You might find this hard to believe, but some people actually give a shit about my modest little comic creation Loafy Carl. Well, either way, I found this hard to grasp myself. Often I receive instant messages and e-mails with a variety of questions regarding the strip. Some people ask me what the characters’ names are, while some ask me when the kid with the glasses is gonna get some from the blonde chick. More often than these, however, people ask me questions regarding the process of making a strip. Rather than answer each question individually in FAQ style, I’ve decided that I would take this opportunity to treat you readers to a making of Loafy Carl featurette, where you will the the construction of a comic from beginning to end.
Whenever I get an idea for a strip, I write it down on my Loafy Carl plan paper. An idea can be anything from something I know is funny but haven’t made a setup and punch line for to something more refined and ready for production. Some of the ideas are more developed than others, so if a comic I’ve made isn’t brushed up yet, and it doesn’t require chronological placement, it will simply be bumped further down the line until I can work out the technicalities. After some strip ideas build up on my paper, or more often for me, a deadline is approaching, I sit down at my drawing table and draw out the panels. Sometimes I draw the panels for more than one strip at a time because I don’t do one strip at a time. most of the times I produce several Loafy Carls in one sitting, as to buy myself some more time to loaf around.
Drawing the panels is a very enjoyable process for me because all of the problems I’ve faced with a particular strip are smoothed out by this point. I refer to a half-inch panel sketch on the plan paper and redo a higher quality pencil draft in a 3′ by 3′ panel (figure 1). Once I see what I like in terms of a foundation, I go over the final lines in ink (figure 2). After a panel is done being inked, I take my eraser and remove all the pencil lines from my sketch so that my picture is crisp and clean (figure 3). In this particular strip, the same picture is used for each panel, so I’m already set to scan. In the case of more than a single image, I do ’em all and then scan, what’d ya think?
Once the image is scanned, I crop what I don’t need from the page and then open it in MS Paint. Here is where I do all the formatting and additional cleaning. Once the image is set, I open my Loafy Carl Template (the title banner and three blank panels) and set my new image in the first panel (figure 4). Once everything is formatted correctly, I save my image and bring it over to Adobe Photoshop, where I begin the most enjoyable step in the process: the coloring phase. I open up my Loafy Carl Color File (a list of items with a swatch of its appropriate color) and use that pallet to color in my strip. Once I have my image colored, I save it and revisit MS Paint (figure 5). Since I am using the same image for each panel, I simply copy and paste the first one over the second and third panel (figure 6). It would be foolish to do this before coloring, because then you’d hafta color 3 freakin’ panels, and that’s just not time effective.
Once that’s done, I throw in my speech bubbles and call it a day (figure 7). And that’s that. I hope those of you who ever wondered how the strip comes to exist are satisfied with my little tutorial, and if you were disappointed at all with the lack of flair and creativity in this month’s Awesomer, then you should really discourage the fans of Loafy Carl. It’s their fault. Wasting their time with that rubbish. Who makes that shit, anyway? Oh, right. Nevermind.
Uhh, here’s some unrelated news for those who’re concerned about the well-being of cool stores on South Street, Philadelphia. About a month or so ago, a man living above one of the coolest stores on the street, Quakerhead, decided to end his life. Now if you’re gonna take your own life, that’s your own decision. All we ask is that you be considerate in your means of execution. The world doesn’t end once you die, pal. But no, he couldn’t just slice his wrists. He hadta get in the tub and slice his wrists while the freakin’ water was still running. Downstairs in Quakerhead, blood water starts running down the walls and does some pretty hefty damage to hot items, including figures, posters, videos, and clothing. As of recently, the store is still closed indefinitely due to merchandise and property damage. Balls, mate. As you let that crap sink in, this has been Neal, and just so you know, I am awesomer than you.