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Creating Comics! by Paul Gulacy, Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz

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Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
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(Text)
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Title: Snow Leopard
Client: With Honor, (Comicbook Artists Guild, 2010)
Media: Pencil art by Albert Luciano; inks by Alex Rivera; letters
and final layouts by Shawnti Therrien
Creative Process
This is the title page for the story. Each story in
the book will have its own distinctive title page,
with an illustration and full credits for the story.
Using photo references, I did detailed pencil
illustrations of Zhau Qi, a.k.a. Snow Leopard,
the main character, and her companion Kira, an
actual snow leopard. They are treading Mt. Cho
Oyu, an actual Nepalese mountain where much
of the story action occurs. I used various images
found on the Internet of Cho Oyu, actual snow
leopards in Nepal, and the actress Gong Li as a
template for Qi. Shawnti Therrien used Photo-
shop to digitally ink my illustration and color the
piece. She also used similar photo references to
preserve the authenticity of the final image.
H
enry Covert is a writer, an artist, and a
musician whose journalistic works and illustra-
tions have been published in venues such as
Dark Discoveries, Shock Cinema, Eye magazine, Video
Eyeball, Slam-Bang Comics, Farmerphile, Terminal Brain
Rot, Astonishing Adventures Magazine, Creative Loafing,
and Indie File. In early 2010, two of Covert’s comics were
published: Kirillian Creed, which he created, wrote, and
illustrated for Slam-Bang Comics; and Snow Leopard, a
comix story written and created by Covert for With Honor,
a manga-style graphic novel anthology. He is currently
developing two original metafictional comic book series,
Conclaves and Prima Materia.
Henry Covert
Creating Comics
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Henry Covert
Henry Covert
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I was not able to illustrate the story myself as
originally envisioned, so it became a collabora-
tive effort. I still insisted on, and was granted by
my editor Shawnti Therrien, a strong hands-on
approach at each stage of the strip, from inception
to completion of Snow Leopard. Hence the story
showcases each contributor’s respective talents
while still adhering to my original vision.
Step Two: Albert “Albie” Luciano used spe-
cial manga-specific art boards to render the penciled
pages directly from my layouts. There are a few
instances where Albie puts a subtle spin on the angles
or expressions while remaining true to my original
thumbnail layouts.
Step One: This is page 12, as plotted and laid
out by me with art pencils on small hand-cut vellum
boards for the thumbnail layouts. I laid out the story
in the right-to-left manga format, utilizing space
judiciously, because this was at a climactic point in
the narrative of the fifteen-page story. I had to convey
key information at this point that would move the story
smoothly along to its resolution. I worked from my own
completed script, but I adjusted the number of panels
and placeholders for the final text as I did the pencil
layouts in order to keep a natural, almost cinematic
flow going from page to page.
Henry Covert
STEP-BY-STEP
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Step four: This is the final page as lettered by
Shawnti Therrien from my script. Shawnti also arranged
and moved the panels subtly against a completely
black background, to bring the black and white visuals
more to the fore. She used this technique on every
page of the completed story. The subtle juxtaposition
and resizing of the panels allowed the best possible
placement of the captions and balloons from my script,
and also maintained the authentic right-to-left manga
flow of visual information.
Shawnti and I conferred closely on choosing the
appropriate balloon and caption styles and fonts to
distinguish the story’s narration, and the various char-
acters’ spoken and telepathic voices (the “mindspeak”
of the snow leopards, demonstrated heavily on page
12). Shawnti also added grayscale toning to Alex’s ink
work. She did everything in Photoshop.
Step Three: Alex Rivera inked over Albie’s
pencil art using India ink and rendering the inks entirely
by brush. Alex retained the clarity of the images, while
lending them depth and weight. Alex and I conferred
closely on this page, because accentuating the poi-
gnancy of the script’s subject matter was crucial to me.
He was highly successful at this.
Henry Covert
STEP-BY-STEP
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Henry Covert
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