, I grab the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow channels and apply Photoshop’s “Pixelate/Color halftone” filter. I work in 300 dpi, and find that a Max. radius of 8 works well for that resolution. I’ll also take each channel, and nudge it left, right, up or down to give it that off-register look that the old comics inevitably had. I then flatten art, and add a new layer that has a scan of old newsprint set to “multiply” mode (at whatever transparency works best - maybe 25%). I’ll also do various futzings - desaturating colors, adding blemishes, or just dodging and burning art to give it an aged, discolored look.
And that’s how it’s done…at least, this week!