Episode 2

Podcast available at: Comic Fuel Podcast Episode 2
All questions ever asked and answered on Comic Fuel: All Questions, Ever.

Show Notes

(00:39) Show Opener

Welcome to “comic fuel” a podcast that is part of the MakingComics.com gutter talk podcast network. My name is Patrick Yurick and, together, we are going to be searching for the answers that surround art, comic book creation, and the pursuit of living in artist harmony.

(01:20) Introduction to Show

  • Welcome
  • Thank you to all those who've submitted
  • Show outline:
    • 8 Questions answered this episode:
      • Project Management
      • Comic Creation Process
      • Coloring
      • Penciling Comics
      • Hosting comics online
    • Audio Fuel for the episode
      • Chris Watson on Listening
      • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) on keeping a goal in mind
      • Stephen McCrannie on What We are doing all of this for
  • Comic Fuel Wiki - http://comicfuel.wikidot.com
    • Jump-to times for each segment in the show
    • Links to resources mentioned in each podcast
    • Questions and Answers being asked in previous episodes and future ones
    • And more
  • Remember you can ask questions by visiting the How To Make A Comic Book MOOC

(07:25) #ComicFuel Break #1: Chris Watson on The Art of Listening

Chris Watson interview - The Art of Listening by SNYK RADIO is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

(15:05) Question 1: Project Management

Question 1 from Kevin in Eire: How do you keep up momentum on making comics? I make a lot of progress when I take a class or a mooc, but when it’s over I feel a bit like OK where to next?


Making progress is really difficult. More than your fear of doing work wrong, or making unoriginal art, is the slog of not doing anything. After all you run no chance of success by not starting to work.

Think also about project management. Having a plan for a project can allow you to really start to understand how to be your own boss.

(23:40) #ComicFuel Break #2: Stephen McCrannie Asking Why We Do Art

Stephen McCranie Interview Gutter Talk Ep. 64 is owned by MakingComics.com

(32:30) Questions 2, 3, & 4: Comic Creation Process Overview

Question 2 from Anjali in Bangalore, India: How long would it take to make a comic by yourself; scripting, storyboarding, art and lettering; and self publish it?

Question 3 from Nate, Brazil: As an independent artist who primarily works with digital comics, I'm interested in publishing my material, but I'm afraid the format won't translate as well, and I'll need to cut many pages from chapters so it could fit into what the market deems ideal for print. How many pages should a comic issue be to be printed? Thank you!

Question 4 from Andrew: How long does it take for a comic book artist to make a comic book?


(40:47) #ComicFuel Break #3: **Josh Radnor Talking About Transitioning as an Artist

JOSH RADNOR discusses art, film, TV, happiness, and knocking heads with the Dalai Lama. by EMPLOYEE of the MONTH is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

(44:30) Questions 5 & 6: Coloring

Question 5 from Alan: What is a good process for choosing colors that look good in your comic, and that look good together? I've read about color theory before, but as soon as I sit down to actually color my comic, it's like "Ok, now what? I guess I'll just go back to choosing colors at random until it looks decent." The only piece of color theory that has stuck with me is that shadows should be a cooler color. That makes sense to me because if an object is lit by a yellow light, the unlit shadows would appear bluer in comparison. This plays into my working theory that colors will look good together if you make it look like everything in the panel was lit by one colored light source. But I haven't read anything confirming or elaborating on that theory. Since I said a lot, I'll repeat my question: If I have an uncolored comic page, what is the step-by-step process I should go through to choose colors that will look good?

Question 6 from Anonymous: I am not professional in using coloring applications like photoshop and gimp If i 'd like to do it manually, what is your advise to me, what is kind of colors can i use? thanks alot


Tools to color comics outside of digital:

  • Watercolor
  • Construction Paper
  • Collage
  • Oil Paint
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sky is the limit - I say, experiment and commit

Listener Advice

Suzanne from the Netherlands writes:

  • Hi Patrick, I am listening to the podcast section about color. Here is a handy (and free) website for choosing a color scheme: color.adobe.com It's also possible to check color schemes that other people have made. Love the podcast!

Further advice from indie coloring specialist, Egypt Urnash

  • Some general color strategies you could use:

* just color stuff with the native color they “are”, then throw a few layers on top. A multiply layer to draw shadows with, all the same color. Usually blue. A screen layer to draw highlights with, all the same color. Usually yellow. A solid color layer to tint the overall tone of the panel, possibly one to desaturate it if you’re on a gloomy day. This can get you a long way without really having to think about color. Shading everything with the same color really unifies a page.

* do things look unclear? Desaturate, put a layer at the top of your stack full of solid black and set it to “saturation” mode. Now you can see it as greyscale. Adjust colors on things so you don’t have two things that map to the same grey level next to each other, turn off the desaturation level, things should look a lot better.

