Colleen Coover Rotating Header Image

Making Bandette

A lot of people have asked me what media I used to draw Paul Tobin’s and my new digital comic Bandette. Well, wonder no longer!

1. The first step is rough layouts ,which I do digitally in Manga Studio. It doesn’t look like much.

2. In the same program, I tighten up the layouts, essentially “penciling” the page digitally. Those “pencils” are then printed out in blue ink on bristol bond paper.

3. I then draw with ink wash (that’s layers of watered-down ink) over the printed blue lines.

4. (Technical Photoshop stuff in the next steps!) I make an RGB color scan of the art, and use Photoshop to drop out the blue lines by deleting the Green and Cyan channels. What’s left is the Magenta channel, which looks gray without its buddies. I convert the image to Grayscale, and then back to RGB. Then I adjust the image levels so the bits that are meant to be white are white, and the bits that are meant to be black are black!

5. I then colorize the gray inks, giving it a sepia tone. I set the layer properties to Multiply, which basically means you can see though to the image layer below.

6. I color the image on the layer below the inks (actually, I use several layers, but this is what it ends up looking like without the inks visible).

7. Letters and panel borders go on top of everything else. And there you have it! It’s a comic!

Bandette is published digitally by Monkeybrain Comics; available NOW for 99ยข from ComiXology.


2 Comments on “Making Bandette”

  1. #1 TomBuhrman
    on Jul 7th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing your process to draw Bandette. What kind of script do you get from Paul? Does he suggest images? Do you offer changes to each other?

  2. #2 Colleen
    on Jul 7th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Paul gives me a fairly complete script, and he does suggest images, but we do revise pretty freely together. I will often offer tweaks in dialog, and there was one mostly silent page in issue one which he described generally, but left up to me as to how it would play out. That is a method that I would not recommend for a writer/artist team who are not used to working with each other!!! :)