What You Really Need To Make Comics

Hello, Sunnyville fans.  As this blog post goes live, I am in New York City.  But no matter where you are, there’s something to consider if you want to make comics.

One of the biggest questions asked of the professionals is the tools they use.  That is usually the appeal of the comics or illustration profession – the low overhead involved as materials are quite affordable.  (This changes if you go the digital route and decide to invest in computer hardware and software.  But that is a whole other discussion for another day.)  All you need is paper, ink, pencils, pens, brushes, rulers and erasers – with all those, you are set to go.

To answer that questions myself, I use the pen for drawing.  I usually use a Speedball 512 or 513 nib for inking, supplemented with brushes for spotting blacks as well as a Uniball pen or a Hunt 107 nib for additional pen work.  I draw on smooth bristol board, which takes pen points well.  

There is a reason why many want to know what sort of tools the professionals use.  Many beginners think that if they use the same tools the professionals use, they’ll produce magnificent results.

That is wishful thinking.  While it’s good to use tools you are comfortable with, it all depends on you.  I could use a crow quill nib to draw with just like Dave Sim does, but my drawings would NEVER look like Sim’s as a result.

What you really need is the ability to communicate your ideas in the finished work (a comics page, a painting, a digital file, etc), the drive to do that and a well-trained mind to make all that possible.  The tools you use are just that – tools to help you achieve your ends.  Try different things out and use what works for you in the end.

Well, that’s all for now, friends.  Sign up for the Sunnyville Stories mailing list if you haven’t yet.  Stop over to DriveThru Comics for digital copies of Sunnyville Stories.  Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 are still for sale on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats!  While you’re there, be sure to pick up Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and (if you love Gothic horror) Von Herling, Vampire Hunter!  And now available is the latest installment of the saga, Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  Get them today!

Copies of all the above titles are available to the library trade via Brodart Company and to retailers from Ingram and Baker & Taylor (via BCH Distribution).  Copies are also available direct from the publisher.  For ordering information, contact maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com or write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269 USA 

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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