* limited color. Pick 3-6 colors that look good together and create a mood. You can use sites like colorlovers for this, you can use books like Color Index or Designer’s Guide To Color 5 (I’ve gone through multiple copies of those, I especially love DGTC5 because it groups by moods), eventually you get to a point where you can pick them off the top of your head. Now draw EVERYTHING with those colors. Even if they’re not “supposed” to be that color. I love doing this; in “Five Glasses of Absinthe” I limit myself to 2-3 colors per page, and change them through the story based on the mood I want, the location, the time of day, or which character is controlling the narrative. Use these colors at varying opacities and in different blending modes to make things richer, everything will stay related.

* even more limited color. What if the whole thing is in B&W with a spot color dropped in to signify important things? Frank Miller does this brilliantly in some of the “Sin City” stories. I’ve stolen this from him shamelessly for very different upcoming projects. Works with lusher greyscale plus a spot color, too.

* symbolic uses. In “Decrypting Rita” I use very limited palettes – white, a midtone, and a dark color, surrounded by black gutters. There are multiple worlds in the story, each with its own pair of colors. This lets the reader quickly say “oh this is a green panel, it’s from the sky pirates world”. It’s similar to the trick I mentioned stealing from Miller.

* Desaturate. It’s tempting to make every color super saturated. Don’t. Pull back on that, grey things out a little. That way when you want something to pop out and be super-noticeable, you can make it really saturated and colorful.

* Oh yeah: DELETE YOUR DEFAULT COLOR SWATCHES. I find it’s super easy to just go “derp grass is green” and grab the most lurid green in the world if I have a bunch of default swatches. If I have to decide just what green I want then I’ll actually think about it and how it fits with the rest of the image. If I want a super intense glowing green for the grass that’s a perfectly valid decision, but I want to have MADE it rather than just picked the first thing that my brain registered as “green”.

* Check out Egypt's interview with Adam on episode 38 of MakingComics.com Gutter Talk.

(51:13) Patreon Ad: Spotlight on Scott Bachmann

The comic fuel podcast is made possible due to the support of MakingComics.com patrons on patreon.

One of our Patrons, Scott Bachmann, is a gigantic supporter of MakingComics.com:

To find out more about how to become a patron of makingcomics.Com, and make sure podcasts like comic fuel can continue to exist, please visit patreon.com/makingcomics.

(53:58) Question 7: Penciling

Question 7 from Kiana, Indiana: So, I adore sketching pretty much everything, It's what I spend the majority of my time doing! Although, when I attempted to begin penciling my comic, I found it to be tedious and frustrating? It seems that whatever I try to draw ends up too small to look nice or have any detail. Am I just not being patient enough with myself, or am I trying to fit too much, too zoomed out, into one panel? Thank you in advance!


(1:02:00) How can you, yes you, contribute to the comic fuel cause?

  • Tweet using the “#comicfuel”
  • Join, encourage, and participate in the “how to make a comic book” massive open online on coursera: [coursera.org/learn/make-comic-books coursera.org/learn/make-comic-books]
  • I need help finding comicfuel. 3 ways to help:
    • Go through the Gutter Talk archives and find 2-5 minute story chunks email info@makingcomics.com with the episode # & title with a timestamp for an individual chunk of fuel.
    • Search through public domain archives and find clips send me a link to the clip & documentation of it being in public domain again at info@makingcomics.com
  • on one final note - we’d are looking for a volunteer to start transcribing our podcasts (including this one) if you are interested, again, email us at info@makingcomics.com

(1:04:40) Question 8: Hosting a Comic Online

Question 8 from Julia, California: What websites are best for starting to post a webcomic?

There are 3 things you need to consider before hosting your webcomic online:

  • Are you ok with the paradigm of webcomic distribution? (Giving your art away for free).
  • Are you ok with, or desiring to learn how to, work with website development? (Does the word "code" send you into a regular or catatonic panic?)
  • How much ownership/authority do you want over the design/presentation of your webcomic?

Things you may want to consider before deciding to build a webcomic

  • Consider not making a webcomic
  • Think about creating and showing sneak peeks to your friends through social media instead of spending time developing a website. Whatever makes it easiest.
  • Publishers, understandably, have mixed feelings about webcomics and monetary gains through them (once printed, print rights are tricky).

Webcomics are awesome. They kind of fall into 2 different camps
(outlined well on this Tapastic sponsored website MakeWebcomics.com)

(1:19:05) Show Outro

  • Music used within this podcast all came from the amazing “Dr. Turtle”. You can listen to more dr. Turtle by visiting his page on the free music archive. Titles and links to songs used are available in the notes for this show.
  • Adam greenfield, head of audio production at making comics worldwide, served as executive producer for this episode of the show.
  • The comic fuel podcast is a part of the makingcomic.Com gutter talk podcast channel brought to you by the making comics worldwide volunteer organization. You can find out more information on makingcomics.Com and making comics worldwide by visiting makingcomics.com

Songs Used:

Audio Fuel Used


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