Seeing double

I don’t often have the occasion to have more than one copy of a comic (well, aside from those I publish myself), but a recent project gave me just such an opportunity… and even though it was luck of the draw, I was surprised at how very different these two copies of Super Powers #3 (DC, 1985) actually were!

One of the copies must have come earlier in the press run when there was more ink on the press, which led to many overinked panels shown here on the right. Thing is, even though it sometimes obscures Greg Theakston’s inking of Jack Kirby’s pencils, I kind of like the mystery and sense of foreboding it lends to the art. And/or the nice texture it gives to stone, whether statues or Darkseid…

(And for those of you who might be wondering, I’m pleased to say that my own recent publications, including the extensive greytones I used in Watusi in the Emerald City of Oz, have consistent results!)


My stencil coloring method (Holiday piece No. 25)

Back in 2005, when I hosted the panel “Beyond Photocopies: cost-effective color enhancements for your comics” at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, I shared and demonstrated the technique I used to add color to my covers: a simple stencil method. Unfortunately, since I was busy demoing at the time, I wasn’t able to get photos of it, but a few years ago I documented the process when I used it for one of my holiday pieces…


For this one, I used a metallic gold on purple, which looked nice in reality, but didn’t always photograph so well. This technique doesn’t require many supplies: blank stencil material, a sharp X-Acto blade, the paint(s– while I only use one color here, it works well for multiple colors, too. Just cut a different stencil for each color, of course), a roller (I got mine at my local hardware store; it’s wider and holds up better than cheap craft store foam rollers), and a surface to mix paint on (I use a piece of double-strength glass). Continue reading “My stencil coloring method (Holiday piece No. 25)”

Beyond Photocopies: cost-effective color enhancements for your comics

Here’s another little gem from my old website that is deserving of a new home here. Back in 2005 I was fortunate enough to attend the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio. I had a great time there networking with other cartoonists, hanging out with my APA-5 peers, sampling new comic creations … and even hosting a panel discussion on different ways to add color to handcrafted publications. While color photocopies have become more affordable (even in my neck of the woods) since then, there are still some creative ways to add color to be found here. Hope you enjoy!

Beyond Photocopies: cost-effective color enhancements for your comics
A panel at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, April 17, 2005

Hosted by Dale Martin with Sean Bieri, John M (Mejias), and Nate Higley, this Sunday morning workshop was designed to let creators who add color to their comics through a variety of means– stencil, silkscreen, woodblock prints, gocco, tip-ins, stamps– share some of their methods. It was a chance for these artists to show samples of comics & equipment, do demos of some of the creative ways they have added color to their comics, as well as answer questions from the audience of about 40 (Dale neglected to get an actual head count, though). Continue reading “Beyond Photocopies: cost-effective color enhancements for your comics”